Chinstraps & Mouthpieces
Loss of Sunflower Games would be felt in Lawrence
The Sunflower State Games entered its 12th year of existence, but its site might change after next year's Games. Lawrence's contract with the event ends next year, so bids will be taken from various Kansas cities. Lawrence could retain the event, as they too will put in a bid.
If Lawrence loses the Sunflower State Games, it obviously loses out on substantial revenue that has come around in the middle of July for more than a decade. Lawrence won't go into an economical whirlwind if the event moves, but it will make a definite impact.
Rotating sites would at least bring the Games back every so-and-so year, but Wichita and Olathe are also in the bidding market. The two cities have a few more things to offer than Lawrence, simply because they're larger cities, but there's a pretty good situation in Lawrence. A more central location like Wichita or Salina might accommodate more athletes, but what's so bad about driving from, say, Quinter, Goodland or Liberal to Lawrence for one weekend or two in July?
If Lawrence doesn't keep the Games and it goes to another city, it would be reminiscent of Kansas City losing both the FFA National Convention and NCAA headquarters to Indianapolis. Lawrence, though, isn't looking to build a ballpark on Massachusetts Street.
One can get a workout in Allen Fieldhouse without playing basketball. Well, actually one can sweat as much as a basketball player in the middle of summer in the stuffy building. It adds to its character, but I didn't mind heading to the Horjesi Family Athletic Center, home of Kansas volleyball southwest of the Fieldhouse. The newer structure came with air conditioning.
It's good that Allen Fieldhouse plays host to Sunflower basketball games, but it would be even better if the historic building would be home to a State basketball tournament. If that were the case, life-long Kansans could "win" at the same venue where Eric Chenowith was victorious so many times.
Tonganoxie's Todd Brown is having a productive year with a traveling 11-and-under Lawrence team, but unfortunately I referred to his team as the Lawrence Outlaws, not the Rebels as they are actually nicknamed. The Outlaws are an American Legion team in Lawrence. Brown will play around 60 games this summer, an amazing number for youth baseball.