Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tulsa Drillers Are Growing into a New Ballpark

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Tulsa Drillers Are Growing into a New Ballpark

Article excerpt

Two weeks ago, the Tulsa Drillers started selling long-term luxury suite leases for Oneok Field.

Starting with 21, their prices ranging from $25,000 to $35,000, the club has only six remaining. President Chuck Lamson hopes to have the rest under contract by the end of this month, five months before the team can even move into its new $30 million home.

As Manhattan Construction celebrates "topping-off" the downtown Tulsa baseball stadium Thursday, Lamson continues to fine-tune how his operation will literally grow into its new home.

"There's going to be all kinds of new opportunities," the former Drillers pitcher said Wednesday. "We've got to be open to them all."

In some areas, the Drillers will look to private investors to enhance the game experience. Along Archer Street, for example, the stadium designs allow room for developers to raise buildings that might look over the field. Lamson considers that an excellent opportunity for restaurant or hospitality operations.

But with Oneok Field's extensive concessions, merchandising and service opportunities, Lamson expect his Double-A minor league team to boost its employment around 25 percent.

Working with the Tulsa Stadium Authority, the Drillers intend to augment next year's 70 home games with another 30 to 50 event days, ranging from concerts to trade shows.

That would more than double the 10 to 15 extra event days now held at Drillers Stadium.

The new ballpark will boast a 2,000-square-foot convention center seating up to 200, with another 150 possible on the covered party deck. The covered concourse also provides for meeting and trade show possibilities new to the Drillers experience.

The Texas League team staff will begin booking those options in October.

Full-service catering kitchens will service those needs and Oneok Field's three concession areas, which will include a food court paralleling third base. …

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