First Game: April 16, 1998, Oklahoma RedHawks vs. Edmonton Trappers
Tenants: Oklahoma RedHawks (Pacific Coast League, AAA), Big XII Baseball Tournament
Cost: $34.2 million
Seating capacity: 13,066
Largest crowd: 14,066 for the inaugural game on 4/16/98
Total 1999 attendance: 471,722
1999 average: 7,041
Total 1998 attendance: 491,036 (Oklahoma record)
1998 average: 7,221
1998 Big XII Tournament attendance: 123,108 (NCAA conference tournament record)
Playing surface: natural grass
Architect: Architectural Design Group (ADG), Oklahoma City
Construction: Boldt Construction
Left Field Pole: 325 ft.
Left Field: 363 ft.
Left-Center: 415 ft.
Center Field: 400 ft.
Right-Center: 405 ft.
Right Field: 373 ft.
Right Field Pole: 325 ft.
Fences: 8 ft. in Left and Center Field, approx. 20 ft. in Right Field
2 South Mickey Mantle Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73014
Directions: take the Lincoln exit from the intersection of I-35 and I-40. From there go west on Reno Ave.
Weekdays and Saturdays: 7:05 PM CT
Sundays April-June: 2:05 PM CT
Sundays July-August: 7:05 PM CT
Outside the ballpark's 3rd Base entrance is a statue of Yankee great Mickey Mantle, a native of northeast Oklahoma. Surrounding the statues are cement blocks containing the signatures and handprints of some of Mantle's former teammates who attended the inaugural game. Beyond the left field foul line is Coach's, a restaurant that gives a great view of the field and also features walls of sports memorabilia. The field is situated below street level to somewhat relieve the intense heat of Oklahoma in the summer. A state-of-the-art video scoreboard sits beyond center field, right next to the "batter's eye" reminiscent of the one in The Ballpark in Arlington. Short biographies of some of the greatest players that hailed from Oklahoma line the walls of the concourses, which are open to allow you a great view of the field before you reach your seat.
History and Facts
Southwestern Bell Bricktown Ballpark, or "The Brick" as it is known by Oklahoma City residents, is the first completed project in Oklahoma City's MAPS (Metropolitan Area ProjectS), which include a new downtown arena, a canal, and six others. The ballpark was supposed to be finished for the 1997 season, however, a mix-up in construction and finances delayed the opening by a year. The park was originally to be known as Southwestern Bell Park, but the citizens of the Oklahoma City metro area loudly voiced negative opinions of a corporate name. The name even became a small issue in the OKC mayoral race, and eventually the compromised name became Southwestern Bell Bricktown Ballpark. Bricktown is an area in downtown OKC where three generations of brick buildings lie, and it's growing rapidly. The grand opening of the Bricktown Canal has brought much more interest and intrigue into downtown OKC, and tourism is expected to take off in the next 5-10 years, or possibly even earlier.
The intimate setting of the ballpark means that there isn't a bad seat in the house. Even in the upper deck you seem to be on top of the action. The first few rows are close enough to have conversations with the players (which isn't so great in some cases), and every seat is a mere stone's throw from the field.
Despite its many amenities, the ballpark has an old-fashioned design. The brick facade, great sightlines, and asymmetrical playing field are a few reminders of it. The many nooks and crannies in the outfield are designed for home-field advantage, and while the short left field fence will provide for lots of offense, the deep power alleys will keep many balls from leaving the yard. Southwestern Bell Bricktown Ballpark is just a new old-fashioned family attraction that provides an escape from the toils of every day life. Come see for yourself!