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New Downtown Baseball Stadium, AAA Club, and Associated RE Development

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  • People want nice ****, but when people propose projects to bring nice **** to the area, people complain and fight it till it goes away, then complain again about how Wichita doesn’t have nice ****.

    It’s odd.
    President - Change the Name to “University of Wichita” Alumni Group

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    • Shock Top
      Shock Top commented
      Editing a comment
      Waterwalk, the Arena, Spaghetti Works, Meads Corner, etc.

      There are a lot of great developers and visionaries in this town. If the red tape and John Q complainer would get out of their way, Wichita would be much better off.

  • Originally posted by ShockerFever View Post
    The only thing I somewhat get hesitant about is half-assing ****. When they commit to these projects, they need to follow all the way through. The arena from a design standpoint was a disaster, especially considering the amount paid for it. Waterwalk was half-assed. The stadium and development around it needs to be done RIGHT. And it all needs to be put together as close on the timeline as possible. It would be dumb to build a new stadium and not have any kind of development surrounding it when it first opens. That is the time to get people snagged in.

    This is where I'm apprehensive about. That the project is so rushed that they cut corners just to get something opened in 12 months. Have we actually seen a final rendering yet or do we just have speculative stuff? All of this stuff should have been done a year ago.

    I'm all for the development and project IF it is done right. And unfortunately, the city has had a decent history with ****ing projects up.

    My only concern.
    I would think that in this case, Lou has at least a bit of a voice in how things will proceed and I would guarantee that he and his team will be championing doing things right.
    The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?

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    • My problem with this deal is that baseball teams come and go. Land deeds are forever. What do we do in 10 years or so when the team moves on to the next place that is willing to throw a new stadium and a million dollars at the owner to induce them to move? If we end up with an empty stadium, or a team that can only draw 1,500, which has been the pattern here for minor league ball, then the development district that's supposed to pay off the stadium won't be able to do that and taxpayers will be stuck with the bill.

      If that comes to pass, a lot of people supporting this deal will adamantly oppose any tax increases. IBA was put to a vote, and the taxpayers agreed to raise taxes to build it. It wasn't built until the finances were certain. This is a different deal. The city committed to spending $80 mill based on a projection that assumes baseball will draw a lot of people to the area, which is difficult to support based on the history of baseball attendance in Wichita.

      I supported IBA, but that deal was discussed, debated, and voted on. The city wasn't relying on development around the arena to pay for the arena. I can understand why there hasn't been recent development near L-D. Go back to the '50's and '60's when L-D was still in decent shape and there were significant minor league teams here, and there still wasn't any development around L-D. IBA has had little effect on development in that area.

      Outdoor events in Kansas work in October when we have great weather, but are a little dicey the rest of the year.

      I favored spending the money for a new stadium until I heard about the land giveaway. It's tough enough to get people in Wichita to watch minor league baseball. Make them walk 5 or 10 minutes to get to the park is going to be another obstacle to putting butts in seats. I wonder if the city providing free parking adjacent to the stadium might be more valuable to minor league baseball than having "somebody" develop "something" around the stadium.
      Last edited by Aargh; 4 weeks ago.
      The future's so bright - I gotta wear shades.
      We like to cut down nets and get sized for championship rings.

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      • Water walk was a BIG disappointment and the way it turned out. IBA as has been pointed out a disappointment for some but again those people feel we could have gotten more bang for the buck. Possibly. I gave no clue really no one else really knows either. IBA was built with money in hand and not a hope for future development to fund it. I have no problem with the city moving forward with a plan like this but it does have risk. It has better potential to transform the area. The new construction around the river is exciting. The new apartment complex on the river as is the library. More people are living downtown and lots of them will be looking for places to spend their free time. A ballpark and subsequent development may be the catalyst to attract urban dwellers to take in a game and frequent establishments before and after a game. Mix in families attending for the same reasons and you have potential for a vibrant area. Obviously sustained attendance will be a challenge as with any venue but I think Wichita needs a facility like this in that location. I am with everyone else that want this to be better than I could ever have imagined. I want it to be great. I refuse to let pas performance temper my enthusiasm for what could be.

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      • They have released some new renderings of the new stadium

        https://www.bizjournals.com/wichita/..._news_headline

        The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?

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        • abdullah_sharif
          abdullah_sharif commented
          Editing a comment
          why does wichita minimalize .**** so damn much? It looks like a step down from the t-bones park in kc.

          the las vegas park looks impressive for sure and for the added cost (150mil for vegas vs 80mil for wichita), we could do better. i'd be on board for the larger vegas project if it included everything they built out west and truly use it as a community gathering place.

          if i were the team owners, i'm guessing that they're using the baseball team to be in the real estate business. after five years, i'd move the team and sell the buildings.

      • Originally posted by Dark Lord View Post
        They have released some new renderings of the new stadium

        https://www.bizjournals.com/wichita/..._news_headline
        I drove by the new Las Vegas Aviators' stadium in Summerlin the other day. Looks nice, but not incredibly different than the Wichita ballpark renderings. They do have some mesh seats which I assume will be cooler than hard plastic seats, probably some misters, and it appears a pool or some type of Spool/Cocktail pool near the outfield.

        https://lasvegassun.com/photos/galle..._wv_web/embed/



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        • Originally posted by Veritas View Post

          I drove by the new Las Vegas Aviators' stadium in Summerlin the other day. Looks nice, but not incredibly different than the Wichita ballpark renderings. They do have some mesh seats which I assume will be cooler than hard plastic seats, probably some misters, and it appears a pool or some type of Spool/Cocktail pool near the outfield.

          https://lasvegassun.com/photos/galle..._wv_web/embed/


          Definitely more pizazz then the Wichita renderings IMO.
          Deuces Valley.
          ... No really, deuces.
          ________________
          "Enjoy the ride."

          - a smart man

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          • NCAABound
            NCAABound commented
            Editing a comment
            Yeah I'm trying to figure out if it's just the rendering software they are using, but it sure looks a lot better than Wichita.Or it could be the good old Wichita leadership just doing it on the cheap again.

          • WstateU
            WstateU commented
            Editing a comment
            Wichita is only a "rendering", this looks like the actual Vegas park... in fairness, a big difference. If we get anything close to Vegas, this old man will be happy.

          • NCAABound
            NCAABound commented
            Editing a comment
            I should clarify....I meant Wichita's renderings make it look kinda blah. Compared to the real pics from Vegas.

        • Intrust Bank Arena part deux. Time constraints, budget shortfalls, and short-cuts are going to happen and once again instead of getting an Audi S7, we'll be getting a Volkswagen Passat.

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          • I still maintain that what we are seeing in the renderings shouldn't cost anything near $75M. Look up the new-ish stadiums in Omaha (suburban La Vista, not the new CWS park), Tulsa, and NW AR off the top of my head, and tell me where the extra $20M-$30M is going. Consider also that we have zero land acquisition costs and minimal dirt work and utilities. We should actually be cheaper than any of those examples by several million, even considering demo costs, not 30% more expensive.

            Personally, I think the yawner renderings (and at this point probably the final product) has a lot to do with the fact that we chose the least experienced designer in all of this. The other two design-build proposals included HOK and Populous - basically the two biggest sports facility designers in the country. I forget the name of the out-of-town designer we ended up with, but they had to stretch their credentials to make the minimums for the RFP. The leading architect on our stadium isn't even employed by said designer - she's a local architect who's primary work history is schools. It is an amazing bit of WTF.

            The builder/GC is Eby, so it will be built fine; they're a good company. Can't blame them for having the most unqualified partners out of all who responded to the RFP, but I have to assume they're probably amazed the group they're attached to got the job in the first place with the lack of credentials overall.

            It really does look like this is going to be akin to IBA, in that you'd rather have the new build than not, but a massive missed shot and head-scratcher otherwise. How we do this over and over again in this town is some sort of crazy - hold my beer and watch this sort of stuff. A double off of an error, versus the grand slam our budget should have provided.
            Last edited by SHOCKvalue; 2 weeks ago.
            There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.
            - Ernest Hemingway

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            • its wichita... we should be happy that the city council didn't allow tiny homes in the pop-up park on douglas and on the west bank

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              • Here are some additional drawings taken off the Wichita Baseball twitter.

                The Vegas Stadium has a more traditional entry point from the front thus probably more grandiose, while Wichita’s entry point seems to be split on the east side (outfield) with a other entry points on the west side. Vegas also has the Vegas Golden Knights training facility just north of the left field wall and “downtown” summerlin across the street to the west. Walking distance from Red Rock Casino and resort. Great area.



                https://www.wichita.gov/Stadium/Docu...l%201_2019.pdf

                https://mobile.twitter.com/wichitabaseball?lang=en

                a few renderings of the Vegas Stadium (now complete). Big entry
                https://archpaper.com/2017/10/hok-ho...lery-0-slide-1


                WooSox early renderings (more traditional style) in Worcester

                https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/r...YEM/story.html




                Last edited by Veritas; 1 week ago.

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                • Wichita's New Triple-A Ballpark Is Ahead Of The Curve

                  https://www.baseballamerica.com/stor...-of-the-curve/
                  "You Just Want to Slap The #### Outta Some People"

                  Comment


                  • vbird53
                    vbird53 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Finally, a good article explaining the benefits within the $75 million cost. Everything has been focused on the missing wow factor, that some of the simple terms that will benefit the team (further committing them to Wichita) has been lost. Take care of the team, and support them, and they will go above and beyond to bring a winner.

                • I'm probably in the minority here, and as I no longer live in Wichita, my tax dollars aren't being spent on this stadium (not that I know of anyway!) so my opinion is just that, mine. But from the renderings, I would say this has the makings of being a nice little destination in the evenings and on weekends. While it isn't huge, it's probably just about the right size for the amount of traffic the baseball team will generate on any given game night, especially during the week. I remember all the gnashing of teeth here in DC regarding the downtown stadium they built for the Nationals. That thing cost $693M and to be honest, from the outside, ain't much to look at either. But the amenities inside the stadium, to include the party patio in center field, is what really makes the place special. I see that in some of the renderings of the Wichita stadium, granted, much scaled down, but they're there. I really would like to see folks take advantage of the waterfront there at the river. I understand the desire to have public space along the river but I've never understood why there can't be restaurants and bars along a stretch of it. It will be interesting to see the final product.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by WstateU View Post
                    Wichita's New Triple-A Ballpark Is Ahead Of The Curve

                    https://www.baseballamerica.com/stor...-of-the-curve/
                    Thanks. That is great insight. Sounds like the base is there. Excited to see what they do on the aesthetics to provide some pop. Nice find.

                    Comment


                    • I think the aesthetics are largely driven by what the objectives are. In this case, while most of the stadium will be concrete, the facade will be red brick, limestone and black-painted steel.

                      “This is reflective of the community, the Delano area around the ballpark and I think Wichita in general,” Bohm said.

                      More important to me are the creature comforts. Being a short, fat ass myself I like that:

                      The highest priorities for project leaders are making sure the stadium has wider seats with more knee room, has a wider concourse and is family friendly, said Mark Bell of IFG, a group chosen to provide background advising for the project.

                      The seating in the stadium is being designed to offer better views to fans than other stadiums, according to Bell. The seats will be two inches wider than Major League Baseball stadium seats, at 21 inches. They will also have more of a rise than Major League stadiums, meaning it’ll be easier for fans to see over people in the row below. The latter also makes it much more kid friendly.

                      Even as people get up to hit the concession stands, the field will be in view. Architects are designing the stadium to have 360-degree circulation with views to the field from anywhere inside the stadium, Bell said.



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