Just days after the end of their 2018 regular season, it was announced that the Marlins’ Triple-A minor league affiliate in New Orleans will be relocating to Wichita, Kansas. On Wednesday morning, Dion Lefler of The Wichita Eagle shared these detailed renderings of the new ballpark opening in 2020:
The project is costing the city of Wichita approximately $75 million. The Baby Cakes—a new name will be used after the move—are playing in NOLA this season during the construction.
Lawrence-Dumont Stadium used to occupy that spot along the Arkansas River. The 84-year-old venue was demolished earlier this winter. Lawrence-Dumont was previously home to both affiliated and independent professional baseball teams, though never as high as the Triple-A level.
Baby Cakes managing partner Lou Schwechheimer is pretty fired up about it:
“I really believe that this stadium stands to take its place as one of the iconic ball parks in America—that’s not only Minor League Baseball but Major League Baseball as well. It’s going to be one of those gathering places that is open to everybody. We want people to feel welcome. It will be the front porch to our community.”
There will be 6,000 fixed seats, which would be enough to hold some of the major league crowds we saw at Marlins Park last year.
Schwechheimer goes on to say that the ballpark hopes to host plenty of non-baseball events, specifically football and ice hockey.
Top Marlins prospects who project to make it to Triple-A in 2020—at least for part of the season—include right-handers Jorge Guzman and Jordan Yamamoto, outfielder Tristan Pompey and third baseman James Nelson. Wichita is much farther away from Miami than New Orleans was, but the change will improve the logistics of traveling to other Pacific Coast League cities.
The City Council still needs to approve the ballpark plan. It’s expected to do so at a Feb. 12 meeting with a formal groundbreaking ceremony the following day.