The Tulsa Drillers are one step closer to relocating to downtown Tulsa, as the Tulsa City Council approved on July 10 the funding mechanism for a baseball stadium in the historic Greenwood district.
Private donors in the community have already committed a record $30 million. To complete the $60 million project, the ballpark will also receive $25 million from a Business Improvement District increase, a somewhat controversial tax assessment on downtown commercial property owners and $5 million from the Driller’s lease agreement.
Downtown revitalization is one of the Tulsa Metro Chamber’s top five initiatives in the long-term strategic plan, and Chamber Chairman Stan Lybarger, president and CEO of Bank of Oklahoma, has worked closely with Mayor Kathy Taylor to add a baseball stadium to downtown’s landscape and entertainment options.
Chamber representatives say that the objective is to turn a business-centric center into a vibrant urban district. Adding additional draws, such as a baseball stadium, to the downtown area will increase the pace of development and is a complement to the existing public and private investment in the BOK Center. The downtown master plan includes the construction of the BOK Center, the rehabilitation of the Maxwell Convention Center and the construction of a multi-use baseball stadium. These three key elements will create a triangulation and an ideal location for private investment infill in the coming years.