WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Many practice and play at McAdams Park, and soon, they’ll have to drive more than 10 miles to the Stryker complex at on north Greenwich road.
“You look at Topeka, Lawrence, Kansas City, and even Oklahoma City, they all have sports complexes down there,” says Cody Walker, Director of the Gators.
Director of the Wichita Tigers agrees, “For what we are trying to do bringing a multi complex here is going to be a good thing.”
The city of Wichita is one year in to a three-year process to move all city league youth games to the Stryker complex.
“You have everybody in one locations so parents don’t have to run from one field to the other if they have multiple children that are playing,” says Lavonta Williams, Wichita City Council member.
But many parents were concerned about travel and getting their kids to the facility.
Williams says the city is exploring transportation options through public transit, though some team directors say the benefits of Stryker outweigh those challenges.
“We are the farthest south Wichita team, and we don’t complain about the drive. It is what you do for the kids,” says Walker.
But it does leave questions about inner-city parks, like McAdams, home to Barry Sanders football field.
With the neighborhood pool closing, some, like the Saunstaire family, who used to come watch games at the park, are concerned about the long-term impact.
“That’s a place where my kids can walk to and play and have fun and actually, like I said, be kids you know,” says Amie Saunstaire.
Williams tells me her goal isn’t to move all things from McAdams, but she does want kids to have more experiences outside of their small community.
“My objective is to keep our young people as busy as we can and to keep them mentored and out of trouble,” says Williams.
Williams also says teams will be able to sell concession at Stryker to continue fundraising efforts.
She also says the city is looking at still allowing some weekday games to be played at Barry Sanders.