Monthly Archives: October 2009

Casino not tied to Coliseum project, North American says

Commissioner Dave Unruh just asked Doug Spangler of North American Management-Kansas if its plan to develop the Kansas Coliseum is tied to a possible casino off of I-135 south of 77th Street North.

Doug Spangler of North American acknowledged hopes to build a Wyandotte Nation Indian casino south of 77th Street North but said North American’s Coliseum proposal is a separate project.

“I’m going to go ahead and say the ‘C’ word: Casino,” Spangler told Unruh, emphatic that the Coliseum is a stand-alone development.

North American Management-Kansas makes its Coliseum pitch

North American Management-Kansas has made its pitch to redevelop the Kansas Coliseum complex, assuring Sedgwick County commissioners it would minimize the county’s financial risk.

North American has proposed a mix of entertainment and retail at the site.

Doug Spangler of North American said it would rectify long-standing Americans with Disabilities Act problems at Britt Brown Arena and add hotels and retail development to make the most of the aging complex site off of I-135 near 85th Street North.

“Our proposal stands alone on its own,” Spangler said, adding that North American’s proposal wouldn’t compete with Intrust Bank Arena, a requirement by the county. Read More »

Construction crews to turn over Intrust Bank Arena keys on Friday night

Intrust Bank ArenaConstruction crews are expected to turn over the keys to Intrust Bank Arena just after midnight Friday night, assistant Sedgwick County manager Ron Holt told commissioners this morning.

SMG, which has the contract to manage the arena, will then take over.

The arena is “substantially complete,” meaning that most construction is finished and that only minor details, called “punch list” items, need attention.

Hartman withdraws proposal to develop Coliseum

Hartman Arena has withdrawn its proposal to develop the Kansas Coliseum, Sedgwick County officials announced today.

Two other groups hoping to develop the Coliseum will make presentations to commissioners Tuesday.

North American Management-Kansas will present its plan at 10:30 a.m. Heritage Development Group will present its proposal at 2:30 p.m.

Meetings will take place in the commission chambers on the third floor of the courthouse, 525 N. Main.

Click to view Hartman Arena’s letter withdrawing its Coliseum proposal.

Diaper disappears in Olbermann/Lawrence-Dumont parking lot tea-party put-down flap

Friday: Watch your step

Friday: Watch your step

Today: Dressed up for a tea party

Today: Dressed up for a tea party

It appears Wichita won’t have to change its slogan “Downtown is everyone’s neighborhood” to “Downtown is everyone’s diaper pail.”

And the community’s “tea party” protest enthusiasts won’t have to worry about literally stepping in it when they gather at the Lawrence-Dumont Stadium parking lot Nov. 4.

A used diaper anonymously dumped in the parking lot has been removed and the stadium lot was swept clean Friday night by a city vacuum truck.

Photos of the dumped diaper were featured prominently in this blog’s coverage of a disparaging comment about the Lawrence-Dumont parking lot made last week by MSNBC “Countdown” host Keith Olbermann.

Olbermann cited the L-D lot as one of several examples of lame venues for tour stops for the “Tea Party Express” bus.

Since some readers have accused Wichitopekington of “quote mining” the Wichita reference and missing the point of Olbermann’s overall comment, here it is in its entirety:

“Tea Party Express II launches this weekend, coming to 38 cities according to its press release; 37 on their Web site — Oh well. Previous tea parties so successful they now have to hold them in such venues as Wichita’s Lawrence-Dumont Stadium (pause) parking lot; Fallon, Nev.’s old Wal-Mart (pause) parking lot; a high school auditorium in Tri-Cities in Wash., Bozeman, Mont.’s Heritage Christian School (pause) gymnasium; and, in Amarillo, Texas, John Stiff Memorial Park, (pause) picnic area No. 4; seriously, picnic area No. 4. Don’t interrupt the outing in area No. 3, please.”

We’ve e-mailed the show’s producers to ask for a clarification on what exactly makes the L-D stadium parking lot an unlikely location for such an event; we’ll pass along any response we receive.

Editing note: Eagle Sports Editor Kirk Seminoff points out that Lawrence-Dumont Stadium should be hyphenated — despite the lack of hyphens in the stadium’s own signage — because it’s named after two people, city pioneer R.E. Lawrence and local baseball pioneer Hap Dumont.

Wichitopekington also found historical precedent — from the left side of the spectrum — for holding bus-related political protest activity in local parking lots.

When the “Bush Legacy Bus” — dedicated to mistakes and failures of the Bush Administration — came to Wichita in October 2008, it staged out of two parking lots, at the Plumbers and Pipefitters union office downtown and at the Machinists union office in South Wichita.

The Keith Olbermann/Lawrence Dumont parking lot controversy: Day 2





UPDATE: More than 36 hours have passed since MSNBC “Countdown” host Keith Olbermann besmirched the parking lot at Lawrence Dumont Stadium in a swipe at organizers of “tea party” protests.

The “Tea Party Express” bus is scheduled to make a stop in the parking lot Nov. 4.

In his Wednesday broadcast, Olbermann scoffed at the bus tour’s planned destinations, including this:

“Previous tea parties so successful they now have to hold them in such venues as Wichita’s Lawrence Dumont Stadium (pause) parking lot.”

Olbermann’s remark touched off a broad and heated debate here at Wichitopekington over the tea party movement and the role of cable news in American politics. Some excerpts:

– Are they really stopping in the parking lot? Ha, I thought that at least in a conservative place like Wichita they could do a little better… like a mall or something.

– This is just one more “grasping at straws” in desperation by the left who is scared to death that the tea party movement is 1)speaking the truth and exposing the lies and abuses of the left and 2) is growing in popularity.

– Does anyone else see the irony of having a (tea party) gathering in the parking lot of the WING NUTS?! Home field advantage?

– Olbermann is a hack. He couldn’t cut it on ESPN, he had to join one of the junior networks to get a job.

– Will (Fox News commentator Glenn) Beck show up as host with his bottle of Vicks VapoRub that he uses for his cry baby segments? Always good for a laugh or two.

– Olbe-dude needs to lower the dose they’ve got him on. He keeps missing the finer details, like what about the Obama voter who left that dirty diaper on the asphalt? Guess that’s what they meant by “change.”

Meanwhile, the discarded diaper discovered in the Lawrence Dumont Stadium parking lot Thursday remained there this morning despite the presence of a large municipal work crew cutting grass and trimming trees nearby.

It also weathered overnight storms, although being rained on did not appear to improve it any.

To join the discussion, leave a comment below.

And stop by our online survey to give your views on Olbermann and MSNBC, Glenn Beck and Fox News, and the city of Wichita’s apparent need for a diaper inspector.

MSNBC ‘Countdown’ host Olbermann disses Lawrence Dumont Stadium parking lot


In mocking the anti-tax “tea party” movement, MSNBC “Countdown” host Keith Olbermann smeared the parking lot at Lawrence Dumont Stadium, where the “Tea Party Express” bus tour is scheduled to make a stop Nov. 4.

This from Olbermann’s Wednesday night broadcast:

“Tea Party Express II launches this weekend, coming to 38 cities according to its press release; 37 on their Web site — Oh well.

“Previous tea parties so successful they now have to hold them in such venues as Wichita’s Lawrence Dumont Stadium (pause) parking lot.”

Note to Mr. Olbermann:


As a national sports broadcaster, you should be aware that the parking lot at Lawrence Dumont Stadium — home of the mighty Wichita Wingnuts — is one of the premier parking venues in unaffiliated minor league baseball.

It’s paved and striped and even has lights to help you find your car at night.

With the stadium’s narrow concourses and incessant wind, the LD parking lot is one of the finest places in America to shag foul balls.

In fact, we like it so well that we’re going to park there and shuttle to our new $205 million arena nearly a mile away.

Admittedly, we may be a bit backward out here in flyover country. When the need arises to park a bus, we usually do that in a parking lot.

Where do you put buses in Rockefeller Center?

Fund raiser planned for Sedgwick County commissioner Dave Unruh

The Wichita Area Business political action committee is sponsoring a “Build the War Chest” event for Sedgwick County commissioner Dave Unruh, who is trying to retain his District 1 seat on the board. The fund raiser will be 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Nov. 3 in the Gallery Room at the Hyatt Regency after the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce’s reception for elected leaders.

Unruh so far is the only candidate for file for the District 1 seat. Wichita school board member Betty Arnold announced she planned to run, but she has yet to file with the election office.

After $41 million, city is done investing in WaterWalk

The WaterWalk project has struggled to meet expectations

After 7 years, the WaterWalk project still struggles to meet expectations

The Eagle’s Bill Wilson wrote today that:

Wichita city officials say they’re eager to see entrepreneur Jack DeBoer’s plans for WaterWalk, the embattled 7-year-old downtown development along the Arkansas River.

But they sent a message to DeBoer on Wednesday: There’s no more money available to help kick-start a mixed-use project bogged down from the beginning, first by city funding issues and more recently by the lack of credit available for business deals.

What might a change in management mean for WaterWalk?

WaterWalk conceptual rendering

WaterWalk conceptual rendering

The big news circulating in City Hall today is the change in management at the WaterWalk. The slow-moving project with more than $36 million of you tax dollars invested is now under day-to-day control of Jack DeBoer’s Consolidated Holdings Inc.

The change is intended to speed up development. Whether that will turn the letters of intent project managers continually say they have in hand into reality is a big question. Sorry, no answers or predictions here. It’s too early to tell. Read More »