City council approves new baseball for downtown Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) The City of Wichita is moving forward with its plans to build a new baseball stadium and welcome a Triple-A league team.

Mayor Jeff Longwell made the announcement last week.

City council members approved the ballpark development during the weekly meeting on Tuesday. The plan includes a stadium of up to $75 million and a pedestrian bridge, similar to the one at the Keeper of the Plains, which will cost $6 million.

The plan is to start construction in April of 2019 and complete it in time for the new team play by April of 2020.

The New Orleans Baby Cakes will be renamed. The team and the city plan to secure a naming rights agreement for a decade. There will also be a 20-year management agreement.

The team agreed to contribute $5 million or more in equipment and pay utilities.

The National Baseball Congress museum will cost $3 million. That money is included in the cost to build the stadium.

The new stadium will be paid for by STAR bonds, a tax increment finance (TIF) district, a community improvement district (CID) and bonds.

"Additionally how do we connect I'll call it the sports district where our stadium would be over to our performing arts district, and the idea at that time was to create a pedestrian bridge linking the two civic districts," said Assistant city manager Scot Rigby.

A ballpark oversight committee will be created with representation from the team and city.

The council also approved a $2.2 million settlement for the Wichita Wingnuts.