WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — When the idea of bringing affiliated baseball back to Wichita was brought up several years ago, it was pitched as bringing an economic boost to the area. With a year in the books, many Delano business owners say it did. Now they are optimistic for the Wind Surge‘s second season.

“The love, happiness, and energy we felt around that baseball stadium last year was amazing,” said Jennifer Ray, Owner of The Monarch.

Ray says game days brought a special kind of electricity and rush to the restaurant.

“It’s hectic, it’s fun, we start getting really busy at about 4:30 [p.m.] and stay that way until about 7:30 [p.m.], once people are trickling over and heading across the street,” Ray said.

“We definitely noticed a huge hit again around before the games and even a little bit after,” said Jasmine Moore, general manager for TJ’s Burger House.

While successful last year, hopes are even higher for this season; since 2021 still had the pandemic.

“We really hadn’t recovered from that yet, and while we are still having challenges, we certainly are way beyond that at this time. People aren’t wearing masks. We’ve had vaccinations and boosters. So people are excited to get out,” said John Rolfe, President & CEO of the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce.

With the added traffic from game days, businesses hope it will show others what Wichita has to offer.

“Many times, people in Wichita talk about there isn’t much to do in town, and there actually really is. This is the perfect opportunity to get outside, see something different and do something different with your friends and family,” said Derek Sorrells, Owner of Sweet ‘n Saucy.