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FHSU's Keehn wins second MIAA title in track -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Wessel continues to spark Shockers -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Ronda Rousey's fast work, like at UFC 184, a big draw -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Minnie Minoso's love of baseball never waned -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

FHSU wrestling sending four to nationals -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Kansas State rallies late to put away Iowa State -3/1/2015, 9:33 AM

No. 8 Kansas holds on to defeat Texas, 69-64 -3/1/2015, 9:31 AM

Wichita State captures MVC crown by beating Northern Iowa -3/1/2015, 9:30 AM

Ellis' Younger cruises through Friday at 3-2-1A -3/1/2015, 9:39 AM

Hays High's Deterding second in 4A -3/1/2015, 9:58 AM

Norton wins title with backside points -3/1/2015, 9:36 AM

Hoxie's Porsch repeats in 3-2-1A -3/1/2015, 9:43 AM

FHSU splits at Northeastern State -3/1/2015, 9:41 AM

HHS girls win on senior night -3/1/2015, 9:40 AM

HHS boys roll by Great Bend -3/1/2015, 9:39 AM

Class 3-2-1A State Wrestling finals results -2/28/2015, 9:37 AM

Tigers fall, need win to host first round -2/27/2015, 10:20 AM

Tiger women, MIAA champs, hang on -2/27/2015, 10:29 AM

Monarchs survive on senior night -2/27/2015, 12:17 PM

With KU back in control, Jayhawks prepare for 'high drama' -2/27/2015, 10:19 AM

Nino Williams takes long road to success at Kansas State -2/27/2015, 10:18 AM

Sub-state basketball pairings -2/26/2015, 10:37 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Younger part of youth movement for Railers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

Big 12 reprimands K-State after court-storming -2/26/2015, 10:53 AM

Hays High's top four headed to Salina -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- HDN area state qualifiers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Porsch seeks a repeat in state finale -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Freshman Hutchinson leads young group of Redmen -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Norton steps up again to have shot at 3-2-1A state crown -2/26/2015, 10:50 AM

Shockers fight past Indiana State, set up big Saturday -2/26/2015, 10:27 AM

Rhoades back at state -- this time in 4A -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

TMP survives Plainville -2/25/2015, 11:26 AM

K-State issues apology -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

HHS swept at Dodge -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/25/2015, 10:21 AM

Royals still hoping for Starling to break out -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Penske revels in Logano's victory at Daytona 500 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcat's win throws a roadblock at Jayhawks -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

KBCA prep basketball rankings, Feb. 23 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcats get it done -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

No-name Hahn wins Northern Trust Open -2/23/2015, 10:24 AM

FHSU softball splits on Sunday in Minnesota -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Logano wins first Daytona 500 -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Lutz: VanVleet has another day to remember -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

VanVleet takes Wichita State's assists title in win -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

'Cats seek confidence before game with KU -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

Perry Ellis, No. 8 Kansas rebound from loss, beat TCU -2/22/2015, 12:47 PM

Baylor drills K-State -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

Monarch girls run away from Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:38 PM

TMP wins physical game at Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Mathews all-state for HHS -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

HHS wins at Garden, jumps back into WAC race -2/22/2015, 12:41 PM

Wrestling roundup -- Hays High sends four to 4A state -2/22/2015, 8:19 PM

Victoria puts together complete game in win at Ness City -2/22/2015, 12:40 PM

HHS girls fall down early, lose at Garden -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Earnhardt Jr. makes Duel history, Patrick qualifies -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

HHS sends relays to state -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Tiger baseball takes two from UCM -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Gene Stephenson says he's filed his own appeal -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

TCU takes out K-State -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Bohuslavsky keys win for Tiger women -2/19/2015, 10:59 AM

Tiger men rally for MIAA win -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Tiger women No. 1 in Central Region -2/18/2015, 5:04 PM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/18/2015, 11:22 AM

Barton's Hensley named Player of the Week -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

TMP boys win, girls fall in Great Bend -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

K-State hopes to build some momentum at TCU -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

Two in a row for HHS girls -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

Hot early, HHS boys get win at Abilene -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

All is possible at Daytona -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

WVU tops Jayhawks in wild finish -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chiefs can find impact receiver in NFL draft -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chargers set sights on LA, push San Diego officials for action on stadium -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Defense a constant for Shockers -2/17/2015, 10:26 AM

FHSU, UCM series moved to Hays -2/16/2015, 10:55 AM

KU prepares for full-court press -2/16/2015, 10:17 AM

Foster lifts Kansas State past Oklahoma on Saturday -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Three Tigers crowned MIAA champs -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Bowyer, after crash, slams qualifying format -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Phillipsburg girls knock off TMP at the buzzer -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Hays High girls snap losing skid -2/15/2015, 2:21 PM

Hays High stunned by Liberal at the buzzer -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tiger women's streak halted at Pitt State -2/15/2015, 10:26 AM

Tiger softball 1-3 to start season -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tiger men fall at Pitt -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tigers drop to 0-2 with losses to Mines, Regis -2/15/2015, 1:10 AM

KU coach kicks off tour in Hays -2/13/2015, 11:10 AM

K-State guard Johnson laughs off hecklers at W. Virginia -2/13/2015, 10:13 AM

The Tigers' do-it-all Shaw -2/13/2015, 11:10 AM

Samac staying on court, providing big games for Tigers -2/13/2015, 11:09 AM

Wichita State baseball players see winning as antidote to distractions -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Royals, Herrera agree -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Royals purchase contract of Derek Gordon -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

KU's Ellis near 1,000 points -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Hoxies' record just a matter of time? -2/12/2015, 3:26 PM

New coach, new season for FHSU softball -2/12/2015, 11:25 AM

Tigers look for better pitching in 2015 -2/12/2015, 10:14 AM

Shox roll to win -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

Kansas State rally again falls short at W. Virginia -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

FHSU wrestling rolls to dual win -2/12/2015, 10:04 AM

Sports Scores


Prep basketball


Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48


Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

Click To View All

myTown Calendar

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Wichita transfers NBC World Series control from Wingnuts to nonprofit foundation

Published on -4/3/2014, 7:48 PM

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By Bill Wilson
WICHITA — The nonprofit NBC Baseball Foundation will oversee the 80th National Baseball Congress World Series in late July and August.
City officials have begun transferring control of their tournament from the Wichita Wingnuts professional team to a volunteer foundation board of directors appointed by the Wichita City Council.
And they're looking for major tournament sponsors with an immediate goal in mind: a television deal with ESPN or Fox Sports to televise all or part of Championship Week.
In a meeting with Wingnuts officials Wednesday, the city stated its intent to take back the NBC tournament and began talks to craft a new lease for the independent professional baseball team at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, City Manager Robert Layton said.
The foundation board's first job will be management of the 2014 tournament -- potentially a temporary deal as it crafts a permanent management model, Layton said. The 2014 tournament runs from July 25 through Aug. 9.
The city bought the tournament from Bob and Mindy Rich in 2007, to keep the event in Wichita. Financial problems and dwindling attendance led the city to launch an internal review of the tournament in fall 2012.
"I think this is good for the city in terms of having a viable NBC tournament and an amenity with a long history that we surely want to add to," Layton said.
Council member Jeff Longwell, who attended the meeting, said the changes will benefit baseball in Wichita, both the NBC and the Wingnuts franchise.
"Quite honestly, I'll argue that this deal helps the city truly take more ownership of the tournament, which we own and never have paid the attention to that an owner should," Longwell said. "It's going to push us to step up and support the tournament like we should to make it successful, while allowing the Wingnuts to focus on their own baseball operation."
Gary Austerman, one of the Wingnuts owners, agreed with the city's view of the deal.
"I think this could be a win-win for all of us," he said. "The old deal we inherited from the previous majority owner just wasn't workable."
City officials and the Wingnuts will begin work on a transition agreement as the tournament changes management, Layton said. And once the foundation board is appointed and seated, that group will decide how best to manage the tournament going forward.
The city and the ball club also are looking at the curious tripling of the Wingnuts' water and sewer bills -- to six figures -- at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, even after a new artificial surface was installed at the ballpark. The Wingnuts have been disputing the charges for almost two years, Austerman said.
"I kind of agree with the Wingnuts on the dispute," Longwell said. "The numbers don't seem right. Most about this doesn't seem right. And we haven't sat down and worked through them, and now we're going to have to."
Austerman said he's optimistic those bill disputes can be resolved and that the ball club looks forward to working with the city on a new lease.
Although the Internal Revenue Service isn't expected to rule on the foundation's nonprofit status until fall, the city's legal department has authorized a "confirmation letter" for prospective tournament sponsors, offering tax benefits for any contributions.
"It's a significant step for the future of the tournament, because we believe some of our organizations are going to be more willing to participate, based on the fact their contributions will be tax-deductible," Layton said.
In addition, any profits generated by the tournament will go to youth baseball.
"This is going to help the foundation raise more revenue, even in the down years, because when you look at sponsorships, they become more attractive when you can write some of that off," Longwell said. "That creates more value in a sponsorship."
Getting the tournament on television is a top priority for marketers, Longwell said, and that will be difficult without key sponsors stepping forward.
"It's great exposure for the teams who come here to play, it's great exposure for their players and it's great exposure for Wichita," he said.
"We kept that tournament here because it's good for Wichita, although we've had some difficult times getting more people -- politically and otherwise -- to show more support. We need a sponsor to step up and help us televise Championship Week. We think it would be a huge draw for players, and a true showcase for Wichita."
Frank Leo, the longtime coach and general manager of the Hays Larks, said summer college baseball players welcome any exposure as they pursue their major league dreams. Television could provide a recruiting boost lost when major league scouts began filtering away from the diluted tournament field.
"An awful lot of this is about exposure to the scouts," he said.
Council members also are considering significant improvements to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, up to and including a total reconstruction of the park's grandstand area, funded either through the city's capital improvements program or through inclusion in a citywide sales tax vote that could take place as early as this fall.
Under new management
The foundation board will have several options to manage the tournament.
One possible business model would be hiring staff -- potentially including current tournament director Kevin Jenks -- to run the event. Longwell said that's probably the long-term form that tournament management will take.
Another, given the relatively short turnaround before this summer's tournament, would be a temporary deal with the Wingnuts for this year only.
As for the tournament's bills, Longwell had a message for NBC teams: You will get paid on time. It was the slow-pay of those teams, and of tournament vendors, that originally led the city to open a review of the tournament's books 18 months ago.
The finances of the 2014 tournament could involve some city financial support, Layton said. That could be recovered after the tourney is complete.
"I anticipate we'll need to contribute some money on the front end because we'll start out with no assets, except rule books and baseballs," he said. "There's no cash transferring over in this deal, so we may have to front-end it with the belief that some or all of that can be recovered by the end of the tournament."
Austerman said his ball club and the city share the same goal: to make baseball more vibrant in Wichita.
"We want something that's workable, something that sustainable," he said. "We're very interested in that."
The Hays Larks' Leo said the management change is "to me, a good thing.
"The Wingnuts already have enough to worry about," he said. "They're at mid-season trying to run their own ball club, and they have to stop to plan a World Series, spend two weeks running it.
"I think that if this is done correctly, if you have a board whose sole focus is making the tournament better, then this is a good thing. There are a lot of good ideas being talked about. I hope they all come to fruition."

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