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2568x1445-Stadium_Map_Wichita

Explore Wichita's Riverfront Stadium 

November 17, 2022

Welcome to Wichita's Riverfront Stadium, home of Kansas' only Minor League team. Cheer on the Wind Surge, explore the city's rich baseball history and keep an eye out for trolls.

Wichita Wind Surge (Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins since 2021)
Established: 2020
League: Texas League
Ballpark: Riverfront Stadium (opened 2021)
Championships: None

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Following the 2019 season, the New Orleans Baby Cakes of the Pacific Coast League relocated to Wichita and rechristened themselves the Wind Surge. They were set to play in a brand-new ballpark, now named Riverfront Stadium, as the Triple-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins. This did not happen, however, as COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the 2020 campaign. Heading into 2021, a larger reorganization of Minor League Baseball resulted in the Wind Surge shifting to the Double-A Texas League and becoming a Minnesota Twins affiliate.

The Wind Surge, whose name is a reference to Wichita's status as "air capital of the world," finally played their first game at Riverfront Stadium on May 11, 2021. Their debut marked the first Minor League Baseball game in Wichita - and the entire state of Kansas - since the Texas League Wichita Wranglers played their final season in 2007.

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Riverfront Stadium

Ballpark Location (via Google Maps)
Wichita Wind Surge Schedule
Wichita Wind Surge Roster

275 S. McLean Boulevard
Wichita, KS 67213
(316) 221-8000

Capacity: Approximately 10,000 (6,000 fixed seats)
Dimensions: left field, 340 feet; center field, 400 feet; right field, 325 feet

More Ballpark Guides >>

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Riverfront Stadium is named as such because of its close proximity to the west bank of the Arkansas River, which flows beyond the outfield. (Locals, imbued with state pride, will be quick to tell you that the river's name is pronounced "Ar-Kansas.") The area surrounding the facility is currently being developed into Wichita's "Ballpark District," featuring a hotel, restaurants, offices and retail space.

The Ballpark District is a sub-neighborhood of the Delano District, located across the river from downtown Wichita proper. Riverfront Stadium offers views of downtown, whose buildings loom beyond the outfield. Looming even closer is the videoboard, topped with a set of airplane wings.

As regards getting to the ballpark, plan ahead. There are several parking lots in the immediate vicinity of the stadium, but on busier nights it may be a better option to park downtown and take the Q-LINE (a free "downtown circulator") to the ballgame.

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Riverfront Stadium is situated on the same site as the city's previous ballpark, Lawrence S. Dumont Stadium. Built in 1934, this facility was home to a variety of Minor League and independent teams while also hosting the National Baseball Congress (NBC) collegiate tournament. Dumont Stadium's history, as well as the history of baseball in Wichita writ large, can be explored within Riverfront Stadium's onsite Wichita Baseball Museum. The museum, filled with interactive displays and memorabilia and built to resemble a baseball diamond, is open 9-5 Monday through Friday and also serves as a venue for private events.

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Riverfront Stadium's exterior, comprised of brick and dark corrugated copper, features architectural elements in line with the buildings of the Delano District. The facility is ringed with public artworks related to baseball and/or the local environment, making a walk around the external perimeter a worthwhile endeavor. Riverfront Stadium's most striking piece of art is the baseball mural on the first-base side of the exterior, which incorporates Wind Surge colors and features a Wichita baseball timeline along its lower edge.

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On the inside, Riverfront Stadium features plenty of room to move and plenty of room to sit. The seating bowl, which extends nearly from foul pole to foul pole, features seats that are more than 21 inches wide (exceeding the industry standard). A wide 360-degree concourse allows fans to take in multiple vantage points throughout the evening, including the left-field bar and berm areas in left-center field and the left-field corner. The team store, next to the Wichita Baseball Museum in right field, clocks in at a spacious (and airy) 2,600 square feet.

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Concessions

Freddy's Steakburgers, a fast-food chain operating in 35 states, originated in Wichita. Thus, Riverfront Stadium is the only Minor League ballpark to have a Freddy's Steakburgers on the premises. Another burger of note is the Grand Slam Burger, comprised of four patties stacked atop one another. Specialty hot dogs include the Wichita Dog, topped with pulled pork, coleslaw and pinto beans. The Loaded Nachos, just as filling but perhaps slightly less messy, come in portions big enough to share. But who would want to do that?

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Mascot

The Wind Surge feature Pegasus in their logo, and their mascot is Pegasus come to life. The winged horse god in question goes by the name of Windy; he arrived at the ballpark after riding through the sky on a westward breeze. Windy may be a divine stallion, but he's happy to mingle with mere mortals.

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Local Attractions

Riverfront Stadium is located within walking distance of the Keeper of the Flames, a 44-foot steel sculpture located at the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas rivers. This Native American sculpture, one of Wichita's best-known landmarks, is surrounded by a "Ring of Fire" that burns for 15 minutes every night. The land between the two rivers is also home to the Mid-America All-Indian Museum. While exploring the area, don't forget to track down the infamous troll statue that helped inspire the Wind Surge's "Turbo Tubs" alternate identity.

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The Mid-America All-Indian Museum is part of the Museums on the River District, which also includes Exploration Place, Old Cowtown Museum, Botanica Wichita and the Wichita Art Museum. Another institution of note is the Kansas Aviation Museum, located in the original Wichita Municipal Airport Terminal Building. If you're curious as to how Wichita became the Air Capital of the World, you'll find the answer there.

Freddy's Steakburgers was founded in Wichita, but that's not the city's only claim to chain restaurant fame. The original Pizza Hut can be found on the campus of Wichita University. It is now the Pizza Hut Museum, as it should be.

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Food and Drink

The Delano District was first established as the endpoint of the Chisolm Trail, used by Texas cattlemen to bring their herds to Kansas railroads. This gave it a raucous and illicit character, as the cattlemen were often looking to let loose after months of deprivation on the trail. Today's Delano District is comparatively sedate, with brothels and gambling houses replaced by shops and restaurants. At any rate, it's a great place to spend time before or after a Wind Surge game.

The Monarch is a popular hangout, serving upscale American cuisine and plenty of bourbon. Other nearby options include the Delano Barbecue Company, Ruben's Mexican Grill, Sakura and Milkfloat (for dessert). There's also a Pizza Hut in the neighborhood, should you feel the need to eat there after visiting Wichita's Pizza Hut Museum.

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Brisket and pulled pork from the Delano Barbecue Company.

Lodging

The Delano District is home to several hotels within walking distance of the ballpark, while there are plenty of others located across the river in downtown Wichita. The city has some 80,000 rooms, total, so the only limitation is your imagination (and, probably more importantly, budget).

Moving On

Make the Wind Surge part of a road trip that includes four Texas League teams in four states, with none of the states being Texas. From Wichita, head to Springfield, Mo., to see the Cardinals; Springdale, Ark., to see the Naturals; and Tulsa, Okla., to see the Drillers. If you make it to Tulsa, then check out the Oklahoma City Dodgers as well. And if you're in Oklahoma City, then head to Frisco for a RoughRiders game. And so on and so forth.

The Road to Minneapolis

The Twins system begins at Fort Myers, where their Spring Training home of Hammond Stadium is located. From there it goes to Iowa and Kansas before finally settling in the Twin Cities.

Single-A: Fort Myers Mighty Mussels
High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels
Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge
Triple-A: St. Paul Saints

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credits: Benjamin Hill, who covers the business and culture of Minor League Baseball, has visited 186 Minor League ballparks.