Bricktown Ballpark. I know it’s a name that is endeared in the community. Many of you do as well. But once again, there’s an effort to do away it. First we saw Southwestern Bell Park. The city revolted. Then there was a compromise offered by the owners of the RedHawks – Southwestern Bell Bricktown Ballpark – that was accepted and embraced. Then onto SBC Bricktown Ballpark, then on to AT&T Bricktown Ballpark.
All along there has been a quiet understanding – keep the name Bricktown Ballpark and everything will be fine.
Now the fad of corporations paying big bucks for naming rights is over (aren’t we all excited about the improvements over at “Oklahoma City Arena”?). The RedHawks were bought by out-of-town owners, Mandalay, and they are making changes as detailed in today’s Oklahoman.
Welcome to RedHawks Ballpark. This is a move by owners who may or may not realize the change in name from the Oklahoma City ’89ers to RedHawks back in 1998 itself wasn’t the most popular move. But no matter. The new owners also are closing off the upper deck that gave residents pride in this new stadium – one that may be minor league, but thanks to the seating capacity and the upper deck, just felt major league.
I suspect that if a survey were to go out, neither change would get a ringing endorsement by local baseball fans or the community at large. But maybe I’m wrong. We’ve seen the out-of-towners come into town making such changes before – there are those who would say just look at First National Tower as example of owners who charted new directions based on their own views of the world, locals be damned, and then faced the consequences later on.
What do you think?