National Baseball Congress World Series officials are concerned that the event will be shut out of a new Wichita ballpark, citing uncertainty over whether it will be accommodated at the facility.
Set to open in 2020 for the relocating New Orleans Baby Cakes (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League), the new Wichita ballpark will replace Lawrence-Dumont Stadium–which served for years as home of the annual NBC World Series, and various professional teams. It has been anticipated that the new ballpark will be able accommodate the NBC World Series once it opens, but officials from the event are not entirely sure that is going to be the case.
According to NBC World Series general manager and tournament director Kevin Jenks, there are outstanding concerns that the city is not working dedicated office space for the event into the ballpark’s design. Furthermore, there is still no formal guarantee in place that at least a portion of the two-week NBC World Series can be staged at the ballpark. The city, for its part, says it is working to address concerns from event officials. More from the Wichita Eagle:
City officials had told NBC leaders that the organization would have a “permanent home” at the new ballpark, Jenks said. Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell told him in a private meeting that the project would include permanent office space for the NBC, he said.
At some point, that changed, Jenks said.
“Plans do not include offices at this time,” an unidentified city official said during a social media town hall….
“The City understands the NBC’s concern and will work with the team and the NBC to see if an accommodation can be made,”[assistant director of strategic communications for the city Elyse] Mohler said in an email response to questions about that conversation.
She would not say whether Longwell told Jenks the NBC would have office space.
Prior to being demolished to make way for construction of the new ballpark, Lawrence-Dumont Stadium had hosted the NBC World Series since 1935. The event will shift to Wichita State’s Eck Stadium this year to accommodate construction, part of a plan first revealed last year.
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