The Tulsa Drillers (Class AA; Texas League) are hoping to move past a ONEOK Field sophomore slump with some new ballpark features, including a splash pad, and some clever promotions.
The clever promotions begin Sunday (no offense to Myron Noodleman, who was there last night at the season opener) with a grow your own bat event, where fans exiting the ballpark will receive a sapling.
That's good for a night, but the season is a long slog. The Drillers did well in the first year of ONEOK Field in 2010, then saw attendance drop by some 40,000 fans in 2011. Bad early-season weather was partly to blame; the inevitable dropoff in a second year of a new ballpark was also a factor.
Plus, there was one constant complaint from fans: the ballpark was too hot, especially during the hot summer months.
So the Drillers are stepping things up with a big ballpark improvement: a splash zone was added for fans of all ages to cool off in the course of a game. That should help, especially in drawing families to the ballpark.
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