More than a few eyebrows were raised in the baseball world after only one firm bid on the construction contract for a new Tulsa Drillers ballpark — and, as it turns out, some city councillors were wondering how that happened.
More than a few eyebrows were raised in the baseball world after only one firm bid on the construction contract for a new Tulsa Drillers (Class AA; Texas League) ballpark — and, as it turns out, some city councillors were wondering how that happened.
The financing and construction of the ballpark is happening under extremely closed circumstances. The Tulsa Stadium Trust is financing a $60 million project that includes a $39.2-million, 6,200-seat ballpark for the Drillers, thanks to $25 million from the Tulsa Community Foundation, issued through Bank of Oklahoma.
The Tulsa Community Foundation is also building the ballpark; it is a partner with Manhattan Construction Co. (which donated $1 million to the ballpark) in Tulsa Stadium Construction Co. LLC, which was the sole bidder for the construction contract. In these lean times, the fact a major ballpark construction process received only a single bid for a large project is a little surprising and leads one to ask if the bidding criteria was overwhelmingly stacked toward one vendor.
In a meeting before the Tulsa City Council yesterday, Trust officials said everything was aboveboard and designed to provide the best ballpark at the lowest cost. Indeed, it’s hard to see how anyone is getting rich off this deal. Manhattan Construction Co. is receiving a 2 percent fee and embarking on a design-build process for the new ballpark.
RELATED STORIES: Design-build process laid out for new Tulsa ballpark; Final financing approved for new Drillers ballpark; Banks: No thanks to financing Tulsa ballpark; Land acquired for Drillers ballpark site; Tulsa council to vote on ballpark bonds; Drillers, Tulsa finalize new-ballpark lease
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