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Sedgwick County Approves TIF District for Wichita Ballpark

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A proposed tax increment financing (TIF) district for a new or renovated Wichita ballpark has cleared another hurdle, as Sedgwick County has signed off on the plan.

Wichita officials have been floating the concept of replacing Lawrence-Dumont Stadium to accommodate an affiliated Minor League Baseball team, though renovating the existing ballpark has not been ruled out. Part of the plan calls for the creation of a TIF district for the ballpark and surrounding development, which will help finance the project.

Sedgwick County commissioners followed the city’s previous approval of the district with an affirmative 4-1 vote of their own. Area leaders continue to tout the project’s potential, citing the future development possibilities. More from The Wichita Eagle:

The city wants to use $45 million in public funds from a TIF district and STAR bonds, which capture sales tax revenue, to help build a multisport stadium, parking facilities and mixed-use commercial development.

 Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce president Gary Plummer said the city of Wichita has been innovative with the plan.

“We think they have taken a lot of steps to minimize the costs to the citizens,” Plummer said.

Wichita Downtown Development Corporation president Jeff Fluhr said it would help create a “world-class” riverfront.

There has been discussion about attracting an affiliated Minor League Baseball tenant, something the city has not had since the Wichita Wranglers (Class AA; Texas League) relocated after the 2007 season. Lawrence-Dumont Stadium is currently home to the Wichita Wingnuts (independent; American Association) and the National Baseball Congress World Series.

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