City considers alternative uses for ballpark

Thursday, February 21st 2008, 7:04 pm
By: News 9

By Alex Cameron, NEWS 9

A study to look at the possibility of expanding the use of the Bricktown Ballpark is eliciting concern from the Oklahoma Redhawks.

The current owners of the Redhawks purchased the team in 2003. They said since then they've done their best to maximize use of the ballpark by bringing in concerts, snow-tubing, exhibition games, and the triple-A world series. They were surprised to learn that the city is conducting a study on how to better use the facility.

"I don't think there's a triple-A baseball team in all of American that does what we do with this facility," said Scott Pruitt, Redhawks managing partner. "It is a baseball field and we're proud of that."

Oklahoma City Special Projects Manager Tom Anderson said the feasibility study will explore other uses for the venue.

"It's just kind of an exploration to see if some modifications could be made to the facility to see if it could accommodate, I don't know, lacrosse or soccer or other sports activities," Anderson said.

Anderson said the idea of modifying the ballpark was first addressed a couple of years when the city was approached about possibly hosting a college football bowl game.  He said that's no longer in discussions, but says it's still in the city's interest to look at how the ballpark and other city-owned sports facilities could be used in the future.

"Some of these things we may pursue and some of them we may find it may not be the right thing for us to do," he said.

Redhawks officials say the problem with multi-purpose facilities is that, while they may accommodate several different sports, they don't serve any of them well.