If you haven’t heard by now, the Miami Marlins are making at least one major shift with their minor league affiliates for the 2020 season. The Triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes will be moving into a freshly-constructed stadium in downtown Wichita, Kansas. Last week was an especially important part of the transition.
A special ceremony took place on-site in the wind and dust, adorning the new digs with its own home plate. A number of key officials were present, including Baby Cakes owner Lou Schwechheimer, Marlins director of player development Dick Scott, Minor League Baseball president Pat O’Conner, and Triple-A Pacific Coast League president Branch Rickey. Wichita mayor Jeff Longwell was presented with a Marlins jersey embellishing the city’s name on the back.
The full ceremony was streamed on the Wichita Baseball 2020 Facebook page.
We were also treated to new ballpark renderings (which has not yet been named). The Wichita City Council was presented with various angles of the venue, which you can browse through here.
The $75 million, 10,000-capacity project is set to feature several bells and whistles, including drink rails, a selfie wall, party decks and suites, an outfield rooftop deck, spacious concourses and a museum/team store in the outfield. It has three planned entrances, and will be easily seen from Kellogg Avenue (U.S. 54)—Wichita’s main highway east and west across the city.
The ballpark is being constructed on virtually the same site as the former Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, a much smaller 6,400-capacity park built in 1934 and demolished this past year.
Currently, the Baby Cakes play in Shrine on Airline, a 10,000-capacity stadium built in 1995 in the New Orleans suburb of Metarie. A dramatic attendance decline is partially responsible for the move.