Lease Deal Reached On Downtown Ballpark

Wednesday, November 5th 2008, 6:18 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A lease agreement with the Tulsa Drillers was approved on Wednesday by the Stadium Trust.  It's another step towards the start of construction of the new ballpark.  It will take 13 or 14 months to build the ballpark and construction could begin next month.

This was the first meeting of the Stadium Trust, the group of men and women responsible for making sure the stadium is built right and on time.  They quickly approved a 30 year, $150,000 a year lease with the Drillers.

"It's a very fair financial deal for the Drillers and for the ballpark trust," said Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor.

The stadium will go up on the west side of Greenwood, with a groundbreaking planned for December.  The lease has a construction deadline of March 1, 2010.

"We're looking forward to moving ahead quickly and getting ready to play ball downtown in 2010," said Drillers Owner Chuck Lamson.

There is one change that's been made to the ballpark plan.  On Greenwood, there will be an official entrance to the ballpark.  The breezeway in between the businesses will take fans right into the park.

The trust will own the stadium.  The Drillers will manage it and pay rent.

The cost of building the approximately $60 million stadium will be split between private donors and downtown property owners.

Tulsa's mayor says the stadium is another step in developing downtown.

"The next piece we're focusing on is bringing a hotel downtown," said Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor.

Chuck Lamson says he's settling on the details of the design for the ballpark.

"We're going to keep tweaking those and we're going to pick a construction company and let's roll and let's get things going and break ground and make it happen," said Drillers Owner Chuck Lamson.

The private fundraising for the stadium is $1 million short right now, but the head of the trust said he was confident it would come.  They already have $29 million committed.

Related Story:

08/25/2008  Agreement Change On Drillers Deal