Ventura Sports, the owners and operator of several ballparks and independent teams in Texas, is heading north after signing a deal for a new ballpark/multiuse facility with the City of Topeka, where city officials have worked for pro baseball for several years.
Ventura Sports, the owners and operator of several ballparks and independent teams in Texas, is heading north after signing a deal with Topeka, where city officials have worked for pro baseball for several years.
The new ballpark will be part of a larger development in a public-private partnership. It won't be built strictly for baseball; it is envisioned that the multi use facility would host numerous other entertainment, philanthropic and cultural events for the community of Topeka. Mark Schuster, principal of Ventura Sports, expects the new ballpark to open in the 2012 season. Wallace Bajjali, which is working with Ventura Sports on a new Montgomery (Texas) ballpark, will be the developer.
No word on what league will lease the facility. In this case, Ventura Sports will be acting as an agent for the city and recommending a league. In the past both the Northern League and the American Association had met with Topeka officials about a new ballpark; Ventura's two existing teams play in the American Association.
The site of the ballpark remains to be decided within the next 90 days.
Roger W. Christoph, Managing Partner of Ventura Sports Group stated, “It’s been 49 years since the people of Topeka had a professional baseball team, we look forward to working with the community to explore restoring that tradition and at the same time deliver affordable family entertainment that touches the entire community.”
Former major leaguer and Topeka resident Ken Berry declared, “Professional minor league baseball is long overdue for the City of Topeka and I look forward to working with Ventura Sports Group in making it happen.”
“We look forward to this public private partnership to develop our entertainment district”, said Deputy City Manager, Randy Speaker.
“Communities all over the country have identified the benefits of pursuing the development of entertainment districts to promote economic development and quality of life. We are excited at the opportunity to work with the City of Topeka to assist them in accomplishing their vision” stated David Wallace, CEO of Wallace Bajjali.
Topeka, KS is the capital city of Kansas and the county seat of Shawnee County. It is situated along the Kansas River in northwest Kansas. The population is approximately 122,500 with the Topeka Metropolitan Statistical area, which includes Shawnee, Jackson, Jefferson, Osage and Wabaunsee counties being an estimated population of 230,000.
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