The new home of the Wichita Wind Surge (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) will be named Riverfront Stadium, at least temporarily until a naming-rights deal is finalized.
Professional baseball returns to Wichita in the form of the relocating New Orleans Baby Cakes, with Riverfront Stadium replacing Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on local pro-baseball front. Wichita has gone without pro baseball since the Wichita Wranglers (Class AA; Texas League) relocated to Springdale, AR after the 2007 season to become the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.
The new ballpark is slated to open April 14 (yes, we’ll be there), so the city and the team were hitting a deadline to name the facility. Riverfront Stadium is seen as a temporary moniker until a naming-rights deal can be finalized. From the Wichita Eagle:
The stadium does not have a title sponsor yet, but those negotiations are ongoing, and the Wind Surge is still taking interest, said Scot Rigby, Wichita assistant city manager and director of development services, told the Eagle. “Riverfront Stadium,” is a placeholder until a contract is reached with a partner.
The Wind Surge focused on nailing down in-stadium naming partners like Emprise Bank, Fidelity Bank, Credit Union of America and Dillons, Schwechheimer told the Eagle.
“The focus is on broad community support vs. a home run for a naming sponsor,” Rigby told the Eagle. “… I think there are a lot of people who are going to come to a game and say, ‘OK, now I see the value of doing the naming rights. I wasn’t sure at first, but now that I’ve been to the game and I’ve seen all that this stadium has to offer, this is something my company needs to be a part of.’ ”
Rigby said the Wind Surge has led the charge on naming-rights contracts, and the city negotiated a split with the team to pull in $250,000 when a partner is reached for the stadium.
Photo of ballpark construction taken on January 6, courtesy Wichita Wind Surge.
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