Wingnuts worth saving
“If you will build it, they will come.” This movie line from “Field of Dreams” seems to capture Mayor Jeff Longwell’s approach to attracting a new affiliated baseball team to occupy a new stadium
Based on the baseball people I know, there is no such franchise looking for a new home. An announcement expected last December has yet to be made.
I happen to believe that if you’re a baseball fan, affiliation has nothing to do with the quality of play or the entertainment value delivered. Wichita has a great product on the field known as the Wingnuts, part of the American Association independent baseball league.
The owners and Wichitans have successfully supported the Nuts for 10 years. Average attendance at a Wingnuts game is right around 2,500, which is slightly below the average attendance for all 12 teams in the American Association.
Mayor, build your new stadium or rehab L-D, but don’t kick the Wingnuts to the curb. What’s more, I’d recommend a cautious, conservative assessment of long-term community support and associated costs to support an affiliated club. New stadium, new club will likely require more at the gate and concession stand, the latter already high enough.
Craig Plank, Wichita
City budget priorities
On May 24, Don Roberts’ letter, “Prioritizing fire and police protection,” voiced his disapproval of Wichita’s mayor spending money for a new library, ballpark and bike paths only to turn around and ask additional taxes to fund fire and police services.
While I don’t view a new library as frivolous, taxing residents for ballparks and bike paths unless they have voter approval is a legitimate complaint that deserves public scrutiny.
In addition, I would direct readers to Peggy Valliant’s May 12 letter, “The sad streets of home,” pointing out how her eyes were opened to just how incredibly pathetic Wichita streets are in comparison to several Texas cities she recently visited, and asking how Wichita’s overwhelming number of cracks and potholes are acceptable to city and county officials.
I would argue that if there are going to be any additional tax increases that fundamental street repair should be the next funding priority, unless deplorable streets are acceptable to tax-paying Wichita residents who have to drive on them every single day.
John Williamson, Wichita
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