Next to the city of Amarillo, there is a second official candidate to become home for the San Antonio Missions. The other day, the city council of Wichita voted unanimously for the expansion of a special taxing district for a development that could include a new ballpark.
Could include… It still is depending on the Colorado Springs SkySox moving to San Antonio. Only if that will happen, the AA San Antonio Missions will move to another city. For a long time, Amarillo was the lone serious candidate, but since a day they have some competition in Wichita.
But the city of Amarillo put the development of the ballpark plans on hold after the owner of the Missions, the Elmore Sports Group refused to sign a letter of intent.
With Amarillo leaning back now, Wichita may have made a good move by approving a plan with room for a possible ballpark. The 7-0 vote on Tuesday clears the way for the more projects to be completed through an existing sales tax and revenue (STAR) bond. The STAR bond requires formal approval from the State of Kansas, but Wichita officials are hopeful that the decision will lead to some clarification on whether the construction of a new facility is feasible.
The new facility would cost a sloppy $40 million to $60 million and would replace the 82-year-old Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, now the home field of the independent Wichita Wingnuts baseball team. The hope is that the city will be able to build a multi-use stadium, suitable for baseball, softball, soccer and concerts, something that MLB cities have turned away from because those stadiums lack atmosphere.
The new stadium could be part of a new commercial district that still needs to be constructed. If the new stadium will be built, it will replace the current 80-year old Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, former home of the Wichita Wranglers and current home of the independent (American Association) Wichita Wingnuts.
But of course it all starts with the move of the Colorado Springs SkySox to San Antonio. Only if that will happen, the San Antonio Missions will need a new home and may move to Wichita if the city can strike a deal with the Elmore Sports Group.