PRESS RELEASE – On April 16, 1998, a new era in Oklahoma City began when Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark opened its gates for the first time. Now, as the ballpark gets set for its 20th season, the Oklahoma City Dodgers have introduced a campaign to recognize the ballpark’s impact both on and off the field throughout 2017.
“Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark is widely renowned as one of the top facilities in Minor League Baseball. We realize we are incredibly fortunate to have the facility we do, and many others within our industry are envious of the ballpark and great relationship we have with the City of Oklahoma City,” said OKC Dodgers President/General Manager Michael Byrnes. “Any time the ballpark comes up in conversation with fans, players, coaches, scouts and others in the industry, the compliments are immediate and endless. We enthusiastically embrace the opportunity to celebrate everything the ballpark has come to represent over its first 20 seasons.”
Since opening, the ballpark has received numerous accolades by various publications both inside and outside of the industry. It was selected as No. 2 among the best ballparks in the Minors by Baseball America in 1998, and in 2013, Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark was named one of the top 10 minor league stadiums in the United States in the “10Best Readers’ Choice Awards” presented by USA Today.
Affectionately known as “The Brick,” Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark’s primary tenant has been Oklahoma City’s Pacific Coast League franchise. Over the ballpark’s first 19 seasons, the RedHawks and Dodgers have played 1,385 games, resulting in nine division titles – tied for most in the league during that timespan – and three conference championships. Whether it’s for the home team or the visitors, countless players have stopped through Bricktown en route to the Major Leagues, including 21 MLB All-Stars who once suited up for OKC.
Additionally, the ballpark has hosted 17 Big 12 Baseball Championships, five Triple-A National Championships, the 2002 Triple-A All-Star Game and several OSSAA baseball state championships. Outside of baseball, Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark has become a hub of activity in downtown OKC and is frequently used as a landing spot for community and nonprofit events.
The ballpark’s greatest impact extends well beyond baseball, as it is widely credited as the centerpiece of downtown Oklahoma City’s revitalization. Funded by the first edition of the Metropolitan Area Projects Plan (MAPS), Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark not only helped keep Triple-A baseball in Oklahoma City, but also spurred growth in downtown and beyond. According to the “2014 Greater Oklahoma City Forecast” prepared by the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, nearly $5 billion in economic impact can be attributed to the original MAPS program.
“If you wanted to trace Oklahoma City’s renaissance back to a single moment, I think it would be the opening of Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark,” said Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. “We were coming through a rough time in Oklahoma City’s history. No one knew what a completed MAPS project would look like and some people wondered whether the City could actually pull this off. But when the public walked into that beautiful ballpark, and it exceeded all expectations, they realized Oklahoma City had – in baseball talk – hit this one out of the park. There was a sense of pride and unity, and the beginning of a momentum that still exists today.”
Throughout the 2017 season, the Dodgers will host a variety of activities to recognize former players and other special guests, including a series of ceremonial first pitches. The team will also celebrate Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark’s 20th season during the following events:
The Dodgers will host a 20th season celebration kickoff luncheon Wednesday, Feb. 22 beginning at 11 a.m. at The Criterion (500 E. Sheridan Ave.). The event will feature keynote speaker Branch B. Rickey, President of the Pacific Coast League.
“For the last two decades, Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark has been a shining light for the Pacific Coast League, almost as much as for Oklahoma City itself,” said Rickey. “From originally the RedHawks to now the Dodgers games and Triple-A Baseball’s premier events – the All-Star and National Championship Games – this incredible facility has hosted our most celebrated events. It is with great enthusiasm that I look forward to joining in the celebration of next month’s luncheon.”
Other speakers and special guests will be revealed in the future. A limited number of tickets will be open to the public beginning Feb. 1. Tickets are $75 apiece, and inquiries and purchases can be directed to the OKC Dodgers Baseball Foundation at (405) 218-1000 or email@example.com. Portions of the proceeds will benefit the foundation.
Beginning with the kickoff luncheon through June 1, fans will have a chance to purchase commemorative bricks with personalized inscriptions that will be part of a permanent display at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Bricks will be available for a donation, and proceeds will benefit the OKC Dodgers Baseball Foundation. Those who purchase bricks will also be invited to the display groundbreaking Aug. 11.
Fans will vote for the All-Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark team throughout the 2017 season via the team’s website and social media. Voting will occur each week to select one player per position as well as a manager. Winners will be announced during the season and as a part of a grand reveal Aug. 11.
20th Season Stein Giveaway
When the Dodgers host the Round Rock Express on Aug. 11, the first 2,000 fans through the gates will receive a special stein, commemorating the ballpark’s 20th season.
Limited Edition Merchandise
New merchandise and apparel celebrating the ballpark’s 20th season will be available in the OKC Dodgers Team Store beginning Feb. 22, with new items added throughout the season.
For general information about the 20th season celebration, please visit okcdodgers.com/20seasons. For all media inquiries, please contact Alex Freedman at (405) 218-2126 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The defending American Conference Champion Oklahoma City Dodgers open the 2017 season Thursday, April 6 at 7:05 p.m. against the Iowa Cubs at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. To purchase a 2017 ticket package or reserve a group outing, please call (405) 218-1000.