After a stressful 2022 season, the Wichita Wind Surge (Double-A; Texas League) are looking to reset relationships with the local fan base under new ownership and a return of industry vet Jay Miller to head the team.
The new ownership is Diamond Baseball Holdings, in a purchase announced at the Winter Meetings. DBH purchased the MiLB licensee from the ownership group put together by the late Lou Schwechheimer; rights to any ballpark development plans adjoining the ballpark were left with Wichita Riverfront Limited Partnership and EPC Real State Group to fulfill (the Wind Surge acquired development rights to the four acres of ballpark acreage for $1 per acre as part of the deal to lure the team to Wichita).
As the first president of the Wind Surge, Miller was a natural to return as president and address some issues, including a controversial 8% extra charge on all ballpark purchases. That surcharge raised the hackles both for city leaders and fans surprised by the addition. It was an issue raised by Miller himself in an interview:
“I can tell you before the email or press release comes out, we’re going to lower prices in some of these areas. And, again, it’s things that Lou and I said that a family of four could come and it be affordable,” said Miller. “But, hidden fees, there isn’t a community in the country that will put up with that.”
Many taxpayers continue to voice their concerns that Riverfront stadium isn’t being used for other events like promised when discussion about building a new downtown stadium initially happened. Miller said in just two days as president, he’s already trying to make that happen.
“We’re going to use our stadium for 69 Wind Surge games but we’re going to come through on our promise that this is the community’s stadium, not ours,” said Miller.
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