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  1. #1

    Default Softball Hall of Fame

    OKC bond issue could include softball stadium expansion
    Brian Brus
    The Journal Record
    Chris Sebren, director of national teams with USA Softball, stands in the bleachers at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City Thursday. (Photo by Brent Fuchs)
    OKLAHOMA CITY – A plan by the Amateur Softball Association to expand its Oklahoma City stadium might depend on how taxpayers feel about their next big bond issue.
    The ASA/USA Softball Hall of Fame Museum and four-field complex in northeast Oklahoma City has earned its status as the nation’s top softball venue by hosting the annual NCAA Women’s College World Series since 1990, said Chris Sebren, the organization’s director of teams. To continue providing the best experience possible to sellout crowds – and ensure economic benefit to the city – the stadium needs a little more space for seating, he said.
    “For the stadium hosting the largest softball event in the United States in the college world series … we need additional seats to handle the crowds,” Sebren said.
    The city’s next general obligation bond issue will come up for a citywide vote this year. It is a regular feature of municipal government in Oklahoma for funding projects such as street repairs, police station buildings and rainwater drainage systems. Each issue is planned to provide funds for several years at a time, which means voters are asked to support a huge figure.
    The last GO bond issue in 2007 totaled $835.5 million. This year, city officials are still weighing factors such as interest rates, payoff periods and the overall debt load Oklahoma City can support.
    Finance Director Craig Freeman said the GO bond program will need to fall between $400 million and $1.4 billion. The smaller figure represents 16 mills of property valuation tax repaid over five years; the larger represents 20 mills over 10 years. The City Council will address the fine points of finances at a budgeting workshop April 18.
    The projects that the bond money will support will also be addressed. The softball organization, based in Oklahoma City near Remington Park, would like some financial assistance to build out the stadium before the NCAA’s agreement expires with the 2020 tournament series.
    Sue Hollenbeck, director of sports business for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, said the softball event is one of the city’s biggest economic producers, with interstate visitors filling hundreds of hotel rooms and restaurant tables for a week at a time. Each game in the series last year drew more than 8,000 spectators; the overall series tally totaled about 78,000. With softball and baseball being returned to the Olympic Games for 2020 in Tokyo, media coverage can only bolster the brand awareness of Oklahoma City, she said.
    Sebren said his group would like to expand the press box and add an upper deck for more seats in the stadium. The building has 5,000 permanent seats, so an additional 4,000 bleacher seats had to be brought in for the world series crowd. With outfield seating, that would bring capacity up to about 13,000.
    Stacey Hepp, marketing director for the national governing body of U.S. softball, said softball’s biggest competitor these days is entertainment technology that draws youngsters away from physical activity. In addition to the economic benefit of increasing stadium ticket sales, an expansion with more space for media outlets would help win the electronic market space.
    Not expanding could risk the city’s host status with the NCAA, ASA Membership Director John Miller said.
    “The NCAA could look at us and say, ‘Well, we really need a bigger venue,’ and the event could be moved somewhere else, I guess,” Miller said.
    He also said the expenditure would benefit more than a single, Division I season-ender. Miller cited the Division III series, World Cup and 30 other events held in Oklahoma City each year.

  2. #2

    Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium

    Good news, now let's get this on the bond and get it passed.




    OKC (Adventure District) has built this event; therefore let's become the WCWS permanent home (beyond 2020) thru expansion & renovation of the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium to give it the amenities to accommodate the team participants, players, fans, dignitaries & the press. There are numerous events that ASA Hall of Fame Stadium hosts that could be lost if this project isn't achieved.

    This event is great public relations for the promotion of Oklahoma City.

    We lost the NFR (National Finals Rodeo) to Las Vegas because they had a venue to accommodate the needs to grow the event. They have since built the T-Mobile Arena to solidify their hold on the NFR.

    Don't think for one moment that Hoover, Ala., (Birmingham suburb) isn't poised to host the event if OKC were to stumble. Half of the funds to finance this project have been made thru pledges & donations--the bonds would take this over the top.

  3. #3

    Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium




    RESOLUTION

    RESOLUTION INTRODUCING PROPOSITIONS AND PROJECTS FOR A \CITYWIDE GENERAL OBLIGATION BOND ELECTION AND DIRECTING THE PREPARATION OF ELECTION DOCUMENTS FOR FUTURE CONSIDERATION BY THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL

    PROPOSITION NO. 5

    (PARKS AND RECREATIONAL FACILITIES)

    B. New Parks, Parklands and Recreational Facilities

    4. Lincoln Park - Softball Hall of Fame Stadium improvements $27,500,000

    The stadium expansion of 4,500 upper deck seats & improvements will decide the long-term (until 2035) fate of the Women's College World Series (WCWS) held annually in our city.

    The WCWS has an estimated economic impact of $12 million to $15 million each year. The greatest portion of these dollars come from out-of-state visitors who fill our hotels, eat at our restaurants, shop at our stores, and visit other area attractions while they're here. Over the next few months, the city of Oklahoma City, with our help, will start major improvements to Hall of Fame Stadium. The improvements will create additional seating capacity and provide new restrooms and concessions, locker rooms, media rooms, a renovated press box and many more updates that will enhance the experience for the teams and fans.--Oklahoman, July 5, 2013
    Phases III and IV are the major undertakings. Construction won’t begin until 2018, following a September 2017 bond election.

    Later this decade, the final product in 2019 or 2020 will include 4,200 upper-deck seats, additional concession stands, a new concourse and ticket area, plus a new press box that will replace next year’s expanded version.

    Phases III & IV:

    2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 – A 4,200-seat upper deck will expand capacity to more than 13,000. Additional projects include a second expanded press box, new concourse, plus upgraded concession stands and ticket areas.

  4. #4

    Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium

    $27,500,000 will be available for the improvements to the Don E. Porter ASA Hall of Fame Stadium's expansion which includes an 4,200-seat upper deck and press box improvements for the whole complex.

    Once these improvements are completed, and the future of the WCWS in Oklahoma City is secure, it's estimated the economic impact of this event will be $20 million annually. This will keep the WCWS in OKC for the next 18 years--up to 2035.

    The WCWS event is comparable to the economic impact of the annual OU-Texas football game in the Cotton Bowl spread out over 5-6 days..

    The event currently draws 78,000 annually; the expansion & improvements could eventually welcome an additional 15,000 - 20,000 more fans.

  5. #5

    Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium

    So we're spending 27.5 million to keep $200 million in economic impact? (Over 10 year life of the bond) sounds good

  6. #6

    Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium

    WOW.

    This is awesome. With all the improvements and upgrades to the zoo and the science museum, coupled with the other amenities in the adventure district this whole area is now punching like a light heavyweight. If we get around to passenger rail on the adventure line just imagine how this will impact the full-on experience of many families/fans from across the country who come here to OKC for the WCWS.

    I get all giddy just thinking about it.

    #ilovemycity #OKC

  7. #7

    Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium

    ^^^^^^^

  8. #8

    Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium

    I read somewhere, and I'll see if I can find it, that viewership of the WCWS has DRAMATICALLY increased each year for the past few years. As more people watch it, they love it. It's a true showcasing for women's sports. And damn to they ball out. Even when OU hasn't been involved, ratings are great and they've sold out every game. I'm all for whatever money they want to spend on this. Keep it coming.

  9. #9

    Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium

    Quote Originally Posted by Colbafone View Post
    I read somewhere, and I'll see if I can find it, that viewership of the WCWS has DRAMATICALLY increased each year for the past few years. As more people watch it, they love it. It's a true showcasing for women's sports. And damn to they ball out. Even when OU hasn't been involved, ratings are great and they've sold out every game. I'm all for whatever money they want to spend on this. Keep it coming.
    I got to go to the final game of the Natl. Championship this year. Never been to a softball game and I gotta tell ya, it was really exciting! I totally see the appeal and love that it's here. It's so cool seeing people on ESPN and what not saying "The road to Oklahoma City" all the time too.

  10. #10

    Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium

    Quote Originally Posted by Ross MacLochness View Post
    I got to go to the final game of the Natl. Championship this year. Never been to a softball game and I gotta tell ya, it was really exciting! I totally see the appeal and love that it's here. It's so cool seeing people on ESPN and what not saying "The road to Oklahoma City" all the time too.
    That kind of marketing is so valueable

  11. #11

    Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium

    Quote Originally Posted by gopokes88 View Post
    That kind of marketing is so valueable
    You're correct!

    The marketing our city receives throughout the WCWS tournament really puts a positive spend on our city's best assets.

  12. #12

    Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium

    It makes me wish we had something akin to Chisholm Creek over by the Zoo and this Stadium. It's a cool area for what's there, but we need to make the Adventure District more legitimate.

  13. #13

    Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium

    Quote Originally Posted by Colbafone View Post
    It makes me wish we had something akin to Chisholm Creek over by the Zoo and this Stadium. It's a cool area for what's there, but we need to make the Adventure District more legitimate.
    We should start by adding sidewalks and an easy way to cross the street to get to the additional parking areas! It was a complete zoo after the game as many many people, including elderly, children and handicapped, were trying to cross and then walk along the edge of the four or five lane road... They should be ready at least with temporary crosswalks and sidewalks during important events.

  14. #14

    Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium

    Quote Originally Posted by 5alive View Post
    ^^^^^^^:smiley173
    yezzir!

  15. #15

    Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium

    Quote Originally Posted by Colbafone View Post
    I read somewhere, and I'll see if I can find it, that viewership of the WCWS has DRAMATICALLY increased each year for the past few years. As more people watch it, they love it. It's a true showcasing for women's sports. And damn to they ball out. Even when OU hasn't been involved, ratings are great and they've sold out every game. I'm all for whatever money they want to spend on this. Keep it coming.
    Colbafone I read that too.

    And of course it helps that OUr Lady SOONERS just won back to back championships too.

    #3nattypatty

  16. #16

    Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium

    Quote Originally Posted by Colbafone View Post
    It makes me wish we had something akin to Chisholm Creek over by the Zoo and this Stadium. It's a cool area for what's there, but we need to make the Adventure District more legitimate.
    They will probably have several million to do some extras' from this $27.5 million bond.

    In 2014, it was reported that it would take $20 million to do a four phase renovation of the ASA Stadium complex. Take inflation into account--looks like there will be roughly $5 million to do some extras for the complex which includes the Softball Hall of Fame Museum.

    Stadium expansion (4,200-seat upper deck/press box), sidewalks, expanded parking and easy access to the stadium (not having to use the Zoo, Omniplex or Remington Park's parking) should satisfy all the concerns associated with the complex.

  17. Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium

    The rest of OKC is good with there not being an entertainment district around the softball venue. The WCWS is the single best sporting event each year for the local tourism industry, for attractions, hotels and restaurant receipts - bar none - and it spills visitors all over the city during a time of year when they are just coming out of the late winter doldrums. It's a very important event for the industry, and keeping the visitors captive in an area that would struggle for business the rest of the year benefits nobody.

    Thanks, OKC voters, for passing this important issue.

  18. #18

    Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium

    ++++

  19. #19

    Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium

    A good investment would be to get that always-talked about train running between Bricktown and the Adventure District.

  20. #20

    Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium

    ^^^^^^+1

  21. #21

    Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium

    Quote Originally Posted by d-usa View Post
    A good investment would be to get that always-talked about train running between Bricktown and the Adventure District.

    Old Katy (MK&T) railroad line (Locomotives & Trains of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, 1912-1985) from our current Adventure District to Downtown Oklahoma City. Would be cool to have a train as well as a cable car connection running simultaneously throughout various parts of OKC.


    It's waiting... ...Lincoln Park to downtown OKC.

  22. #22

    Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium

    Glad to see your posts, Laramie. I hope you're doing well.

  23. #23

    Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium

    Quote Originally Posted by dankrutka View Post
    Glad to see your posts, Laramie. I hope you're doing well.
    Thank you, good news that I'm cancer free following my prostatectomy (removal of the prostrate). Low PSA count. Internal system has six to eight months of slow methodical healing (can't sit in one sport too long) with limited driving (5 to 8 miles) daily.

    Just thankful to be alive. At one point I requested a priest to perform Extreme Unction (last rights) on me; my family didn't give up on me, doctors told the priest that I wasn't ready for administrations of last rights.

    Had internal blockage which created a bloated painful belly. Hope none of you have to experience the ordeal I went through.

  24. #24

    Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium

    Keep fighting and keep pushing Laramie

  25. #25

    Default Re: ASA Hall of Fame Stadium

    Thanks for the update and glad you're doing better, Laramie. OKCTalk needs your posts so we need you healthy.

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