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NBC World Series will be held next month — but not at Wichita’s new downtown stadium

By  – Associate Editor, Wichita Business Journal

The National Baseball Congress announced Friday it will shorten its 2020 World Series from the normal two weeks to eight days next month.

The 12-team tournament will be held Aug. 3-10 at Wichita State University’s Eck Stadium, with additional games also going for four days at Hutchinson’s Hobart-Detter Field.

Through a facility use agreement with the Triple-A Wichita Wind Surge, which operates the new $75 million downtown ballpark, the NBC was supposed to have use of Riverfront Stadium for one week of its tournament. But the Wind Surge’s inaugural Pacific Coast League season never started because of Covid-19 and the season was canceled earlier this month.

In announcing tournament plans Friday, NBC Foundation general manager Kevin Jenks did not give a reason why the NBC wouldn’t be played at Riverfront.

Current restrictions from Sedgwick County health officer Garold Minns limit public gatherings to 45 through Aug. 9, though the county has acknowledged the limit is unenforceable.

Jenks said spectators will be required to wear masks and asked to use hand sanitizer before entering the stadium. Fans are asked to order tickets online at nbcbaseball.com. All-day tickets are $10.

“We hope everyone can be flexible and understanding with the processes we are taking,” Jenks said.

The tournament and NBC Foundation will now be under the umbrella of the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission, which conducts events such as the Prairie Fire Marathon series, the Wichita Corporate Challenge and an annual sports banquet.

https://www.bizjournals.com/wichita/news/2020/07/17/nbc-world-series-will-be-held-next-month.html?iana=hpmvp_wich_news_headline

 

Plans being made for 86th NBC World Series

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – For 85 years, through both the Great Depression and World War II, the NBC World Series hasn’t missed a beat.

While the coronavirus pandemic has put the clamps on the sports world over the past few months, the annual Summer baseball classic is moving forward.

“We are planning to play the NBC World Series to start sometime in July or early August,” said Kevin Jenks, Tournament Director/General Manager for the NBC World Series.

While teams have come from as far away as Alaska in years past, Jenks says that might not be the case this year.

“Typically, we’ve had a field of 30-32 teams, we are probably going to be looking at something like half that now,” said Jenks.

In years past, the NBC World Series took place at Lawrence Dumont Stadium. In 2019, it moved over to Eck Stadium at Wichita State University, while Riverfront stadium was being built.

“We do have an agreement in principle with the Wind Surge that we will play down there, but we are at the mercy of Major League Baseball right now,” said Jenks.

With the Wichita Wind Surge season hanging in the balance, the NBC World Series could potentially be the first event held at the new ballpark.

“If they don’t have any other events and if they feel the NBC World Series makes sense to have the first major event there, then that’s great, that’s fantastic,” said Jenks.

In order to make it all happen, Jenks says there will need to be fans in the stands.

“We couldn’t hold the NBC World Series without fans, so, we will need to meet a minimum requirement basically of how many fans, we are still looking at that from a lot of different models,” said Jenks. “We will make sure that the safety of our players and our fans first and foremost.”

Jenks says they are looking at two different scenarios revolving around the 86th NBC World Series.

He says one would be the opportunity of the NBC World Series being played earlier in August. Another scenario would include starting up in mid-August.

What does MLB plan to return mean for Wichita Wind Surge, NBC World Series?

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Will the Wichita Wind Surge take the field this summer? Will the tradition-rick NBC World Series played in Wichita every late July into August go on as scheduled?

These are a couple questions Eyewitness News looks into following Major League Baseball’s announced plan to begin its 2020 season on July 4.

The news from the MLB is something Wichita Wind Surge owner Lou Schwechheimer says is a welcome first step for baseball fans. The Wind Surge is a Triple-A affiliate for the Miami Marlins.

Schwechheimer says he’s been in constant communication with league officials and that any decision regarding when the Wind Surge could play would come from Minor League Baseball. He adds that seeing baseball in Wichita is important, but not as important as keeping players, workers and fans safe and healthy.

As Wichita’s new professional team waits for news on whether it’ll be able to make its debut this summer, one of the game’s oldest tournaments in Wichita also waits to see if it can go on.

“The plan is to play the NBC World Series this summer, going 86 years strong,” says NBC World Series General Manager and Tournament Director Kevin Jenks. He says tournament officials are working through their own set of obstacles in hopes of avoiding a break in the tradition,from trying to find host families for players, working with amateur leagues across the country and talking with local health officials.

Jenks says the ideal time frame is for the tournament to still happen in late July and early August, but with nothing set in stone, he says the talks with Sedgwick County health officials are constant.

But unlike Major League Baseball, Jenks says the NBC World Series couldn’t go on if fans can’t attend the games.

“If we are in a situation where we can’t have fans in the stands, then the NBC World Series won’t happen,” he says. “Just the revenue that comes from the tickets and everything associated with people attending the game, that would certainly limit us.”

Jenks notes that the NBC World Series wants to be something for the entire Wichita community to enjoy, but more importantly wants to make sure playing the tournament is the right thing to do.

“We are just going to play the hand that we are dealt and go from there,” he says. ‘Right now, we are planning to play and are looking forward to it.”

 

 

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