New Kansas stadium to host more than minor league baseball

The owner and president of the Triple-A baseball team that will start play in Wichita, Kansas, next year says the new $75 million stadium will be the site of a lot more than baseball

The final structural beam on the stadium was hoisted into place Wednesday, The Wichita Eagle reported. The Miami Marlins Triple-A team is moving from New Orleans to Wichita starting next season.

The minor league team, which is now called the New Orleans Baby Cakes but will be renamed, will play 70 regular-season games and up to seven playoff games, said owner Lou Schwechheimer.

"We're going to provide family entertainment at family prices," he said, adding that the top baseball ticket will cost $15.

He said the goal is to use the stadium for up to 200 events each year. Besides baseball, it will host concerts, festivals and football games. During winter months, it will be the site of an outdoor skating rink.

The team also is in discussions with the owners of the Wichita Thunder about having an outdoor hockey game at the stadium each year.

The stadium will have seating for 10,000 people and include 14 private luxury suites.

About 100 construction workers were at the site Wednesday. Mike Grier, president of Eby Construction, said that number will increase to about 250 workers as the project continues toward completion.

Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell said he was impressed by the amount of work that's gotten done despite "having absolutely the worst spring weather that we could have ever imagined having."


Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle,