NCAA Women's College World Series Returns To OKC Next Week


Wednesday, May 26th 2021, 5:21 pm
By: Hunter McKee


OKLAHOMA CITY -

One major sign we are moving out the pandemic is in-person sporting events.

A year ago, the stands were left empty at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium due to COVID-19. This year, the Women's College World Series is back in Oklahoma City.

Those with USA Softball said not having the event in 2020 devastated a number of people. 

"Thirteen thousand potential fans at an event starting out in January. By the end of March, middle of April, you know the events not going to occur at all," said Craig Cress, USA Softball CEO.

Those with the visitor's bureau said not only did the player, fans, and stadium take a hit, but the city as a whole, including the Adventure District in northeast Oklahoma City.

"We estimate about a $24 million impact for the week," said Sue Hollenbeck, with the OKC Convention and Visitors Bureau. "It makes it one of our largest events and economic impact that we have."

Hollenbeck said the games don't only bring in revenue from local fans, but from other parts of the country as well. In March 2020, before the pandemic hit, they sold out of WCWS tickets and the majority of those were out of state.

"Seventy percent of those 13,000 plus tickets were out of the state of the state of Oklahoma," said Hollenbeck. "People want to be here."

The stadium underwent renovations and added more seats last year. This will make this world series the first in the new look stadium.

"We're excited to have the people here," said Cress. "We're excited for the athletes to have the opportunity to play in a stadium like this."

The first games are set to start June 3, and tickets go on sale Thursday.