Today, Athletes Unlimited (AU) Pro Softball announced a multi-year agreement with Wichita State University and Visit Wichita to bring professional women’s league to Wichita for the first time in history. Beginning next summer, Wilkins Stadium, home of Wichita State Softball, will play host to AU Pro Softball’s AUX competition. Pronounced A-U-X, it is an intense competition featuring 18 games across two weeks with the world’s best athletes competing to be crowned champion.

"Bringing the premier women's professional softball league to Wichita is an exciting win,” said Josh Howell, vice president of sports development at Visit Wichita. “We are very proud that Athletes Unlimited Pro Softball has selected our city as host to this prestigious event.”

AU Pro Softball is a part of Athletes Unlimited, which was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in 2023 and features an Advisory Board comprised of an illustrious group of high-profile contributors from the worlds of sports, business and entertainment including softball icons Jessica Mendoza and Cat Osterman, basketball legend Sheryl Swoopes, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team superstar Abby Wambach; and two-time NBA champion and entrepreneur Kevin Durant, among many others.

Former Wichita State star and three-time All-American Sydney McKinney, who was the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 2023 AU Pro Softball College Draft, has already signed on to compete in the 2024 competition alongside former Olympians and other world-class athletes. Pitcher Rachel Garcia (who won a silver medal for Team USA at the 2020 Summer Olympics) was crowned the 2023 AUX Softball Champion, while pitcher Danielle O’Toole won the inaugural AUX Softball Competition in 2022. The full roster, game schedule and broadcast details will be announced at a later date.

“Wichita State and Wilkins Stadium are connected to some of my fondest memories as a softball player, and I’m so excited to be able to come back home as a professional with AU Pro Softball alongside the world’s top players,” said McKinney. “The Athletes Unlimited format is truly unique, and I can’t wait to see Wichita fans fill the stadium next summer to enjoy it.”

Wichita State University and Shocker Athletics are set to embark on a $19.85 million renovation project at Wilkins Stadium. A lead gift of $1.5 million was recently announced for Phase 1 of a 4-phase master plan, which will begin development in the spring of 2024. Over the last two years, Wichita State has collectively invested over $2 million in Wilkins Stadium upgrades to include new lights, batting cages, third base dugout and an artificial playing surface.

“Wilkins Stadium is a world-class softball venue, and everyone at Wichita State and Visit Wichita has been so eager and enthusiastic about bringing AU Pro Softball to their community. We are thrilled to make this commitment and call Wichita home for AUX Softball,” said Athletes Unlimited Senior Vice President and Director of Sport for Softball Cheri Kempf. “We look forward to bringing Sydney McKinney back home as a professional athlete to compete in front of the incredible Wichita fans, along with dozens more of the world’s top pros.”

Under head coach Kristi Bredbenner, Wichita State has risen to national success including three straight NCAA regional appearances and five of the last seven NCAA Tournaments. Fresh off its second American Athletic Conference Championship in three years, Wichita State has won 67 percent of its games (239-119) over the last six full seasons, most recently a 44-12 campaign in 2023. The 44 wins were the second-most in school history.

“We are thrilled to host Athletes Unlimited over the next two summers at Wichita State University and Wilkins Stadium. This is a testament to what head coach Kristi Bredbenner and her student-athletes have built over the last decade,” said Wichita State University Director of Athletics Kevin Saal. “Thank you to Senior Associate AD of Facilities and Operations Brad Pittman and Athletes Unlimited for making this possible. This is another opportunity for our fans to showcase their support on a national stage, not only for Sydney, but for the sport of softball within the community of Wichita.”

If you have questions about sports in Wichita or are looking for the perfect place to host a tournament or event, reach out to Visit Wichita’s Sports Development Department.

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About Visit Wichita

Visit Wichita markets the Greater Wichita area and advocates for the city as a destination, increasing travel and tourism as a key economic driver for the city, county, region and state. Visit Wichita is led by President and CEO Susie Santo, and in 2022 travel and tourism contributed more than $1.5 billion in economic impact to the greater Wichita area.

About Athletes Unlimited

Named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in 2023, Athletes Unlimited is a new model of pro sports, where athletes are decision-makers and individual players are champions of team sports. Athletes Unlimited owns and operates professional women’s softball, lacrosse, volleyball and basketball leagues featuring world-class competition and fan experience, and stands out as an organization driven by the athletes that play in the leagues, with athlete representation on the company’s board of directors, each league led by a Player Executive Committee, and players sharing in long-term profits of the company, all while being proactive in shaping policies supporting the mothers that play in the league. Athletes Unlimited is the first professional sports league to be organized as a Public Benefit Corporation. For more information, visit

About Wichita State University

The mission of Wichita State University is to be an essential educational, cultural and economic driver for Kansas and the greater public good. Wichita State is a doctoral research university enrolling about 15,000 students and offering 59 undergraduate degree programs in more than 150 areas of study in seven undergraduate colleges. The Graduate School offers 45 master's and 12 doctoral degrees that offer study in more than 100 areas.