Why Wichita - Riverfront Stadium & The Wind Surge
A New Stadium
After a year-long postponement due to COVID, Wichita's new Riverfront Stadium is open for business! The $75 million state-of-the-art multi-purpose venue near downtown Wichita welcomed almost 8,000 people last night (May 11, 2021) for Opening Day.
The Stadium sits on the former site of Lawrence-Dumont Stadium on the west bank of the Arkansas River near downtown Wichita. While the Stadium is most widely known as the home of the Wichita Wind Surge, it was built with many uses in mind.
According to officials, the Stadium could host as many as 100 events each year in addition to scheduled baseball games. They've hinted at football games, outdoor hockey games, a skating rink, movie screenings, concerts, and festivals. The Stadium has unique indoor/outdoor meeting spaces that allow for private events like corporate gatherings and weddings as well.
Riverfront Stadium can seat 6,500 in the seating bowl plus 3,500 more on berms and picnic areas for baseball games. Up to 18,000 people can attend concerts and events where the field is also used for sitting or standing.
Wichita Wind Surge
Wichita has a long history of minor league baseball, but it's been more than a decade since affiliated baseball has been played in the city.
In an exciting return, Wichita's new Minor League Team, the Wind Surge, is the Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. The Surge will compete in the North Division of the newly formed 10-team Central League.
The Wind Surge macot, Windy, was fashioned after the team's logo. Windy is a sky-blue Pegasus with a navy mane and wings.
For the 2021 season, the Surge with play a 120-game schedule from May-September with two six-game homestands each month. Games are played Tuesday through Sunday with the first pitch at 7:05 p.m. on weekdays, 6:05 p.m. on Saturdays, and 1:05 p.m. on Sundays.
An Honest Review of Opening Day from Someone Who Doesn't Watch Baseball
One would expect a newly-built stadium to be state-of-the-art, but Riverfront Stadium exceeded my expectations. The open layout helped make it feel spacious despite the crowds, and the lines inside moved faster than I anticipated.
My seat was located behind home plate about halfway down the section. I went to a few games at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, and based on what I remember, this experience was much better. The individual seats are wider and feel closer to the field. The location of food venues and stores also allowed for a good flow on the concourse.
As someone who loves fries from Freddy's Frozen Custard, I was more than excited to learn that there is a miniature Freddy's inside the stadium. The menu was limited to basic burgers, fries, custard, and drinks, but that didn't bother me.
I was definitely impressed with how quickly the line moved. Everything seemed very efficient. The price, however, did not impress me. I knew I was going to pay a premium, but spending almost $25 on two not-so-generous helpings of fries and two 24oz drinks was not quite what I expected. Overall though, it was a good experience (and the fries were delicious).
Unfortunately, the Surge did not win their opening game, but it was still fun to watch. The fans had high energy, and there were plenty of foul balls to keep people on their toes.
The various promotions throughout the game were also a great way to stay engaged. While I think there still needs to be some work done on timing and the video feed during trivia, giveaways, and other special promotions, they did a great job getting the crowd on their feet. People (not me) recieved upgraded seats, shirts, pizza, and more.
In a fun turn of events, a fan stood up halfway through the game and started a venue-wide "wave" (my favorite baseball game activity). It took a minute to get people involved, but because of the layout of the stands, the wave was able to make several full circles all the way around the stadium before fading out.
I would give the experience a B+. The game was enjoyable and the energy from the crowd was just right. The temperature was quite cool, but not too distracting. I am definitely looking forward to attending more games this summer, but I probably won't be getting any Freddy's fries while I'm there.
-Kayla Deines, Brand Manager at Urban Cool ICT
Homes Near the Stadium
Located in the Historic Delano District, the Stadium is situated near a number of popular Wichita attractions. As a large part of the Chisholm Trail cattle drives and early aircraft manufacturing, Delano is one of Wichita's most charming and historically significant districts.
The Keeper of the Plains and the Museums on the River, including Exploration Place, Mid-America All-Indian Museum, Old Cowtown Museum, Wichita Art Museum, and Botanica Wichita, are within walking distance or a short bus ride away. There are also plenty of shops along Douglas Ave to explore.
See the listings below for homes available in Delano.
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