Path Home Shows 2012 Show Archive April 2012 Show 1217 Bricktown Baseball - Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Bricktown Baseball - Take Me Out to the Ballgame

We take a look at how Minor League Baseball is having a big impact on Oklahoma's economy.
Bricktown Baseball - Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Baseball batter at the plate

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Oklahoma City Redhawks

Show Dates

Show 1217: Bricktown Baseball - Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Air date: April 22, 2012

 

Transcript

ROB MCCLENDON:  WELL THE BOYS OF SUMMER ARE BACK ON BASEBALL DIAMONDS AROUND THE COUNTRY.  AND IN OKLAHOMA CITY, THE REDHAWKS HAVE JUST COMPLETED A SEVEN-FIGURE RENNOVATION PROJECT ON THEIR STADIUM, DRAWING BOTH FANS AND JOBS, WHICH IS WHERE OUR ANDY BARTH PICKS UP OUR STORY.

ANDY BARTH:  THAT’S RIGHT ROB, THE NAME ISN’T THE ONLY THING CHANGING AT THE CHICKASAW BRICKTOWN BALLPARK.  WITH A NEWLY RENNOVATED STADIUM, FANS HAVE A WHOLE NEW REASON TO SING TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME.

IT’S KNOWN AS ONE OF AMERICA’S FAVORITE PAST TIMES, BASEBALL; AND, IT’S GETTING A LOT OF ATTENTION HERE IN OKLAHOMA CITY.

MICHAEL BYRNES:  WE LEARNED VERY QUICKLY LAST YEAR, JUST HOW MUCH OF A REGIONAL IMPACT THE TEAM HAS, YOU KNOW, FOR PEOPLE WANTING TO COME DOWN TO BRICKTOWN, SPEND A NIGHT AT THE HOTEL MAYBE, COME OUT TO A BALLGAME, YOU KNOW, HIT SOME RESTAURANTS AND DO EVERYTHING THAT EVERYONE DOES IN BRICKTOWN, IT HAS A REALLY NEAT PULL.

ANDY:  MICHAEL BYRNES IS THE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER OF THE OKLAHOMA CITY REDHAWKS, AND SAYS FANS MAY NOT RECOGNIZE THE NEW LOOK OF THE CHICKASAW BRICKTOWN BALLPARK.

BYRNES:  WE HAVE 550 CLUB-LEVEL SEATS; AND SO, OUR SALES TEAM WAS ABLE TO GET THOSE SOLD OUT RIGHT AROUND THE FIRST OF FEBRUARY AS A SEASON TICKET PACKAGE.  ALONG WITH THAT, WE ADDED ANOTHER TICKET PACKAGE THAT WE CALL OUR LEGENDS LOUNGE; IT’S A SEASON TICKET AREA THAT PEOPLE HAVE FIELD SEATS OR LOWER-LEVEL SEATS AND IT GIVES THEM ACCESS TO SPACE ON THE CONCOURSE THAT HAS ALL INCLUSIVE FOOD, SOFT DRINKS, AND IT’S GREAT BALLPARK FARE.  IT’S A SPACE THAT WE REALLY DRESSED UP AND PUT INVESTMENT INTO THIS YEAR TO GIVE IT A NEW LOOK AND FEEL.

ANDY:  AND THERE’S PLENTY OF SEATING FOR EVERYONE IN THE FAMILY; AND FROM THE FIELD SECTION, YOU CAN SPOT A FLY BALL OR CATCH A HOMERUN WAY OUT HERE WHERE I’M AT, IN GENERAL ADMISSION.  EITHER WAY, YOU WON’T BREAK THE BANK.

AND WITH THEIR LARGE INVESTMENT INTO THE STADIUM, COMES OPPORTUNITES FOR OKLAHOMA WORKERS.

BYRNES:  WE’VE GOT 32 FULL-TIME STAFF THAT OPERATE THE BALLPARK AND ALL THE SALES AND MARKETING RELATED TO THAT ON A FULL-TIME BASIS.  AND THEN ON A GAME NIGHT, ONCE WE GET PEOPLE IN THE PARK, WE’VE GOT SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 50 AND 70 USHERS AND TICKET TAKERS AND PARKING ATTENDANTS.  AND THEN, OUR CONCESSION STANDS ARE OPERATING AT A HIGH-LEVEL, SO THEY’VE GOT ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE ON THAT SIDE; SO, CLOSE TO 100 PLUS PEOPLE.

ANDY:  ASIDE FROM JOB CREATION, THE REDHAWKS TURNED UP THE HEAT WHEN IT COMES TO FOOD CHOICES FOR THEIR FANS.

BYRNES:  WE HAVE A NEW PARTNER ON THE FOOD AND BEVERAGE SIDE; IT’S A GROUP CALLED PROFESSIONAL SPORTS CATERING.  THROUGH THAT RELATIONSHIP WE’VE REALLY TAKEN A HARD LOOK AT EVERYTHING ON THE CONCESSIONS OPERATION.  SO WHAT THAT LED TO WAS ABOUT A SEVEN-FIGURE INVESTMENT ON THE WHOLE LOOK AND FEEL OF THE CONCESSION STANDS.  SO NEW BRICK FAÇADE ON ALL THE STANDS, NEW SIGNAGE AND MENU BOARDS THAT GO ALONG WITH THAT, AND THEN A LOT OF NEW EQUIPMENT TO SUPPORT NEW MENU ITEMS AND SOME OF THE THINGS THEY’VE ADDED IN THAT EXPERIENCE.

ANDY:  AND FOR REDHAWKS FAN, SHEILA SPOONER, SHE SAYS THE ADDITIONS ARE.

SHEILA SPOONER:  VERY NICE, WE’RE OUT SAMPLING RIGHT NOW.

CROWD:  CHEERING!!

BYRNES:  IF WE CONCENTRATE ON FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT AND CUSTOMER SERVICE, THEN WE’RE GOING TO BE DOING GREAT THINGS.  AND I THINK THAT REALLY IMPACTS ALL THE PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY IN THIS REGION OVER THE COURSE OF THE SUMMER, AND THAT’S WHAT’S FUN FOR US.

ANDY:  UNTIL NOW THE STADIUM HASN’T HAD ANY WORK DONE SINCE IT WAS FIRST CONSTRUCTED IN 1998; SO WHEN THE REDHAWKS DECIDED TO REMODEL, THEY ENLISTED SOME LOCAL HELP.  THE LEGENDS LOUNGE WAS DESIGNED ENTIRELY BY A GROUP OF STUDENTS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL OKLAHOMA.

ROB:  SO WITH ALL THE RENNOVATIONS, IS IT EXPENSIVE TO CATCH A GAME?

ANDY:  ACTUALLY, ROB, IT’S NOT; THE CHEAP SEATS ARE ONLY $5 AND BOX SEATS ARE JUST 15, SO IT’S A CHEAP NIGHT OUT FOR THE FAMILY AND THE FOOD IS REALLY GOOD TOO.

ROB:  WELL IT CERTAINLY LOOKED THAT WAY.  THANK YOU A LOT, ANDY.