Drillers Stadium Holds Unique Appeal

Managing Editor

DOWNTOWN SKYLINE: ONEOK Field, home to the Tulsa Drillers, opened in 2010 in downtown Tulsa. The sweeping views of downtown, the fun crowds, the newness of the facility all create an experience that draws Tulsans back again and again.

EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers

Baseball, the ultimate American pastime, is alive and well, I have decided. As is the other American pastime of hot dogs, pizza, beer and any other edible item that combines thousands of calories, gooeyness and the ability to be consumed minus fork and knife.

I witnessed the truth to this fact when I made my first visit to a baseball game not too long ago. I would not call myself much of a baseball fan, and to be honest, it sometimes surprises me that the sport still exists. In a world filled with hyperactive children and adults, who knew anyone would still willingly sit for upwards of three hours and watch a game where a person throws a baseball where 60 percent of the swings are strikes, foul balls or altogether outs?

The true fans will tell you that baseball is a game of strategy, and when I remind myself of that and focus on the game, I usually regain my respect and appreciation for the sport.

However, I also hold to the belief that a large number of those present are not there for the game at all. They’re there for the food, drinks and friends.

And what better place to do that than at our humble yet striking ONEOK Field? The sweeping views of downtown, the fun crowds, the newness of the facility all create an experience that draws Tulsans back again and again since it opened in 2010.

I recently returned home from Chicago. And I had a long list of things I wanted to see, although I made sure not to hem myself in with too many tourist attractions.
However, one must-see item I knew I couldn’t miss was a Cubs game at Wrigley Field.

I don’t know if I went as much for my own enjoyment as for all of the people who told me to go. I couldn’t mention my upcoming trip to someone without being urged to visit the hallowed field. And all of this for a team that has not won a World Series since 1908. Maybe it was that fact that sealed the deal for me. The Cubs were doing something right, but it clearly wasn’t winning. And I needed to see what the fuss was all about.

Wrigleyville, the area of bars and restaurants surrounding Wrigley Field, comes alive hours before each game begins. Its establishments are packed out with patrons awaiting the game with ticket in one hand and a beer in the other, along with other individuals just enjoying the atmosphere.

The stadium is expectedly massive with enough concession stands to please even the hungriest of persons, complete with a rooftop area serving drinks, specialty ballpark franks, and a beautiful nighttime view of Wrigleyville and downtown Chicago.

The view from inside the ballpark provides a slightly appealing westward view but nothing to write home about. No, the view from the seats is more focused on the field and on the team that has earned such a loyal following. And let’s not forget the traditional 7th inning singing of Take Me Out to the Ballgame – a tradition started by the late Harry Caray – and a tradition worth keeping, and a tradition especially memorable at Wrigley Field.

Yet, with all of the charms and traditions of Wrigley Field, as I walked away from the stadium that evening, I couldn’t help but think of my home as Take Me Back to Tulsa played in my head.

Updated 07-08-2014

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