A milestone was celebrated at the Wichita ballpark construction site Wednesday, when a topping out ceremony for the facility took place.
Currently under construction at the former site of Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, the new $75 million Wichita ballpark is slated to open in 2020 for the relocating New Orleans Baby Cakes (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League). Ground was broken on the ballpark in February, and its construction reached a notable point with Wednesday’s topping out ceremony–an event that is traditionally held when the last steel beam is put into place on a structure–and team, city, and project officials were on hand for the occasion.
While plenty of work remains in the construction process, the topping out ceremony afforded the opportunity to discuss plans for the ballpark to have an active year-round schedule of events. More from the Wichita Eagle:
“We are 250 days, six hours, 17 minutes and 49 seconds to opening day,” said Lou Schwechheimer of the New Orleans Baby Cakes, the Miami Marlins Triple-A Minor League team that is to be renamed and relocated to Wichita next season.
Schwechheimer said that the team, which will control scheduling at the stadium, has set an ambitious goal of 200 events there each year.
Up to 77 of those will be baseball games — 70 regular season and a potential seven playoff games, he said.
“We’re going to provide family entertainment at family prices,” Schwechheimer said. “Our top (baseball) ticket is $15.”
When the franchise debuts at the new ballpark, it will mark the first time that Wichita has had an affiliated Minor League Baseball team of its own since the Wichita Wranglers (Class AA; Texas League) relocated to Springdale, AR after the 2007 season to become the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.
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