Wichita takes step toward building city ballpark

The Wichita City Council took an early step Tuesday toward replacing Lawrence-Dumont Stadium with a new downtown baseball park. It also approved a financing plan to improve a soccer complex in northeast Wichita.

The council set a Dec. 6 public hearing on expanding an existing STAR bond redevelopment area along the Arkansas River, with an eye toward generating tens of millions of dollars to replace the venerable Lawrence-Dumont Stadium with a state-of-the-art minor league ballpark.

Replacing the stadium with a new facility would likely cost about $40 million to $50 million.

City Council members were adamant that the proposed project would not result in an increase in tax rates.

Through STAR bonds, a community borrows money to make major public improvements to spur new development, and then uses the increased sales tax from the development to pay off the debt.

(Read more: Wichita Eagle)