WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s the name thousands are talking about. After Wednesday night’s unveiling of the Wichita Wind Surge, the new name fell flat for many.
“I had over 250 posts on my social media this morning on Facebook letting me know about it,” said Jeff Blubaugh, Vice Mayor, City of Wichita. “I’d say 90 to 95% of them were not very happy.”
“This is a minor league baseball team name. it’s supposed to be fun,” said Lou Schwechheimer, Wichita Wind Surge owner. “It’s supposed to elicit passion. You either love it or you hate it. The one thing we didn’t want was people to be apathetic.”
That passion led ICT Radio to create an online petition calling for a change not long after the big reveal. In less than 24 hours, more than 10,000 people signed it.
“We just saw so many people were not happy about it, and we were like let’s see if we can maybe get it changed,” said Eric Pierce, ICT Radio owner.
While people were busy signing the petition, Schwechheimer said the team store was busy with people buying team gear. Some said their loyalty to the team was never based on the name.
“From my perspective, you could have named it anything, and I would be here day one supporting the team,” said Daron Adelgren.
City leaders believe the strong dislike of the name will die down by the start of the season.
“It doesn’t matter what the name is. As long as they are winning, I think people are going to be here supporting them,” said Blubaugh.
Despite the backlash, the Wichita Wind Surge is here to stay.
“We’re not changing the name,” said Schwechheimer. “We appreciate your passion Wichita. Just keep on coming.”
The home opener for the Wichita Wind Surge is April 14.