Though their lease does not expire until after the 2023 season, the Oklahoma City Dodgers (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) are already seeking a longer term agreement.
Work has been completed in recent years to spruce up Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, which first opened in 2000. Perhaps the most notable upgrade was that of a new videoboard, which was first announced by the time this summer and installed earlier this month.
Those the improvements have certainly made the ballpark more viable for the duration of the lease, but the Dodgers have made it clear that they want to stick around a little longer. As part of a reworked agreement, the Dodgers would a agree to a 10-year deal. In addition the lease would contain three five-year options.
One of the major contingencies of this deal coming together is control of a nearby parking lot, a parcel east of Joe Carter Avenue and north of Reno Avenue that has long been eyed for development. As part of the terms of the lease, the city would be free to attract a developer for the lot while the Dodgers continued to operate the space until a developer is found. According to Dodgers president Michael Byrnes, the proposal suits the team. More from NewsOK:
“We’re baseball team operators, not developers,” Byrnes said. “It makes sense for people who have expertise in that world take a look at it, figure out a higher and better use.”
As part of the agreement, the city promises to work with the team on replacing any parking that might be lost if the lot is developed. Anderson said the parking might be provided as part of any mixed-use development, or it could involve a new garage built on a surface parking lot adjoining the east end of the ballpark.
“We want to make sure getting to the ballpark and the guest experience is safe.” Byrnes said. “The city has always been good partners and we have faith they will continue in that regard.”
The lease will be heard by the city’s Public Property Authority on Tuesday. If the Authority approves the agreement, it will take effect on September 30.