- Associated Press - Saturday, February 1, 2014

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Officials with the National Baseball Congress World Series hope to hear by the fall whether the organization will receive nonprofit status from the Internal Revenue Service.

Supporters contend getting the designation would help secure the financial future of the 80-year-old tournament.

City Manager Robert Layton said attorneys are confident the amateur baseball tournament will be declared nonprofit, The Wichita Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/1bde6Vg ). The nonprofit status would help NBC attract sponsors, who could receive tax breaks for supporting the tournament.

The city has been trying to revitalize the tournament since the Eagle reported 18 months ago about the event’s mounting financial problems, including delinquent payments to participating teams.

Tournament officials also are pursuing a national television bid for next summer’s World Series, to attract more college players for the tournament, which runs July 25-Aug. 9.

The city incorporated the NBC Baseball Foundation on Sept. 11, according to the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office. All proceeds after management expenses would go to Wichita youth baseball programs, Layton said.

After the IRS acts, the city will appoint an all-volunteer board to determine the direction of the tournament, Layton said.

“For me, it’s still a great tournament that needs to be here with the 501(c)3 (nonprofit status) or not,” said Papa John’s Wichita president Terry Newman, a longtime financial supporter of the NBC World Series. “Nonprofit, though, does make it a little easier for me to give because I do at least get a tax deduction for it. We look at 501(c)3s as a great way to give and get a little back.”

City council members also are considering significant improvements to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, funded either through the city’s capital improvements program or possibly by inclusion in a citywide sales tax vote that could take place as early as this fall.

Council members said this week that the city is still sorting through the financial records from 2013 to determine how the tournament performed last summer.

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com