Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Sedgwick County leaders appear to be on the 'horns of a dilemma' about what to do with the two silver bull sculptures that have stood outside the Britt Brown Arena for more than 30 years.
It appears there is about to be a good old fashioned bullfight here in Sedgwick County. Okay, not really. But a second group has now expressed interest in taking the steel bull sculptures from the Sedgwick County now that the Britt Brown Arena is no longer active.
"350,000 cows came from lower Texas to Wichita to board those trains," said Mary Lou Rivers, treasurer of the Wichita Greenway Alliance. "The first year, $2,000,000 worth of revenue was deposited in Wichita banks because of the cattle industry."
Rivers is passionate about Wichita history, especially Delano and how Wichita got its start.
"This would be, historically, a wonderful place for those bulls to be on display," Rivers explained.
Last week, a group of Maize parents and teachers told the county they would pay for moving and refurbishing the bulls in order to place them in front of the new Maize South High School as their mascot. But the Wichita Greenway Alliance, of which Rivers is a member of, believes the bulls could be a significant addition to the rich history of Delano and Wichita as a whole.
"When the cows came from Texas up the Chisholm Trail, they crossed the Big Arkansas River here and drove right down Douglas to the Union Station, got on the trains and headed east.," Rivers said.
At least one commissioner is open to the thought of giving one bull to Maize and the other to Delano, or see if the taxpayers could make a little money off of them.
"I'm not as familiar with the Delano proposal," said Commissioner Karl Peterjohn, "but I'd be interested in knowing what they're willing to offer and put on the table and obviously the best value for county taxpayers."
Right where Delano Park is now located, in fact, were the cattle pens that held thousands of cows and steers at the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers. This is a chance, Rivers says, to make a mark on history in Wichita.
"History means a lot to me. Delano means a lot to me," Rivers said emotionally. "Those cows need to be here."
County Manager Bill Buchanan says that a decision on what to do with the coliseum bulls could be made within the next month.