WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Will the Wichita Wind Surge take the field this summer? Will the tradition-rick NBC World Series played in Wichita every late July into August go on as scheduled?
These are a couple questions Eyewitness News looks into following Major League Baseball's announced plan to begin its 2020 season on July 4.
The news from the MLB is something Wichita Wind Surge owner Lou Schwechheimer says is a welcome first step for baseball fans. The Wind Surge is a Triple-A affiliate for the Miami Marlins.
Schwechheimer says he's been in constant communication with league officials and that any decision regarding when the Wind Surge could play would come from Minor League Baseball. He adds that seeing baseball in Wichita is important, but not as important as keeping players, workers and fans safe and healthy.
As Wichita's new professional team waits for news on whether it'll be able to make its debut this summer, one of the game's oldest tournaments in Wichita also waits to see if it can go on.
"The plan is to play the NBC World Series this summer, going 86 years strong," says NBC World Series General Manager and Tournament Director Kevin Jenks. He says tournament officials are working through their own set of obstacles in hopes of avoiding a break in the tradition,from trying to find host families for players, working with amateur leagues across the country and talking with local health officials.
Jenks says the ideal time frame is for the tournament to still happen in late July and early August, but with nothing set in stone, he says the talks with Sedgwick County health officials are constant.
But unlike Major League Baseball, Jenks says the NBC World Series couldn't go on if fans can't attend the games.
"If we are in a situation where we can't have fans in the stands, then the NBC World Series won't happen," he says. "Just the revenue that comes from the tickets and everything associated with people attending the game, that would certainly limit us."
Jenks notes that the NBC World Series wants to be something for the entire Wichita community to enjoy, but more importantly wants to make sure playing the tournament is the right thing to do.
"We are just going to play the hand that we are dealt and go from there," he says. 'Right now, we are planning to play and are looking forward to it."