WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita city leaders have high hopes for the Wichita Wind Surge and Riverfront Stadium. They hope the new venture will bring in $38 million over the next 20 years.
But the city is not the only one looking to cash in on the ballpark. Business owners say the Wind Surge opening day could not have come at a better time.
“We weathered through the pandemic, and we’re doing even better now,” said Derek Sorrells, Sweet N Saucy owner.
Whether it is his candy shop on the east side of the Delano District or the coffee shop on the west side, there is a lot of hope for the future.
“I’m very excited,” Sorrells said.
“I’m excited going into the summer for more, more people being out and about, nice weather, people coming to the game,” said Sarah Leslie, owner of Leslie Coffee Co.
Both entrepreneurs say the coronavirus pandemic was a swing and a miss for finances. But now, the foot traffic to come from Wind Surge home games is expected to be a home run for businesses.
“I think this is going to be something that the community rallies around, that people come down, they tailgate a little bit, they spend some local money at some of our local places here and we really think this is going to become a good center point to the city,” Sorrells said.
Some Delano businesses are even getting business from Wind Surge baseball players. Two pitchers found time to shop right before the game.
“Got some custom Stetsons,” said Dakota Chalmers, Wind Surge pitcher, after shopping at Hatman Jack’s. “Pretty excited about it.”
They say it is exciting to see the impact the stadium is having on the area.
“It’s exciting to see the city get excited about something, you know what I mean, and I think it’s gonna bring everybody together,” Chalmers said.
With more games to come, business owners expect the excitement to live on for years to come.
“Delano is really coming back and the baseball team is a great part of that resurrection.” Sorrells said.