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Official Review by Bill Kintner, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
If you are a baseball fan you have to love a ballpark located on Mickey Mantle Way. They have done a nice job of honoring Oklahoma's baseball heritage with beautiful statues of Oklahoma's very own Johnny Bench, Warren Spahn and Mickey Mantle located right outside the ballpark. Those statues should get any fan in the mood for baseball, in this case, Pacific Coast League AAA baseball. There are also plaques honoring many other MLB players that are from Oklahoma, which are a unique feature.
The ballpark originally opened as Southwestern Bell Bricktown Ballpark. In 2006 it was then renamed AT&T Bricktown Ballpark following the merger of Southwestern Bell and AT&T. In 2012, it was briefly renamed Newcastle Field at Bricktown, but was quickly again renamed Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark before the 2012 season.
It was built as a 13,066 seat ballpark, but that was a little too big, so the RedHawks covered almost 4000 seats in the upper deck, which provided them with advertising opportunities on the large seat covers.
The ballpark is host to the Big 12 Baseball Tournament; it is also home to two games of the Bedlam Series that pits the Oklahoma Sooners and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. It used to host the annual AAA Baseball National Championship Game when it was called The Bricktown Showcase between the International League and Pacific Coast League to determine the overall AAA Champion. Now the game is put out to the highest/best bidder to host each year.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Bring your wallet folks, this will not be cheap. If you like hot dogs, you are in luck, they have a hot dog stand that features hot dogs from various major league cities and that includes a Cincinnati Cheese Coney, Wrigley Dog and several others for $4-$5 each. They offer all the basics including popcorn, nachos, ice cream and hamburgers, all of it for $4-$7. I like the option of going upstairs to Coach's and sitting on the balcony and enjoying real sports bar food. Coach's is located down the third base line.
It is minor league baseball, but it is a big ballpark, with high prices and it somewhat reminds me of attending a major league baseball game too.
Fans enter on the main concourse level where they can walk down to most of the seats. There is an upper deck with luxury boxes and seating on the third base side. The views are good from any seat. Out in left field fans can sit in bleacher seating, where they will have plenty of room on most nights to stretch out and maybe even catch a home run ball. The concourse goes around the entire field. Fans can also find seating on the grass berm in the outfield where there is a small play area for the kiddies, which works out well for parents because they can watch their kids and see the game at the same time.
It was hot as heck the night I attended and fortunately there are plenty of seats in the shade. There is a huge area in the shade that pretty much covers all of the foul territory. The RedHawks mascot, "Cooper," was active all over the ballpark and happy to pose for a picture or high-five a fan.
The stadium is located right on the edge of the Bricktown area of Oklahoma City. This is a neat area of town that has a ton of food and entertainment options that should appeal to a wide range of personal tastes.
When it is time to shovel in some food, there is a restaurant attached to the ballpark called Coach's. It is casual dining with a menu that includes steaks, BBQ, pulled pork sandwiches and pizza all for around $9 or so. They are also known for their selection of hand-crafted beers. There are big screen TVs everywhere along with sports collectables on the walls, or fans can sit on an outside terrace, chow down and watch the ballgame. You can't go wrong here.
The Bricktown Brewery is located in a restored warehouse right in the heart of Bricktown. In addition to serving a large variety of suds, they have burgers and sandwiches in the $7-$9 range, salmon and catfish for $13-$17 and even ribs for just under $20 a rack.
Tap Werks Ale House and Cafe is billed as the oldest tap house in Oklahoma, so I guess they are doing something right. They are also located in Bricktown and offer 212 taps and over 100 bottled beers and it is a self-styled Olde English Pub, hopefully minus the bad food associated with English Pubs. They serve pizza, burgers ($7-$9), wraps ($6.50), and sandwiches ($8-$10). They have a little chicken, fish and pasta too.
The fans were what I expect at a minor league game. They wear the team apparel, make noise and they include tons of children. I can't say there was anything about them that stood out, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
The ballpark is located just a few blocks off of I-40. There are several parking lots nearby that charge $3-$5. If you are a "Johnny Thin Wallet" like I am, then you are in luck, there are plenty of free parking spots on the streets that surround the ballpark.
On the more personal access end, fans will find plenty of restrooms and they are reasonably clean too.
Tickets are about average for AAA minor league baseball. They run $15 for field seats, $10 for bleacher seats, $7 for terrace seats and $5 for lawn seats. I think on most nights, the enterprising and frugal fan would buy a lawn ticket and then just plop down in a seat at some point.
The food prices seem a little high and parking is a bargain. So overall, fans get to see the next best thing in talent to Major League Baseball, at a reasonable price, with free or inexpensive parking. That is a good deal.
If a fan gets a lawn seat, parks on the street and eats outside the ballpark, then the game only costs $5 and that is outstanding. Add in $10-$15 for a decent meal in one of the restaurants in Bricktown and it is still a $20 evening.
I will award a star for the tip of the hat to Oklahoma baseball heritage outside and inside the park, a star for being in a cool location and a star for all the shade.
A pretty average venue, located in a cool neighborhood and a chance to see future major league players, that adds up to a pretty good experience. If you are in Oklahoma City during baseball season, get over Bricktown for a night of fun.
Member Review by pderrick on Oct 08, 2011
Bricktown is absolutely amazing I love this place. Unfortunately for the Redhawks fans they went from having one of the best products (Rangers AAA team) to having one of the worst (Astros AAA team). Still a great place to catch a game, I recommend Tapwerks there in Bricktown has a great selection of beers on tap.
121 East Sheridan Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
1 N Oklahoma Ave
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
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