From Groundbreaking In 2008 To Today, ONEOK Field's Timeline
By Joshua Brakhage, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- Construction on the new ONEOK Field was already on an accelerated timeline. Drillers President Chuck Lamson says the new field was a 24-month project that was completed in just 14 months.
Christmas came early in 2008 as ground was broken on December 19. Construction started with a splash as crews punctured this water line on January 15.
There was no waterspout in the sketches released two months later, March 25. It was the second set of designs, after architects were sent back to the drawing board to come up with a more "welcoming" ballpark.
On opening day April 16, crews were hard at work, turning newly acquired land into their downtown Field of Dreams.
Thanks to long hours and lots of elbow grease, the project was 25 percent complete in June - on time and on budget during a June 2 tour of the stadium.
Two months later, on August 13, the Drillers were halfway home. The final steel beam was carefully put into place, marking the stadium's "topping out."
As the ballpark took root on September 27, farmers in Bixby cut the native sod that would become ONEOK Field.
A day later on September 28, the grass was going down downtown. On October 18, the new sod was put to the test along with the stadium's drainage system as most of October was a washout.
"I've been doing this a long time, and I learned a long time ago not to get frustrated with the weather," Project Manager Bob Jack said.
The ballpark was officially home when home plate arrived in October. On October 26, a helicopter delivered it from the old Drillers Stadium.
Holiday lights on December 17, as crews left the lights on all night - for 24-hour trials - to make sure they're up to league standards.
The state-of-the-art scoreboard arrived on January 21. It came in a half-dozen giant crates, and crews snapped the pieces together like Legos.
By February 15, ONEOK Field was 95 percent finished, and the Drillers were proud to show off their spacious new home.
"You can probably get two baseball teams in here I think," Tulsa Drillers President Chuck Lamson said.
"You can see, this is kind of the inner sanctum, this is the locker room where the players dress."
The finishing touches came last month as 21 Art Deco medallions honoring pieces of the past went up on the stadium's exterior March 18.
On Thursday, April 8, the pristine park is ready to play host to Tulsa history.
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