Wichita mayor announces negotiations with affiliated baseball team

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

City leaders say they're in the final innings of their efforts to bring affiliated baseball back to Wichita.

As 2017 comes to a close, the City of Wichita is already making plans for a big announcement in the new year.

"I can tell you these deals aren't easy and I will assure that we'll do whatever it takes to get the job done,” Mayor Jeff Longwell said.

Longwell said they recently met with an affiliated baseball team and are nearing the end of negotiations.

"We met with the team owner. They visited Wichita. They like what they see in our community,” Longwell said.

"We started dreaming about what we can build and what we want to do and what they want to have for their team."

While they are unable to announce the name of the affiliated team, Longwell says Major League Baseball has the final say in the deal. He hopes to have an official team announcement after the MLB winter meetings.

"What we do know, and we can look at other cities that have taken similar steps, these kinds of opportunities often times are the catalysts for additional growth in your city and so we're looking at it as an opportunity to be that catalyst for the core of our city,” Longwell said.

The city will build a new baseball stadium to take the place of the Lawrence Dumont stadium.  It will be paid through $40 million in star bonds. They hope to start construction on the new stadium late next summer.

It is unclear what the Wingnut’s future will be with the city if the deal for the affiliated team goes through.

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