Saturday, January 06, 2007

Wizards Home for 2007

The Wizards are currently homeless. The team can't play in Arrowhead next year due to the renovations that will be occurring there. Since that time, there has been plenty of debate over where the Wizards would play. Most of that debate seemed to focus on a high school facility in Johnson County. Sites that were consistently brought up by Wizards fans were Blue Valley Atheltic Complex, Olathe District Athletic Complex, Rockhurst High School, Park University, and College Boulevard Activity Center.

Recently an email went out to many Wizards season ticket holders and other fans. This email came with 6 possible locations to play at and fans were asked to rank them 1 through 6 on their order of preference. The six locations were
  1. Ray-Pec HS
  2. Rockhurst HS
  3. BVDAC
  4. CBAC
  5. Park U.
  6. Community America Ballpark
Ray-Pec had appearred as a late idea to the process as another possible location. My understand of the situation, though, was that 3 of these locations were not necessarily serious sites, but instead were put on the list as filler. One obvious filler site was Community America Ballpark because a field will not fit inside that facility. So the list was knocked down to 5. While Park University had hosted a few US Open Cup games, the lack of parking at the facility was a major draw back for many people, so that was likely another one that was filler. The third filler site was likely also a site that the Wizards used regularly for the US Open Cup, this would be BVDAC, Blue Valley Distric Athletic Complex. Here is was likely a lack of space to add seats on. The soccer side of the complex holds about 2200 people and there likely isn't enough space to add in another, at least, 6000 seats.

That leaves us with 3 possible locations, Ray-Pec, Rockhurst, and CBAC. While Ray-Pec had been the one getting the publicity about the Wizards coming there, among Wizards fans it apparently did not do so well, finishing near the bottom of the voting for the 6 locations. In an email that an employee of the school district posted on recently, the district said that the Wizards were going to be playing somewhere else next season.

So from the six above, we're now down to 2 locations, CBAC and Rockhurst. One deciding factor in location could be the playing surface, the players have apparently been pushing for a natural grass facility, which would rule out Rockhurst which has field turf. Then today in the star in an article about Ray-Pec's being out of the running for the Wizards, the superintendent was apparently told that the Wizards would be going to Olathe for their games. If this is to be believed that they are going to be playing in Olathe, and those 2 locations are the only 2 left, that means that the Wizards home for the next 2 season will be College Boulevard Activity Center. Take that for what you will, but it seems that next season the Wizards will be playing at the same location as the 2005 NAIA women's National Championships were held.

For those of you that don't know, here is a picture of the College Boulevard Complex


Chris Henderson has come back to the Wizards. As was told to season ticket holders at the Christmas party, Chris Henderson has joined the Wizards staff as an assistant coach, bringing a fan favorite back to the team where he helped win the 2000 MLS Cup.

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