By Emory Bryan, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- New plans are released for ONEOK Field, the new ballpark under construction in downtown Tulsa. The stadium architect added some Art Deco elements and more brick to satisfy critics who didn't like the original plan.
It's hard to believe that just over a year from now the stadium should be ready for baseball at 100 N. Elgin. On Wednesday, the final look of the building was approved by the Stadium Trust and it's a lot different than what was seen before.
Tulsa's ONEOK Field has a new look which now becomes the final cosmetic changes to the outside. The new design incorporates more brick. Metal panels made of zinc cover part of the outside, which the architect says is a first.
"I don't think there's every been another zinc ballpark done in the United States, so that's unique, especially minor league," said architect Steve Boyd.
Last December, the drawings came out of the first design. It was criticized as being not only unattractive, but having no architectural connection with the surrounding buildings.
"There were some folks that didn't think it was warm and welcoming for a ballpark, you know," said Drillers President Chuck Lamson.
"We have dug a very big hole out there and moved a lot of dirt and a lot of rock," said Bob Jack with Manhattan Construction.
The construction site is a massive hole now, and work has begun on the foundation of the stands. The walls on the south and east side define the outfield. The other construction is the clubhouse on the north side.
ONEOK Field will have 6,200 seats, with an unusual southeast facing design. It not only gives fans on the 3rd base line a view of downtown, but provides more shade and natural cooling than the current Drillers Stadium.
"We get a prevailing southerly breeze in the the summer here in Tulsa, which is cut off in Driller Stadium, which, it's warm here in July and August, so people sitting there in the summer, it will help cool them off," said Drillers President Chuck Lamson.
Work on ONEOK Field is scheduled to be finished sometime in spring of 2010.