WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – In a few days, it will be play ball at Wichita’s Riverfront Stadium. The Shockers get the honor of throwing the first pitch in the brand new ballpark, and it’s a sell-out crowd that could have you striking out when it comes to parking.
With an expected 8,000 fans coming to the stadium, you may want to bring your walking shoes.
The stadium’s general manager, Jared Forma, said there is enough parking, but it’s all within a five to ten-minute walk from the stadium. He suggested taking a bike or scooter might be the best option if you do not want to walk.
For now, Forma and city leaders are working out the details but said some parking lots surrounding the stadium and across the river will be available for game goers and attendants.
Forma said there could be a bus circling the area for pick-ups and drop-offs and all parking will be free, but encourages fans to come early to beat the rush if you want a good spot.
“As we said a year ago, we can’t wait to get back to the problem of parking or the challenge of it so that’s awesome we’re talking about parking again because it means we’re opening Riverfront Stadium,” said Forma. “Our advice is to come a little earlier because you’re going to park, most likely probably on the east side of the river.”
Forma said fans will get an email the morning of the game with more details about parking.
It’s that foot traffic that has a Delano business owner feeling like he hit a home run.
Hatman Jack’s owner, Jack Kellogg, said this first event at the Riverfront Stadium is what his business has been waiting nearly two years for.
“This is going to be the most exciting time we’ve had in Delano since the 1870s and we’re dressed up, we’re ready to go,” said Kellogg. “I think it will be big numbers, lots of people.”
Kellogg said at first there was concern about game goers parking in front of the business, stopping the flow of customers, but he said city leaders worked with the owners and put up signs enforcing a two-hour parking restriction.
“You can’t really come and park on Douglas, go to the game for three hours and expect to stay there, this really helps everyone who needs turnover to operate,” said Kellogg.
He said crews have been painting parking lots as well, to enforce more two hour zones.
Kellogg is encouraging fans to avoid parking at homes or businesses because it can cause issues when trying to leave.
“Let’s just see how it works, and everybody be a little patient, we may have to tweak it but it’s going to work,” said Kellogg.
The City of Wichita will meet Thursday and discuss their exact plans for parking.
For more information on Riverfront Stadium, click here.