January 26, 2011
Wichita, are you ready? It's a question every Wichita Wings fan remembers well and it's a question they may soon be asked to answer again. Should local soccer fans prepare for another invasion of the Orange Army? KAKE News has confirmed that an investor group is trying to muster support for a team.
It'll be a trip down memory lane for a lot of people, for sure. We spoke with the commissioner of the Major Indoor Soccer League this afternoon, who confirmed it's more than just talk that is fueling the rumors about professional indoor soccer returning to the air capital.
"As far as I'm concerned, they (Wichita) belong back in the MISL and I am, in fact, in advanced discussions with an investment group," said David Grimaldi, MISL Commissioner.
Grimaldi, discussing the possibility of bringing professional indoor soccer back to Wichita. The MISL currently has five teams, four of which are in the Midwest. They are Kansas City, Omaha, Chicago and Milwaukee. But Grimaldi won't say who the Wichita investor is.
"Obviously, I can't reveal who they are due to the confidential nature of our discussion," said Grimaldi. "But yes, we are discussing very seriously about returning the Wings hopefully, or at least the MISL back to Wichita for the following season, 2011-2012."
The two obvious possible venues for a soccer team are Park City's Hartman Arena or Wichita's Intrust Bank Arena. Grimaldi says the goal is to keep the teams small and control costs.
"We've gone back to the traditional franchise model versus the single entity," he explained. "That was rather onerous and it created a lot of additional costs for a number of our teams that were actually functioning quite well."
A lot of the speculation centers around a Facebook posting on the MISL fan page saying there will be an "exciting announcement" tomorrow. Grimaldi, however, would not say what the announcement will be.
"Priority again is to be much more modest in our cost structure, to provide the best value as far as sports entertainment dollars are concerned, which I think we do provide," he said.
It's been about 10 years since the old Wichita Wings folded in 2001. At that time, they were the longest running professional indoor soccer franchise in the world. We'll keep you updated as to what the MISL announcement is when it happens on Tuesday.