Photos by Dave Cottenie, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.29
Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Year Opened: 1998
Baseball in Oklahoma City dates back to 1904 with the Oklahoma City Metropolitans. One of the oldest Minor League Baseball cities in the country, Oklahoma City’s modern baseball venture dates back to 1962 with the Oklahoma City 89ers of the American Association.
Named after the Land Run of 1889, the 89ers would immediately move to the Pacific Coast League in 1963 before returning to the American Association, where they would remain until the dispersal of the league after the 1997 season. It was in the AA where the 89ers would find their greatest success with league titles in 1963, 1965, 1992, and 1996.
The move to a new ballpark and return to the Pacific Coast League in 1998 would bring about the rebranding of the 89ers as the Oklahoma City RedHawks. In 2014, the RedHawks would be purchased, in part, by the Los Angeles Dodgers to become their Triple-A affiliate. The most current rebrand, to become the Oklahoma City Dodgers, came in conjunction with the Dodgers ownership stake. Beginning with the 2022 season, the Oklahoma City Dodgers were purchased by Diamond Baseball Holdings, which also owns twenty other minor league baseball teams.
Home for the Dodgers is Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Built in 1998 as Southwestern Bell Bricktown Ballpark, it has gone through several corporate names due to telecom mergers and renames. The current corporate sponsor is the Chickasaw Nation’s Newcastle Gaming Center. The ballpark is also home to the Bedlam Series, which pits Oklahoma against Oklahoma State in College Baseball, as well as the Big 12 Baseball Tournament.
Food & Beverage 4
Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark offers a solid collection of concession options. Smokies Sausage, Tacos y Nachos, Fowl Ball Chicken, and Dippin’ Dots all provide great concession options. The Flashpoint Grille, among other expected ballpark items, offers a ⅓ lb. cheeseburger and the official Dodger Dog.
Fans should consider trying the Sweet & Boozy Ice Cream or one of the iced tea options at HTea0. Pepsi products are found at the park and a flavor shot machine is in the market as well as Stubborn Soda. There are plenty of local beer options at the Garden Coop Ale Works Bar including the OKLA American Lager, branded for the Dodgers.
What would a ballpark in Bricktown, with the term Bricktown as part of the name be without brick? There are plenty of brown bricks that encompass the exterior of Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. There are three main entrances to the park, each of which features its legendary bronze statue. The Warren Spahn entrance is on the first base side and the Mickey Mantle entrance is on the third base side.
The home plate entrance is, of course, the domain of the bronze statue of Johnny Bench. The bronze busts of other players are outside of the third base entrance including Allie Reynolds, Pepper Martin, Carl Hubbell, Paul “Big Poison” Waner, Lloyd “Little Poison” Waner, “Bullet” Joe Rogan, and Bobby Murcer. Beautiful mosaic art can also be found at the Johnny Bench entrance. Past the Mickey Mantle entrance is a large statue of Jim Thorpe, which resides right outside the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, which is built right into the ballpark.
Inside the ballpark, fans are greeted with decent-sized concourses which lead to a 360-degree walking experience right around the ballpark. There are plenty more nods to Oklahoma baseball history with pictures and captions of other players including Joe Carter and Dodger greats Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler. Other displays of interest include an obligatory list of players who played in OKC who have gone on to the majors and the Oklahoma City Triple-A Baseball Hall of Fame.
The ballpark seating features two levels of green stadium seats, which although overdone throughout baseball, fit in with the Bricktown ambiance. The second level on the first base side, unfortunately, has the seats removed and gaudy advertising tarps cover the concrete steps. Some alternate seating includes berm seating in center and right field and the Budweiser Deck in left.
The video board in centerfield is good, but the baseball information on it is too small and difficult to read at times. The extensive ribbon past left field is unfortunately used almost entirely for advertisements. Bobby Murcer’s number 1 is retired alongside Jackie Robinson’s 42 on the wall in left field.
The gameday atmosphere is solid in Oklahoma City. Mascots Brix and Brooklyn can be found throughout the park interacting with fans and participating in promotions. Fireworks are a staple for Friday games and the promotions team does what one would expect. A highlight of the game is the singing of “Oklahoma” after “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in the seventh inning stretch. Periodically, the Dodgers rebrand to become Cielo Azul.
Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark is located in the Bricktown neighborhood of Downtown Oklahoma City, a sneaky great place to be. There are a plethora of dining options for pre or post-game food or drink within steps of the ballpark. Some options include Pearl’s Crabtown, Rodizio Grill, The Old Spaghetti Factory, Mickey Mantle Steakhouse, Whisky Chick’s, Dave’s Hot Chicken, and Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar.
There are also many tourist attractions in the area worth checking out. Touring the Oklahoma City canals on the Bricktown Water Taxi will bring fans through the Bricktown and Downtown areas. The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, OKC Underground, and Jim Thorpe Museum are all also within minutes of the ballpark by foot. Finally, having a look at the Stockyard City area is a must as well as eating at Cattlemen’s. For other sporting options, the Oklahoma City Thunder play adjacent to Bricktown at Paycom Center. The Oklahoma City Blue of the G-League also plays there.
For fans wanting accommodations near the ballpark, there are several major hotels within walking distance, including the Hyatt, Hilton, and Holiday Inn Express.
Minor League Baseball has traditionally received strong support in Oklahoma City and the Dodgers are no different. In 2022, the Dodgers averaged more than 5,600 fans per game. This ranked the Dodgers 22nd in Minor League Baseball and 5th in the Pacific Coast League.
At the time of writing, the attendance at Dodger games for the 2023 season has increased to over 5,800 fans per game. Located in the Southern United States, Oklahoma City does struggle with high temperatures during the summer months which can affect the number of bodies in the stands. Fans will often seek refuge in the shaded concourses rather than sit in the stands.
Getting to Bricktown in Oklahoma City is surprisingly easy. Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark is surrounded by Mickey Mantle Drive, Johnny Bench Drive, Joe Carter Drive, and Flaming Lips Alley and is just west of the junction of I-235 and I-40. There is plenty of parking in surrounding lots and garages with the large Joe Carter lot just across from the Warren Spahn plaza. The light rail traverses Bricktown right around the ballpark for those who wish to take public transit. Fans should consult the Embark OK and OKC Streetcar websites for rates, maps, and schedules.
Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark offers a 360-degree concourse and is easy to maneuver during the game and during peak movement times. The washroom facilities are also good for the crowd in attendance. With security protocols constantly changing in sports, Stadium Journey recommends consulting the Oklahoma City Dodgers website before heading out for the most up-to-date security information including bag policy, prohibited items, and security procedures. At the time of writing a clear bag policy was in effect.
Return on Investment 5
An Oklahoma City Dodgers baseball game offers great value for the sporting dollar. Tickets for the Dodgers begin at $15 for the third base, upper deck, which offers a terrific view. Tickets go up to $35 for the area behind the plate. Parking will cost $8 in one of the lots around the park and the concession experience is decent. The product on the field is solid and offers a good time for the entire family, which is what one would expect from Triple-A baseball.
An extra mark for the streets in the Bricktown area being named after Oklahoma celebrities. Fans will notice Mickey Mantle, Joe Carter, and Johnny Bench streets as well as Flaming Lips Alley and Kings of Leon Lane.
An extra mark for the underrated tourist offerings of Oklahoma City. Fans should not sleep in this city for a great weekend.
An extra mark for the original singing of “Oklahoma” from the Rodgers & Hammerstein production, a great way to break up the monotony of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
Although the branding of the Oklahoma City Dodgers is not ideal, the experience at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark is excellent. Baseball fans should put Bricktown on their baseball bucket list as they will not be disappointed.