Building a Ballpark
The ballpark was delivered as a design-build project in 16 months, where DLR Group partnered with SJCF Architects, JE Dunn Construction, and Eby Construction. A key to the project's success was weekly team meetings that included the design-build team, City of Wichita oversight committee, and ballpark stakeholders. This large group built consensus, made decisions, and kept the team moving forward.
The multi-purpose stadium was designed and constructed during a significant reorganization of the Minor Leagues by Major League Baseball. This reorganization included the adoption of new facility standards that would focus on player development areas. The new standards were not published prior to design and construction but the Wichita Ballpark would be required to meet the unpublished standards. DLR Group’s experience with minor league baseball, familiarity with player development areas, and discussions with the ball team guided the design. Upon publication of the new standards, Riverfront Stadium easily met or exceeded all the standards required by Major League Baseball.
The ballpark is designed as a community entertainment venue, not only hosting the Wind Surge. The stadium has been used for Wichita State University baseball games, concerts, and football games. Paved areas around the concourse can be used as multipurpose event spaces for civic events.
Ballpark as Economic Driver
The investment in Riverfront Stadium by the City of Wichita has created increased interest in development around the ballpark. The City has further invested with a parking garage and multi-modal transportation center. Riverfront Stadium will be an anchor to the South Delano district for years to come.
Fit the Wichita Community
Ballparks must reflect the community they are a part of; they must fit. Riverfront Ballpark does this in several ways. First, the ballpark is oriented so the view from the seating bowl, club, suites, and party decks are of the Arkansas River and the skyline of Wichita. Second, materials used in the ballpark – brick colors, exposed black painted structure, weathered wood, copper, plaza paving, and stone accents – reference bridges and the railroad to reflect the Arkansas River, and the rich history of the adjacent Delano neighborhood. Third, Wichita is a city filled with public art. The ballpark incorporated artwork by local, regional, and nationally known artists that support the importance of art in the community.
A New Type of Suite
Typical suites provide two experiences: an indoor lounge and outdoor tiered seating. DLR Group created a new type of suite that adds a third zone: a patio/social space. The patios have proven to be exceedingly popular with suite holders. Providing an outdoor lounge continues the fun of pregame mingling, as well as socializing during the entire game.
MILB's Crown Jewel
We were on time and on budget for our April 2020 Opening Day, through the great efforts of DLR Group and the entire design/build team. The staff of DLR Group are true professionals. Throughout the design and construction process they were attentive, creative, and responsive to our every suggestion and need."