WICHITA, Kan. The Wichita Wings are returning to Wichita under new local ownership, a Friday-morning news release confirms.
Ark Valley News (from Nov. 11, 2011)
The release, from Wichita Wings Soccer, says the team is set to immediately begin operations and will play home games at Hartman Arena in Park City.
"Wings ownership has been working diligently for a few months to make sure everything is in order to get the team on the field for the 40th anniversary season," Friday's news release says.
The Wings' original run was from 1979 to 2001. They played home games north of Wichita at the Kansas Coliseum, near 85th North and I-135.
After about a decade's absence, an attempted resurgence in the fall of 2011 at Hartman Arena only lasted two seasons with the franchise folding in 2013. A new indoor soccer team, the Wichita B-52s also played for two seasons at Hartman Arena.
After the B-52s folded, Wichita hasn't had a professional indoor soccer team.
Wichita Wings fans like Derek Pruitt says he's loved the team since he was a kid and he's glad to hear they're making a comeback.
"From a little kid, even a baby, my mom took me to games back in the 80s and early 90s and I still remember memories from those games, even being that young, and it was a lot of fun," he said.
Former Wichita Wings manager Roy Turner says its fans like Pruitt who will make or break the new team.
"We were always known throughout the league as a community team that the community went crazy for it and it takes that to be successful, as well as having a decent team on the field. So, I hope the new guys can accomplish both of those," Turner said.
The latest version of the Wings it currently accepting applications for staff and interns. Tryouts will be held Nov. 23 and 24 at Hartman Arena and in Wichita.