This seems like it works on all fronts — Friends will lease West Side Athletic Field as its new home. Here’s why it’s good — it saves the city money because Friends is responsible for maintenance and it gives the Falcons a true home stadium right up close and personal to their campus. Westurban was just too far away.
And on that note … what Friends has become over the last 10-15 years, to me, is amazing. It went from being an afterthought to — in my opinion — one of the most appealing schools in the KCAC as far as recruiting and appeal to the prep athletes that get on their radar. This speaks directly to that. I’ll be interested to see the WSAF after Friends gets to deck it out.
Here’ s the release from the school:
Friends University has partnered with the City of Wichita to lease the baseball field and stadium at West Side Athletic Field, 571 N. McLean Blvd. The leased facility will serve as the new home field for Falcon Baseball.
“We are excited about the partnership with the City of Wichita regarding West Side Athletic Field,” said Joe Zimmerman, athletic director. “The ability to have a home field so close to our campus will be of great benefit to our student athletes, fans and campus community. Working with Doug Kupper and his staff at the Parks & Recreation department continues to be a rewarding experience in community relations for Friends University.”
Falcon Baseball will play its first game at its new location Feb. 13 at 1 p.m. against Briar Cliff University from Sioux City, Iowa. Friends University is planning to host a ceremonial first pitch at one of its early games to celebrate the new multi-year leasing agreement.
Doug Kupper, director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Wichita, said the City has leased the facility to Friends University for a nominal amount, but the agreement will save the City $25,000 per year in maintenance costs.
“This is a great partnership that will make the community stronger,” Kupper said. “Friends University has a facility for their baseball program closer to their campus, and we know they take good care of maintaining and improving their facilities.”
Zimmerman said Friends University is reviewing ideas and options to enhance the facility and build upon the work already done by the City of Wichita. He also said signage at the field will be re-done to indicate the facility will be used by Falcon Athletics.