Drillers Stadium Gets Grand Farewell
TULSA, Oklahoma - The old home of the Tulsa Drillers soon will be a thing of the past.
Many baseball and soccer memories and traditions played out at 15th and Yale over the years. But now, the city plans to tear down the stadium in August to make room for a new BMX facility.
Fans say they wish the old stadium could stay.
Saturday’s game is one of the last time Tulsa’s soccer team -- the Athletics -- will play in the old stadium.
Throughout the venue’s 35-year history, several teams have called it home. This team will be the last.
As fans file through the turnstiles, they prepare to cheer on the home team but also say goodbye to a good run.
The gates at Drillers Stadium first opened in 1981.
“We started going to the original Roughnecks games back in the ‘70s,” fan Linda Baker said.
Mike and Linda Baker are Tulsa Athletics season ticket holders. They love the game and stadium.
“It's still got some good years left in it,” Linda Baker said. “The seats are comfortable. It's a good stadium."
Through a Vision vote, the stadium will be torn down in August to make room for a BMX facility. The Athletics will have to find a new home.
"They need to take it apart and put it back somewhere else instead of tearing it down,” Mike Baker said.
Athletics team owner Sonny Dalesandro says this is a bittersweet moment for fans and players.
"For us, we'll be a little bit sad,” Dalesandro said. “Our club was born here, but it's exciting that there's change."
It's a change they welcome as they hold the final charity fundraiser. All the money from ticket sales will got to breast cancer charities: BCAP and Oklahoma Project Women.
"They might have just come out and had a wonderful time watching a soccer match and not even know they benefitted something in our community,” Dalesandro said.
Forever fans the Bakers say, wherever the Athletics end up, they'll be there.
The owner says the team is in talks to figure out where they go next. They hope they'll get a smaller stadium where the team can play.