The Tulsa Drillers may be leaving the Tulsa County fairgrounds for a new home. Sources close to the Drillers tell The News On 6, the team has signed a letter of intent with developers to possibly move to Jenks. The News On 6 has also learned that the letter is non-binding, meaning the Drillers can continue to look at other options.
The proposed location for a new Drillers stadium sits just south of the Oklahoma Aquarium, and would be part of a larger development in Jenks. The project is called the River District, and one of the developers involved is Lynn Mitchell, a businessman and CEO of the River District Development Group.
If the Tulsa Drillers do move, it will not be the first time. News On 6 anchor Omar Villafranca reports the team has actually changed locations, and names, several times over the years.
Baseball's been played in Tulsa for more than 100 years. The first games were played on makeshift fields on the outskirts of town. The city's first pro game was played in 1905 at the city's new field, Athletic Park at West Archer and Elwood. The team, then known simply as Tulsa, moved to two other ballparks before settling at McNulty Park in 1919. The field at 10th and Elgin was home to Tulsa baseball for a decade.
In 1934, after a brief stint in a spot now occupied by Fair Meadows Race Track, Tulsa baseball moved to its new home the Tulsa County Stadium, in another section of the fairgrounds. The name was changed the following year to Texas League Park. It was renamed Oiler Park in 1961 and by then the old wooden stadium had started to show its age. The owners tried to patch it up each year, but it was only a matter of time before the old ballpark called it quits. Tulsa baseball historian Wayne McCombs remembers.
"Then in 1977 there was an exhibition game between the Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros, a shower came up and too many fans ran under a section of the bleachers that was covered by a roof. The section was too weak and the stands gave way," said Tulsa baseball historian Wayne McCombs.
No one was killed, but 20 people were hurt in the collapse and the city bulldozed the park.
On April 16, 1981, the first pitch was thrown out at Tulsa's new stadium at 15th and Yale. The park has been called Driller's Stadium since 1990.
Again, nothing is finalized with the Tulsa Drillers possible move, but The News On 6 will continue to follow the story and let you know when we find out more.
Watch the video: Tulsa Sports Team May Be Eyeing Jenks
Watch the video: Drillers Have A History Of Moving