Wings hot again

New team playing at Hartman while documentary tells story of city’s first professional soccer team

the active age

There are a lot of folks winging it in Wichita these days.

The Wichita Wings, the latest incarnation of the indoor professional soccer team that debuted in 1979, were off to a 5-2 start through mid January and drawing crowds to Hartman Arena.

Meanwhile, a feature-length documentary about the first Wings team is having its world premiere at the Orpheum Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 22.

If you were around Wichita in the 1980s, you probably remember the excitement surrounding the Wichita Wings, the city’s first and only major-league professional sports team. (The current Wings play in a developmental league). If not, it’s a story worth hearing.

Playing in the Major Indoor Soccer League against teams from New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and other big cities, the Wings compiled mostly winning records while averaging as many as 9,000 fans for games at the Kansas Coliseum during that decade.

“God Save the Wings,” a feature-length documentary about the team and its impact on Wichita, will premiere at the Orpheum Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 22. Numerous former Wings stars are expected to attend, including Mike Dowler, Kim Roentved, Andy Chapman, Kevin Kewley, Terry Nicholl, Terry Rowe, Chico Borja, Victor Moreland, Ian Fairbrother, Larry Inlow and coach Roy Turner. Also in attendance will be the five-person filmmaking team who created the documentary. Wichita Eagle columnist Bonnie Bing will emcee the event.

The film is based on “Make This Town Big,” a book by Tim O’Bryhim, who’s also one of the documentary’s producers, and took three years to produce. Filmmakers travelled around the United States and Europe to interview 40 former players, media members and fans. They also watched film of about 100 games played by the Wings.

“God Save the Wings”

7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 at the Orpheum. Tickets are $10 in advance and $13 at the door and can be purchased online at selectaseat.com or by phone at 855-755-SEAT. Tickets to a pre-show VIP party are $45.

Upcoming Wings home games

Feb. 1 vs. Colorado Inferno; Feb. 9 vs. Kansas City Comets; Feb. 15 vs. Springfield (Mo.) Demize; Feb. 23 vs. Falls Town (Texas) Flyers. For ticket info, visit wichitawingsoccer.com.


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