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  • Oklahoma RedHawks
    Ballpark AT&T Bricktown Ballpark
    League Pacific Coast League
    Address 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr.
    Oklahoma City, OK  73104
    Telephone 405/218-1000
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    Oklahoma RedHawks - User Comments Add your own

    Where to sit -- 2001-06-28

    I have to agree with every thing that has already been said. But I think the best seating in the stadium is in the field boxes. Section 116 is next to the visiting dugout and in a direct line with third and first bases. You can actually carry on a conversation with the first baseman in lulls in the game.


    Bunch of stuff -- 2001-06-25

    The Southwestern Bell Bricktown Ballpark (which name thankfully lends itself to a colloquial nickname, "The Brick") is one of the newer and more impressive minor league ballparks. It is located in "Bricktown," the old industrial warehouse neighborhood just east of downtown Oklahoma City, which is dominated by 1920's-30's brick facade buildings, and has now been largely renovated to house a myriad of bars, restaurants, and entertainment attractions. The stadium was conceived and financed as the centerpiece of the "MAPS Project," a public tax initiative designed to spur further Bricktown development.

    In keeping with the area's theme, the stadium's facade is entirely brick, although with none of the detail typical of the more historical buildings. The South facade is relatively plain, housing only one ticket stand (which seems perennially unused). The southwest corner is more interesting, covered in local-themed mosaics, and the west facade features a dramatic overlook onto an artificial canal straddled by restaurnats and nightclubs (the other major feature of the MAPS redevelopment). Also prominent along the west side is a larger-than-life statue of Mickey Mantle, a Commerce, Oklahoma native.

    Even before you enter the stadium, this statute gives the visitor a hint of the ballpark's dominant theme. More than simply a place to play baseball, the stadium is meant as a shrine to Oklahoam baseball history. The entire interior is laden with posterworks dedicated to the history of Oklahoma baseball, including the most prominent members of the major leagues which hailed form the state (the list is quite impressive, including the aforementioned Mantle, Johhny Bench, Joe Carter, "Dizzy" Dean," Carl Hubbell, Allie Reynolds, Warren Spahn, Willie Stargel, Bobby Murcer, etc). The club and luxury suite levels also contain various displays of memorabilia from prior Oklahoma baseball teams.

    The stadium itself is average-sized for a AAA team (c. 11,000 seats), but it may feel bigger because of its two-deck design. The atmosphere is very open. The ground level concourse faces the field and lower bowl of seats without obstruction, with the services on the concourse being situated toward the back. This allows continuous viewing of game action, even when walking around the stadium. Large, open entry gates even allow for some limited views of the field from the street. The upper deck on the first base side wraps around the foul pole, even beyond where the lower seating stops. This provides at least some seats with views of the downtown skyline (which is generally unavailble, since the park lies east of downtown). The third-base side is dominated by an indoor restaurant with field views.

    The stadium was designed by HOK, about the most reputable sports desing firm. However, The Brick is not without flaws, mostly owing to the constant redesigns associated with a public constrcution project. Two public porches serate the upper-level stands and block regular seating views. These areas have therefore been roped off to avoid standing crowds from compunding the problem. This interruption to the upper-deck seating also creates the need for side railings, which do not point directly toward home plate. End seats on the upper deck therefore have an unnecessary obstruction to viewing. The side rails also have no lower lip, which allows debris to fall on fans below. The stadium would have been much better designed without any public porches.

    The main concourse on the first-base side is severely pinched by stairwells which access the upper deck (a cost-cutting alternative to a separate second-level concourse, as does exist on the third base side). This creates a significant traffic snarl at the east side of the concourse when attendance nears capacity.

    An additional light stauncheon is needed in the right field corner. The mounting for an additional light pole was constructed with the stadium, but the light pole itself was not installed (again, as a cost-cuting measure).

    In general, the field has has standard dimensions, although the wall contains all the unique facets and angles which, ironically, have become so ubiquitous in newer stadium designs. Bullpens are enclosed beyond the outfield wall; the home team's pen being slightly elevated in order to offer a better view of the game. The stadium concourse becomes an outfield sidewalk beyond the bleachers, which allows access to picnic areas and a grassy knoll for open seating. The backdrop consists of a closed portion of the knoll and a red-brick outcrop building; the existence of two colors in this backdrop no doubt creates a home field hitting advantage. The scoreboard and advertisement billboards are elevated beyond the outfield seating, which allows for a relatively undisturbed green outfield wall. This is a standard eight feet tall at most places except the right field corner, where the lack of lower bleachers allows for a mini-green monster.

    An undistinguished parking structure dominates the view immediately beyond the left field corner. It is not uncommon for people to watch the game from its upper levels. A humble suggestion on my part is that the stadium arragne for a light stauncheon atop the parking structure, in a tribute to the warehouse at Camden Yards. The left-center light stauncheon could then be moved to the mounting block in the right field corner.

    Anonymous therefore honest

    Where to sit -- 2001-06-04

    Everywhere is good


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