One of the casualties of the college baseball season being scrapped was a delay in the debut of some fine new ballparks. At Oklahoma State, officials are looking at a fall event to celebrate the new home of the Cowboys, O’Brate Stadium.
This year was supposed to see the debut of a few new college ballparks, including O’Brate Stadium and U Conn’s Elliott Ballpark, with several other new facilities set for 2021 debuts, including a new University of Florida ballpark. The cancelation of the 2020 college baseball season was especially stinging for Cowboys fans: a big event filling the ballpark to its 8,000-fan capacity, highlighted with an appearance by former U.S. President (and former Texas Rangers owner) George W. Bush.
Right now there’s a tentative plan for a similarly big event this fall, but so much is up in the air: we don’t know when the state will allow mass gatherings, and we don’t yet know when fans will be ready to attend mass gatherings. From Tulsa World:
OSU may attempt to have a big-event ballpark opening during the fall, but only if health officials approve of the congregating of fans. When the gates are opened to the public for the first time, Holder understandably wants a full house.
OSU hasn’t determined what a fall event might look like. It could involve a one-game or multiple-game meeting with a nationally significant opponent. It could be an intrasquad exhibition. It’s impossible to formulate a plan when it’s impossible to know when a ballgame would be safe for the participants and 8,000 spectators.
O’Brate Stadium is set to feature approximately 3,500 fixed seats, along with 13 suites and 400 premium seats in dedicated club and suite areas. It will also feature modern player facilities, including a “training triangle” that offers an indoor facility, a pitching lab and an artificial turf infield that allows for practices to take place year-round regardless of the weather, helping to minimize wear and tear on the ballpark’s natural grass surface. Plans also call for a 7,400-square-foot clubhouse and player lounge, along with a nutrition center and a tiered-seating classroom. Another amenity is an operations center that will include a sports medicine area, additional training space, and a baseball-specific laundry center and equipment room.
Photo by Courtney Bay, courtesy Oklahoma State University.
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