Oklahoma State University‘s upcoming ballpark has a name, as it will be known as O’Brate Stadium.
The complex, which is set to open in 2020, is named after Cecil O’Brate, who gave $35 million toward the project. The name of the new stadium becomes official on approval by the OSU Board of Regents.
Born in Enid, Okla., O’Brate attended Oklahoma State (then-known as Oklahoma A&M) from 1946-48 and went on to a career as a self-made serial entrepreneur. He is the owner, developer, and operator of multiple businesses in numerous and diverse industries such as agriculture, banking, manufacturing, energy, hospitality, real estate, alternative energy, medicine, and food science.
“We’re so grateful to Cecil O’Brate, and we’re honored to have his name connected with our baseball program in this way,” said Oklahoma State Athletic Director Mike Holder. “He has achieved great personal and professional success, yet he has such a humble and unassuming way about him. He is a true Cowboy and has made a massive difference for us because without him, we’d still be trying to figure out how to get a new baseball stadium built.”
One of college baseball’s most revered programs, Oklahoma State has made 44 trips to the NCAA Tournament, 20 trips to the College World Series and boasts 32 conference championships, including the 2017 Big 12 title. In Robin Ventura and Pete Incaviglia, the Cowboys claim two of the greatest college baseball players of all time. More recently, OSU has made six-straight trips to the NCAA tournament, with Super Regional appearances in 2014 and 2016 and a College World Series trip in 2016.
“OSU has always had a special place in my heart,” O’Brate said. “My time at what was then Oklahoma A&M provided a strong foundation for the successes I have achieved over the years. I am honored to give back to the university that gave me my start 70 years ago. When I look at OSU today, I see a university that continues to enrich and inspire students. These students will carry the traditions and heart of OSU out into the world. For that reason, I am proud to give to OSU and the new generations of Cowboys. Go Pokes.”
O’Brate Stadium will be located at the northeast corner at the intersection of Washington Street and McElroy Road. Inspired by Boone Pickens Stadium, the new home of the Cowboys has several amenities that cater to players and fans alike. The complex will include approximately 3,500 permanent seats, 13 suites and 400 premium seats in designated club and suite areas. Seating can be expanded to 8,000 as needed.
A playground area and an outfield plaza space highlight the new family-friendly concepts incorporated into the design. The concourse area encompasses the entire playing field and features restroom and concession stands down the first-base and third-base lines, plus restrooms and spaces for temporary options such as food trucks in the outfield. Other features of the concourse area are tailgating tents, refreshment areas down both the right field and left field lines, a dedicated student section with special loge seating and terrace seating in the outfield that will serve families with young children and groups looking for space and the ability to move around freely while watching games.
“This is a dream come true,” said OSU baseball coach Josh Holliday. “This facility allows us to attract the very best players from Oklahoma and from around the nation. We are thankful to Mr. O’Brate for giving us the opportunity to offer our players and loyal fans the most amazing college baseball experience in the country. Our program has a very proud history and this facility allows us to create new traditions that will help us as we build for the future.”