Years of planning have finally come to fruition at ONEOK Field, as the Tulsa Drillers (MiLB) and Tulsa Roughnecks FC (USL) are set to open the newly-constructed Busch Scoreboard Bar. The teams hope to open the bar for the first time at the Tulsa Roughnecks match on March 25. Brian Carroll, the vice-president of public relations for both teams, said the last bits and pieces are coming together.
“They are hanging and installing the last of the TVs this week and will get sponsor signage up by the end of next week,” Carroll said. “We also have a naming rights partner with Busch Beer. The area will be named the Busch Scoreboard Bar.”
Carroll said the bar has been something they’ve been looking to add on at the park since it opened in 2010.
“It was an idea we had when the stadium was originally designed and was in the original plans but as projects tend to do, some things went over budget,” Carroll said. “It was at the tail end of the design phase and was left out due to funding. But our owners Dale and Jeff Hubbard have always wanted to build it to add to the fan experience here at ONEOK Field.”
Local firms helped bring it together with King Architectural Solutions designing the bar and West Construction building it. The area will be around 1,200 square feet and is an open-air, four-sided bar in left field underneath the existing scoreboard. Many have said it’s probably the biggest open-air bar in Oklahoma, but Carroll said the main focus was not necessarily being bigger, but better.
“We wanted it to not only be bigger but be the best it can be. Where our ballpark is located, it’s north and west of downtown Tulsa, it’s close to all of the action and the skyscrapers,” Carroll said. “We wanted it to blend with downtown and become its own destination.”
Carroll said the response from the local community has been great, and that the teams hosted events during the construction of the bar for Drillers and Roughnecks fans to see it all come together. One thing the teams hope to do this season is to leave the bar open after certain events and become another local watering hole.
“On Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, we’re wanting to keep the bar open after events. Downtown Tulsa is going through a Renaissance with more bars, hotels, and restaurants,” Carroll said. “Now people can walk around downtown and visit multiple places within the course of one evening and we hope to become part of that. We want people to think of us and put us down as a place to visit.”
The Busch Scoreboard Bar will also become another place where the teams can host special events for everything from corporate events to meetings. But the teams will have to wait for next off-season to gauge the interest in the new area.
“We would love to utilize the scoreboard bar in the same way we use the stadium bar on the suite level. We’ll have to see how things play out this fall when the Tulsa weather is nicest.”
But for now, the teams are focused on sharing the new space with its fans and helping them make more memories at ONEOK Field.
“The stadium has a 360-degree concourse and fans can walk around to see the games and matches from different angles,” Carroll said. “The bar catches your attention when you walk into the park and will add another dimension to the game-day experience. It has new, unique vantage points for the fans and I think folks will gravitate towards it.”
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