USL Championship’s OKC Energy FC suspends play for 2022 due to renovations at team home Taft Stadium and will return in 2023, while still working toward a new stadium down the line.
The project at Taft Stadium, which is owned and operated by Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS), will include removal and upgrade of the artificial turf playing surface, replacement of the athletic track and addition of modern LED lights.
Here’s the statement from the team:
After much deliberation, we have decided our best option is to temporarily suspend play for one season. While not ideal, this will afford us a unique opportunity to plan for the resumption of play in 2023 and beyond as we look forward to moving into a new facility in the future built multipurpose outdoor event venue which will accommodate Energy FC.
We appreciate the loyal support we receive from our fans, partners and this great community. As we focus on the future of our club, we will work to minimize the impact of this decision by continuing community engagement and fan interactions. We ask for your patience and understanding as we take a short pause and reprogram for the 2023 season and beyond.
The work was confirmed by the school district in a statement:
“The renovations planned for Taft Stadium are necessary to ensure the safety of our students, visitors and all athletes. This work will begin on May 18, 2022, as our students leave for Summer Break and should be complete by August. OKCPS deeply values our partnership with Oklahoma City Energy FC, and while we are sorry these renovations will impact their 2022 season, we look forward to welcoming them back to Taft Stadium in 2023.”
The question: how long the team will need to play in a renovated Taft Stadium before moving to a new facility. Those answers are still to come.
Photo of Taft Stadium courtesy Visit OKC.
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