Oklahoma City Serious About Keeping WCWS

Oklahoma City Serious About Keeping WCWS

Oklahoma City is serious about keeping the NCAA Women’s College World Series in town.  There isn’t any doubt about that if you talk to any of the personnel involved with running the event, which has, except for one year, been held in OKC since 1990. But OKC gave further proof of its intentions in the June 25th edition of the DAILY OKLAHOMA. Inside the paper was a special 14-page color tabloid addressing the issue of keeping the WCWS.

The headline on the front of the tab read: “Keeping Oklahoma City as THE HOME of College Softball.” In the lower right hand corner was a picture of OU ace hurler Keilani Ricketts, who hurled the Sooners to their second NCAA national title and then capped the year by winning the Honda Cup as the outstanding female collegiate athlete for2013.

Inside the tab were notable quotes from, of course, notable people including Barry Switzer, former OU head football coach; Patty Gasso, OU head softball coach; Burns Hargis, president of Oklahoma State University; Kirk Humphreys, former OKC mayor; Mick Cornett, current OKC mayor; Mary Fallin, governor of the state of Oklahoma, and numerous other civic minded people from the state and city.

Tim Brassfield, executive director of the All Sports Association, and Ron Radigonda, who will retire late this year as executive director of the Amateur Softball Association, each wrote a commentary piece while Berry Tramel, columnist for the OKAHOMAN, interviewed OU head coach Patty Gasso about keeping the WCWS in OKC while staff writer Melissa Howell contributed two stories, including one on the front page and another inside interviewing Mike Carrier, president of the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The total cost of the renovation of the Hall of Fame Stadium is $20 million, broken down into three phases. Phase one construction includes new dugouts and warm-up areas, access tunnels, restrooms in locker rooms, and meeting rooms with the completion scheduled in the spring of 2014 at a cost of $5.7 million. Phase two construction includes box offices, new restrooms, media suites, new upper deck concourse with concessions costing an estimated $7 million scheduled in the spring of 2015. The third and last phase includes 4,200 additional seats added to the upper deck, field lighting, and new signage at a cost of $6.6 million.  The funding includes $7 million private, $7 million from pubic and $5 million for naming rights. For such wealthy companies as Chesapeake and Devon Energy, the $5 million naming rights would be a drop in the bucket, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

And of course money is being accepted from the general public with donations starting at $500 and going all the way to $25,000. There’s even a bank if you want to donate more than $25,000. For those people wanting to donate, they can either call (405) 842-4141  and  those mailing checks should make them out to the Oklahoma City All Sports Association, Stadium Renovation, 211 N. Robinson, Suite 250, Oklahoma City, OK  73102.

The back page had a picture of the 2013 OU Sooners after winning the national title and the headline summed up the project perfectly: There’s only ONE place for the Women’s College World Series… OKLAHOMA CITY…Let’s keep a good thing going!