Though they have announced that the 2018 season will be their last at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, the Wichita Wingnuts (independent; American Association) are unsure of their next move.
On Thursday, it was announced that this season will be the last for the Wingnuts at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. The club was reportedly informed by city officials–who have been looking to lure affiliated Minor League Baseball–that the ballpark would not be available for the 2019 campaign.
While Thursday’s announcement confirms the longterm status of the Winguts at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, there are still some questions about the fate of the franchise. Team officials say that no final decisions have been made regarding the franchise’s status for 2019 and beyond, and that an announcement will likely occur during the season. More from The Wichita Eagle:
“What we know, from our conversations with the city, is that 2018 is going to be the last year for Lawrence-Dumont Stadium,” said Brian Turner, Wingnuts general manager.
The future of the Wingnuts has yet to be determined, Turner said. The team’s ownership group is considering options and will make an announcement sometime during this season on the long-term outlook for the franchise.
The Wingnuts shocked local baseball fans with the announcement on Twitter and the team website that the 2018 season will be the team’s final call at Lawrence-Dumont.
The team made the announcement now to let the fans know this will be their last chance to see professional baseball at Lawrence-Dumont, a city landmark since it opened in 1934.
Wichita officials have been working to land an affiliated Minor League Baseball team, with that pitch centered around a ballpark proposal that calls for demolishing Lawrence-Dumont Stadium and building a replacement on the same site. The effort had been focused around a new facility that could house a Class AAA Pacific Coast League team and perhaps professional soccer, but a promised December 2017 announcement did not come to be, and things have been quiet on the relocation front since. Wichita has not had an affiliated MiLB team since the Wichita Wranglers (Class AA; Texas League) relocated to Springdale, AR after the 2007 season.
As for the Wingnuts, they will begin their final Lawrence-Dumont Stadium season on May 18. The team is planning several promotions throughout that season that will honor the historic ballpark.
RELATED STORIES: This is the Final Year for Wichita Wingnuts Baseball