Kansas Sports Hall of Fame Museum reorganizes, becomes its own nonprofit

WICHITA — The Kansas Sports Hall of Fame Museum has made some changes that its board hopes will enhance it over time.

The museum, which is at Chisholm Trail Center-Outlet & Retail Shops in Newton, is now its own nonprofit and has separated its governance and operations from the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.

The two have been at separate sites since the Hall of Fame moved from Old Town to the Wichita Boathouse in 2010.

“It’s natural for us to take this step and just keep the two separate,” says board member Debra Mitchell, who also handles public relations for her family’s Chisholm Trail.

Mitchell says local operations mean a more local board.

“We’ll have a lot more input by local people and just a lot more interaction with the community.”

Although the Hall of Fame and the museum are separate now, an overall board of trustees still governs them both.

The museum has been closed most of the summer to reorganize and select its board.

It’s now reopen in 14,100 square feet, which compares to 18,000 square feet that it previously had.

“We’ve really reduced our overhead by condensing the size of our space and limiting the amount of utilities that we have,” Mitchell says.

Also, the entrance to the museum is now through the relocated Jordan Sports, which took part of the space the museum vacated.

Mitchell says the museum doesn’t have to pay someone to be there all day since it’s now within the store.

“That’s really a big savings for us.”

At some point, the museum would like to hire an employee, Mitchell says, and she says it’s looking to expand its displays as well.