Tulsa, it’s almost time for play ball and turn a page in history.
On April 8th, the Tulsa Drillers will throw the first pitch in ONEOK Field, located in the Greenwood District in the northeastern corner of downtown Tulsa. For the first time since 1934, Tulsa professional baseball will NOT be played at the Tulsa County Fairgrounds.
The AA affiliate of the Colorado Rockies said goodbye to the 11,000 seat Drillers Stadium located at 15th and Yale last September in favor of a more intimate setting nestled at the intersection of Archer and Elgin in Tulsa’s historic Greenwood District that will seat just under 7,000 in permanent seats with lawn seating for much more.
The construction of the stadium began a year ago and the finishing touches are being hastily completed at press time. The ballpark is meant to compliment the already rich history and architecture of one of Tulsa’s famous landmarks while maintaining the modern touch.
For example, the stadium uses a great deal of brickwork and iron fencing seen in the “new-traditional” ballparks around the country, but ONEOK Field connects itself to the amazing BOK Center with the use of shiny zinc metal panels.
The stadium’s configuration allows fans to completely circle the stadium and never lose sight of the field, which is sunk 14 feet below street level. The view from the permanent seats offers a spectacular view of downtown, and the seating in left field is that of picnic tables instead of traditional bleacher seating, which is a nice touch.
The Drillers claim to have some 3500 parking spots within a five minute walk of the new stadium with a total of 5,309 altogether within 10 minutes of the park. Many of the spots downtown at the meters become free parking after 5pm on weekdays and weekends, and OSU-Tulsa will offer free parking on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Merchants, restaurant owners and tavern keeps are poised to benefit many times over on game nights, as ONEOK Field’s prime location near the Brady, Blue Dome, and East Village districts will be very busy on game nights.
It is said that tickets in the permanent seating bowl at ONEOK Field are sold out for the April 8th opener against Corpus Christi, but if you are willing to perhaps spread out the picnic cloth on the lawn in the outfield, you can clear opening night tickets for just $5.
Individual game tickets are on sale at the Drillers Ticket Office at ONEOK Field, and at tulsadrillers.com.
Photos: David Arnett, Tulsa Today