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Wichita Prepping Bid for Texas League Return

San Antonio Missions 2015A report has Wichita in the midst of establishing a new bonding program that could eventually lead to a new Texas League ballpark on the existing Lawrence-Dumont Stadium site.

If you’ve been following our coverage of the whole San Antonio Missions (Class AA; Texas League) possible relocation, you would have seen plenty of references to Wichita several months ago — as in, we fully expected Wichita to jump in as a possible home for the Missions based on what we were hearing out of Kansas. And apparently some of those efforts are coming to fruition, as the Wichita Business Journal is reporting that the city is working with the Kansas Department of Commerce on STAR bonds for downtown and northeast Wichita.

STAR bond — STAR is short for “sales tax and revenue” — is a state form of financing where bonds are backed by sales taxes generated from a new project. In this case, it sounds like Wichita is thinking big, with a new ballpark project:

A new Lawrence-Dumont Stadium – everything new except the light standards. Double-A baseball by 2019, with the San Antonio Missions moving to town. A professional soccer stadium. An interactive downtown museum celebrating Wichita’s deep baseball heritage, emphasizing 81 years of the resurgent National Baseball Congress World Series.

And all of it as the seed for Wichita’s version of Bricktown Along the River: Apartments, clubs, restaurants, offices. A pedestrian bridge connecting downtown and Delano…

A new performing arts center, doubling up with the new L-D as destination anchors downtown, with the soccer complex putting Wichita on the futbol map in the northeast part of the city.

Now, we are a long way from the Missions ending up in Wichita. First, there’s still no ballpark deal in San Antonio that would move the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) there. Second, Amarillo is still talking new ballpark, so there should be some competition for Wichita. You probably won’t see a new Wichita ballpark before the 2019 season.

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