‘I was looking for the wow factor’: Sports expert on new stadium design

Local

City leaders know that this new stadium needs to be a homerun. Not just for the team, but for the fans who will fill it. However, some are calling the latest design more of a pop fly.

Most will tell you Wichita’s new ball park needs to be a hit. There may be no one swinging harder for the fences than Mayor Jeff Longwelll.

“So, we’ll get it right, but more importantly, we’re going to get it right and allow the community to weigh in because it’s their ballpark,” says Longwell.

“I am glad they went to the public. I think they got maybe some good feedback from it,” says Bob Hanson, President of the Wichita Sports Commission, of the newest rendering from the city. “I was somewhat disappointed. I guess expecting more for a $75 million stadium.”

If you ask Hanson about the rendering.

“I was looking for the wow factor and could not find the wow factor,” he says.

Hanson does not want Wichita to settle on just any stadium.

“You know you only get one or two times,” he says. “The last baseball stadium was about 86 years ago or something like that so you want to do it right when you do it.”

Despite some negative feedback, Mayor Longwell is confident that the process will ultimately land Wichita a field of dreams.

“We’ve designed for pauses to take place and allow the community to have meaningful input,” he says.

Now, the latest look it’s by no means final the design committee could go back to drawing board and make some changes. But the vote for the final design will be held during a city council meeting on February 12 so time is running out.

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