Summer plans at Riverfront Stadium expected within next couple weeks
It was a sprint to the finish to get the Riverfront Stadium finished in time for opening day in April. Little did we know, COVID-19 would not only delay opening day but potentially cancel the whole minor league season.
As Major League Baseball announced this week, the plan for a shorter 60-game season; Wichita Wind Surge managers say they’re excited baseball is starting to return.
“The lockers were open, the lockers were ready, the bats and balls were here, we’ve got gloves," said the Surge's managing general partner Lou Schwechheimer. "We’ve got everything ready to go and then unfortunately the pandemic hit.”
Schwechheimer said the club is waiting on guidance from Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball on what to do with the remainder of the AAA season.
“I think in the next week to 10 days, there will be a pretty well established protocol. Now there’s been talks about teams having taxi squads within a 100 miles of their stadium, there’s been talk about using spring training facilities," said Schwechheimer. "As we get into July, we’re down to really two months of active baseball time.”
As the Wind Surge waits to hear from the MLB and Minor League Baseball about what’s next, Schwechheimer said that his club is dedicated to bringing as many events to this ballpark as possible, just like the NBC World Series.
“We’re 6 weeks away. Scheduling, formatting, TV, all of the things that go into putting on a great tournament, need to be done now. Should’ve been done months ago and we’re all scrambling around on the fly to make sure we get it done but get it done in a manner that you can be safe when you come,” said Schwechheimer.
NBC tournament director Kevin Jenks tells us the official dates and logistics of the NBC event is hanging in the balance, until the Wind Surge receives clarification on whether they will be playing this summer. Schwechheimer expects an official announcement about the NBC will be made in the next two weeks.