Two agencies will participate in the funding of a feasibility study on a new outdoor Tulsa stadium, which would be used for soccer and other events.
Tulsa Stadium Trust has decided to work with VisitTulsa on funding a feasibility study for a new outdoor stadium. The facility could be constructed downtown, with an initial seating capacity of 10,000 that could eventually be expanded, and the ability to host soccer.
Tulsa currently features a notable facility in the form of ONEOK Field, home to both baseball’s Tulsa Drillers (Class AA; Texas League) and soccer’s Tulsa Roughnecks FC (USL). However, officials believe that a new outdoor stadium could be designed to be more flexible and ultimately accommodate a wider range of events. Therefore a new stadium would be designed to host multiple types of events, but it could still stage soccer matches as a multi-use facility. More from Tulsa World:
Although the multi-use facility would not be specifically tailored for soccer, it would be designed to accommodate the sport at the highest level, [president of Tulsa Regional Tourism Ray] Hoyt said. As it stands now, the city can’t attract exhibition Major League Soccer or U.S. national games because it does not have a proper venue.
“We have had ongoing discussions with the national women’s soccer team, and we can never get past go, because they want a flat surface, they want a true natural turf field,” Hoyt said. “And Skelly (Field) doesn’t do that at all. It’s a synthetic field with synthetic turf.”
ONEOK Field, which was built to be the home of the Tulsa Drillers minor league baseball team, also serves as the home field for the Tulsa Roughnecks of the United Soccer League. But that venue won’t do, either, when it comes to drawing the highest levels of professional and amateur soccer and many other outdoor events, according to Hoyt.
“It’s a totally different venue,” Hoyt said. “It’s not soccer.”
The study is estimated to cost around $105,000, with the Tulsa Stadium Trust paying $50,000 and the remainder being covered by VisitTulsa and a slate of private donors.
Image of USL action courtesy USL and Bethlehem Steel.