'Wichita Wind Surge' opens temporary shop for AAA baseball merch

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We learned the name of Wichita's new AAA baseball team, the Wichita Wind Surge, Wednesday night. Thursday, the team opened up its new merchandise store in a building across the street from the stadium.

Since the stadium is under construction, the store set up shop in a building at Sycamore & Texas St as a temporary outlet for Wind Surge gear. Once the stadium opens in the spring, the store will move into its permanent home. Until then, baseball fans and gift givers can buy themed hats, shirts, baseballs and more.

Reaction to the baseball team's name announcement has been anywhere from mixed to mostly negative, but that's not stopping the team's management.

"You have people who absolutely love it, and you have people who are gonna put their opinions on it," said Wind Surge VP & Team Assistant General Manager Bob Moullette. "I think we love either way. It goes to show the passion."

That 'passion' is showing. Thousands of people signed a Change.org petition to change the name. But, all the printed merchandise shows the name 'Wind Surge' isn't going anywhere anytime soon. The team has been teasing potential names or logos, but the name has basically been set in stone for months.

"You obviously have to know for a couple months," Moullette said. "You have to go through licensing, trademark search, you gotta go through all those things. Every team has to go through that. So, we knew, obviously you need a lot of turnaround time to get all this stuff in there."

Shoppers we spoke with said they're glad to be able to represent the team before they start playing ball.

"I bought a hat for myself, a hat for my husband, a sweatshirt for myself, and some golfballs," said shopper Courtney Sendall. "So I think we're covered."

The shop is open in time for holiday gifts, from gear with the team's pegasus logo, a simpler "WS" logo, or an ICT flag-based logo.

"I love the colors," Sendall said. "I love that it has the red, white and blue from the Wichita flag. It's reflective of our community. The pegasus reflects the important role McConnell plays for our community. I think it'll be a great thing for Wichita."

Moullette, who moved to Wichita from New Orleans with the team, did not mention the KC-46 "Pegasus" tankers stationed at McConnell when discussing the team name or logo.

"At the end of the day, and I've said this multiple times, the biggest brand is gonna be when people come to the ballpark, have an affordable time with a family of four, and will want to come back and be part of our summer family" Moullette said. "That's the most important part."

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