Committee to explore future of Drillers Stadium
BY KEVIN CANFIELD World Staff Writer
Thursday, June 18, 2009
8/10/09 at 1:01 PM
The fair board took the first step Wednesday toward determining how the site of Drillers Stadium at Expo Square will be used once the Double-A baseball team moves downtown next year.
The fair board's chairman, County Commissioner Fred Perry, announced Wednesday the creation of a 10-member Drillers Stadium Property Committee to explore the issue and come up with recommendations.
"When the Drillers move downtown after this season, we will be faced with the decision of what to do with this property," Perry said. "It's a big decision, and we need to carefully consider all of the possibilities.
"I'm confident that the group of people I've selected will bring about good discussion leading to a good recommendation to the entire Tulsa County Public Facilities Authority Board."
Tulsa's professional baseball teams have played at the fairgrounds since 1932. Drillers Stadium, which sits on about 5 1/2 acres at the corner of 15th Street and Yale Avenue, was completed in 1981.
Beginning in 2010, the Drillers will play their games at ONEOK Field.
The nearly $40 million stadium is being built against a raised portion of Interstate 244, bounded by Elgin Avenue and Archer Street, and will abut the back side of businesses along Greenwood Avenue.
Perry said he has not set a deadline for the committee to conclude its work.
The Drillers pay the fair board $18,000 a year in rent, as well as a percentage of concessions, which last year totaled about $67,000, Expo Square officials said.
Perry also announced Wednesday the creation of two other Expo Square-related commissions: one to plan for the renovation of the armory and the other to look into replacing the facility's roughly 2,500 livestock stalls.
Drillers Stadium Property Committee members:
Expo Square President and CEO Mark Andrus; fair board
member Daryl Woodard; former County Commissioner Bob
Dick; Terry Simonson, director of development and governmental
affairs for Tulsa County; Mike Parish, commercial realtor;
Aubrey ringleb, Friends of the Fairgrounds executive director;
state rep. Jeannie McDaniel; City Councilor Eric Gomez; and
Suzann Stewart of the Tulsa Convention and Visitors Bureau. A
neighborhood representative has yet to be named. Perry will be
the committee’s chairman.
Kevin Canfield 581-8313