WICHITA, Kan. The announcement of a new stadium and Triple-A-affiliated minor-league baseball team coming to Wichita brings immediate questions about what the future holds for the Wichita Winguts and the annual NBC World Series, which just celebrated its 84th tournament in the city.
The Wingnuts, the city's independent franchise that's called Lawrence-Dumont Stadium home since 2008. finished its final season at the stadium this week.
The NBC World Series' days at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium and through, but the tournament is not leaving Wichita. Plans revealed Thursday say the annual tournament will be part of the new stadium agreement.
Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell says the new stadium will host NBC World Series games are there are also plans for an NBC World Series museum.
The new stadium, projected to cost about $73 million to build on the current site of Lawrence-Dumont, will be funded in large part through STAR bonds. The funding for the stadium does not require any tax increases.
NBC World Series General Manager Kevin Jenks says the project can only improve the quality of entertainment for the tournament and the level of competition recruited into Wichita.
"Number one, I'm a Wichitan and I love the idea that seeing a new stadium is going to be built and give our community, or region a place to go and interact," Jenks says. "And it doesn't have to be just about baseball either."
The fate of Lawrence-Dumont Stadium's primary tenant over the last decade isn't so clear. The Wingnuts will not continue operation in Wichita. The team's ownership can choose to move elsewhere or attempt to take ownership of another organization.