WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s been a fixture in Wichita for decades and now the wheels are in motion for some massive changes to Lawrence–Dumont Stadium.
On Tuesday, the city council approved a plan that would replace the facility and improve the riverfront area.
The last time a pro-affiliated team played at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium was the Wichita Wranglers.
City leaders say one reason they left is because the aging stadium.
“It is tired and needs major upgrades,” says Mayor Jeff Longwell.
Mayor Jeff Longwell says now they are working on plans to bring life back to stadium and the river corridor.
Longwell says, “We are taking the next step in the process and expanding the star bond district.”
Tuesday the city started the process to work on possible financing through star bonds, which would require the state’s approval
But before moving forward, the city wants the public’s input on renovations to the stadium and the area.
“That is important to Wichitan’s, important to that river corridor, important to future development along that river corridor and it eventually could alter our opportunities in terms of looking at bringing affiliated baseball back to Wichita,” says Longwell.
Bob Hanson, President of the Greater Wichita Sports Commission, says it’s a priority for Wichita.
“There are a lot of facilities, other communities, which have great facilities right now. They have really made improvements and that is how we lost the Wranglers in Rodgers, Arkansas. They built a new stadium and stole our team from us.”
Longwell and Hanson both feel the location is one that Wichita has an opportunity must cash in on.
“You sit there during those ball games and say, wow, what a view,” says Hanson.
The plans could also include apartments and other major improvements to the river corridor.