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Author Topic: Oklahoma City FC will be playing the New York Cosmos, not Tulsa.  (Read 18101 times)
TulsaRufnex
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« on: June 18, 2013, 08:47:08 am »

Brad Lund granted two-year lease to Taft Stadium for soccer team
Former chief executive officer of the Oklahoma City Blazers plans to house a North American Soccer League team in the renovated stadium.
BY RHIANNON WALKER Staff Writer rwalker@opubco.com • Published: June 17, 2013

Quote
Brad Lund and Bob Funk Jr. faced off Monday at Oklahoma City Public Schools over the lease for Taft Stadium.

Both sides were allotted 15 minutes to present their arguments for why their company should receive the Board of Education's approval.

Funk, the owner and president of Prodigal LLC, implored the board to approve his request to use Taft as the home of a United Soccer League team. Lund, the managing partner of Sold Out Strategy, wanted the board to grant him the lease, so a North American Soccer League team could be housed at Taft.

After both sides presented and answered the questions of the board members who required clarification, the board deliberated its decision.

In a majority ruling, Lund was awarded the rights to Taft's two-year lease plus a renewal option.

“It's a big day for sports in Oklahoma City,” Lund said. “We're going to be bringing an extremely high level of world-class soccer to Taft Stadium. Personally it's a dream of mine. I grew up playing, I met my wife playing soccer, and it's a special, special day for Oklahoma City, not just soccer fans, but sports fans in general.”


Monday afternoon's school board meeting was not just a competition between two rival sports agencies; it was also a clash of the old and new hockey regimes in Oklahoma City.

Lund is the former chief executive officer with Express Sports who owned the Oklahoma City Blazers. During Lund's 16 seasons with Central Hockey League franchise, the Blazers had the best attendance average in all of minor league hockey (9,123), and on five occasions were ranked No. 1 in all of minor league attendance.

Funk Jr., is the current owner of the Oklahoma City Barons and the former co-owner of the Oklahoma City RedHawks. Funk was also the head of the Blazers ownership group. In 2010, it was announced that the Barons would be the Edmonton Oilers American Hockey League affiliate.


“(Prodigal Sport) are good people, and they had a very nice presentation, and we feel real fortunate,” Lund said.

Oklahoma City FC's inaugural season will take place at the conclusion of Taft's renovations in 2014. Once reopened, the stadium will host the revived New York Cosmos, which in its heyday featured soccer-legend Pelé on its roster.

Upon formal approval on July 25, 2013, Oklahoma City will become the smallest market in the NASL. The NASL is the second highest tier in the United States soccer pyramid, with 12 teams in its league.

Same story, this time with a few more details....  

Brad Lund and Bob Funk Jr. faced off Monday at Oklahoma City Public Schools over the lease for Taft Stadium. Both sides were allotted 15 minutes to present their arguments for why their company should receive the Board of Education's approval. Funk, the owner and president of Prodigal LLC, implored the board to approve his request to use Taft as the home of a USL team. Lund, the managing partner of Sold Out Strategy, wanted the board to grant him the lease, so a NASL team could be housed at Taft.

After both sides presented and answered the questions of the board members who required clarification, the board deliberated its decision.

In a majority ruling, Lund was awarded the rights to Taft's two-year lease plus a renewal option.

“It's a big day for sports in Oklahoma City,” Lund said. “We're going to be bringing an extremely high level of world-class soccer to Taft Stadium. Personally it's a dream of mine. I grew up playing, I met my wife playing soccer, and it's a special, special day for Oklahoma City, not just soccer fans, but sports fans in general.”

Monday afternoon's school board meeting was not just a competition between two rival sports agencies; it was also a clash of the old and new hockey regimes in Oklahoma City.

Lund is the former chief executive officer with Express Sports who owned the Oklahoma City Blazers. During Lund's 16 seasons with Central Hockey League franchise, the Blazers had the best attendance average in all of minor league hockey (9,123), and on five occasions were ranked No. 1 in all of minor league attendance.

Funk Jr., is the current owner of the Oklahoma City Barons and the former co-owner of the Oklahoma City RedHawks. Funk was also the head of the Blazers ownership group. In 2010, it was announced that the Barons would be the Edmonton Oilers American Hockey League affiliate.

“(Prodigal Sport) are good people, and they had a very nice presentation, and we feel real fortunate,” Lund said.

Oklahoma City FC's inaugural season will take place at the conclusion of Taft's renovations in 2014. Once reopened, the stadium will host the revived New York Cosmos, which in its heyday featured soccer-legend Pelé on its roster.

Upon formal approval on July 25, 2013, Oklahoma City will become the smallest market in the NASL. The NASL is the second highest tier in the United States soccer pyramid, with 12 teams in its league Lund projects the team will play 22 to 30 home games and has agreed to pay $4,500 per event at the stadium. The OKC Public Schools will receive 15 percent net paid in concessions, and OKC FC will earmark a $2 per ticket surcharge to support Fields and Futures benefiting Oklahoma City Public Schools.

A video board system was another addition Lund wanted to make to the renovated stadium. He explained it would enhance the fan experience for not only OKC FC's professional soccer games, but all prep sporting events at Taft, as well. Through its partnership with Fields and Futures, OKC FC will commit $100,000 toward upgrades to the proposed new score board.

As it stands, 50 percent of OKC FC's marketing efforts are focused within the Hispanic community, and it would continue to be proactive in Oklahoma City's communities by promoting diversity through soccer. Lund said he's already anticipating a strong showing from the city's most loyal group, the Red Dirt Brigade.

“That's the unique thing about soccer is the particular fan club,” Lund said. “There's one, and they're vibrant, and they're loud, and they're creative. (The Red Dirt Brigade) became organized in Seattle and Portland before they ever played one game, so we've already challenged (them) to show us what's next.”


Taft Stadium was completed as part of a New Deal project in 1934, and hosted football games for Northwest Classen and John Marshall. The stadium has played host to everything from All-State games to stock-car races.

In January, Oklahoma City Public Schools announced Taft Stadium would undergo renovations beginning in May. The Oklahoma City-landmark would undergo a 10-month, $9.7 million face-lift.

The makeover is being funded by the 2007 district-wide bond issue and other Oklahoma City Public Schools' funds.

As opposed to the 20,000 people the stadium can currently hold, the renovated stadium will hold only 7,500 people.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 09:10:16 am by TulsaRufnex » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2013, 08:50:32 am »

On TWITTER:

Foundation for OKCPS @FoundationOKCPS
Board clerk clarifies for Chair that the board needs to choose either Prodigal or Sold Out Strategies for leasing Taft Stadium
7:31 PM - 17 Jun 2013

 Foundation for OKCPS @FoundationOKCPS
Board votes 6-1 to approve to contract with Sold Out Strategies ... Massenat dissents.
7:41 PM - 17 Jun 2013

Foundation for OKCPS @FoundationOKCPS
Lund: Rent for $4500/game, 22-30 home games, 15% net paid to @OKCPS of concessions, labor will be shared, OKCPS retains all signage #OKC
7:08 PM - 17 Jun 2013


 Foundation for OKCPS @FoundationOKCPS
Lund: We'll earmark $2/ticket to Fields & Futures program - love Taft, but would like to earmark $100k to video board for cap improvement
7:09 PM - 17 Jun 2013



« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 08:58:52 am by TulsaRufnex » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2013, 02:45:25 pm »

FYI, here's the proceedings regarding playing pro soccer at a renovated Taft Stadium on NW23rd & Penn with a 7500 seat capacity... OKC had TWO groups lobbying for this, one led by Bob Funk Jr (Prodigal) selling OKCPS on the business model of USL PRO http://uslpro.uslsoccer.com/
...while Brad Lund from Sold Out Strategies http://soldoutstrategies.com/ sells OKCPS on the business model of the NASL  http://www.nasl.com/

FoundationOKCPS recorded live on 6/17/13 at 5:33 PM CDT
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/34506371

Bob Funk Jr. from Prodigal's USL PRO salespitch starts at 00:44:30 and runs for about 15 minutes plus another 15 minutes of Q&A...
Brad Lund's Sold Out Strategies' salespitch starts at 01:15:30 and runs about the same length...
If you feel like watching only one presentation, watch the second one....
NASL Commish Bill Peterson is in attendance and gives his thoughts... I believe that made a BIG DIFFERENCE in why the school board voted 6-1 in favor of the NASL.

***the NASL presentation was heavy on symbolism connected to its league history in the 70s & 80s and the legacy of the New York Cosmos and the prospect of playing them in OKC... Yet NOT ONE TIME was the city of Tulsa and our history and legacy with the Roughnecks ever mentioned.  NOT ONCE.   Angry

Taft Stadium
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 03:21:20 pm by TulsaRufnex » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2013, 03:24:34 pm »

Interesting historical note: Taft Stadium was once considered one of the top auto racing venues in the country for midget race cars.  Many future Indy 500 drivers raced there at one time or another from the late 1930's into the 1950's or '60's.
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2013, 07:10:14 pm »

Another interesting note:  the Oklahoma City Slickers (hmmm, is nickname "City Slickers" or "Slickers?)" played at Taft Stadium back in the day...
Sad, but I probably was at that game... oi, I'm old...

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OB15hzWuL4I[/youtube]

Terms for an expansion NASL team in Okie City:
Summary:

    $3M startup cost
    $2M-$3M annual operating cost
    They will invest $100K for a video board at Taft
    Will pay $3500 / game + % of concessions + $2/ticket to existing charity that helps underprivileged kids get free tickets (Wes Welker Foundation, I believe)
    Existing amateur (PDL / WPSL) teams will still exist and will also play at Taft.
    NASL team will start in 2015
    NASL is the 2nd tier league in the US, just below Major League Soccer
    Taft seats 7500. The amateur teams (OKC FC men/women) have been averaging 1200+ at OCU so far and the atmosphere is great.
    Will specifically target Latino population, perhaps even have some games at Capitol Hill stadium.
    NASL team will be named the Huh? (fill in the blank)
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« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2013, 02:45:13 pm »

Nice pics TulsaRufnex of our ancient old Taft Stadium which was built by the WPA in the 1930s.
 
You would think that a city of 1.3 million metropolitan area would have a decent outdoor facility within its city proper limits--well OKC has a lot to be desired.  

Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium is the only decent facility in the OKC metro area when it comes to an outdoor sports facility; it would take an act of congress to use this facility for anything other than OU football (excluding one time events).  Remember the Oklahoma Outlaws of the old USFL; they first tried to secure a lease to use then 75,000-seat Owen Memorial Stadium.  The university officials made it so difficult with their demands for stadium rent and a cut of food concessions that it would not have been profitable for the team to survive in OKC.  Tulsa's 40,000-seat Skelly Stadium was the best choice.  The league soon became history.

The North American Soccer League (NASL) is second to the MLS and it will not require the high operating costs of maintaining the strick standards within MLS.  I remember going to the Taft when the Oklahoma 'City Slickers' played there.  It was a nice family gathering; however, it couldn't hold a candle to the Tulsa Rufnex days in the old NASL and watching them bring down the mighty New York Comos.

I'm sure the NASL will be expanding.  Tulsa would be an excellent choice.   I still believe that Tulsa should be attempting to invest $150 million into a soccer specific stadium in attracting an MLS franchise and bring the state a top tier major league soccer franchise.


« Last Edit: June 22, 2013, 02:48:25 pm by Laramie » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2013, 02:32:29 pm »

I'm sure the NASL will be expanding.  Tulsa would be an excellent choice.   I still believe that Tulsa should be attempting to invest $150 million into a soccer specific stadium in attracting an MLS franchise and bring the state a top tier major league soccer franchise.

That would be great.  But $150 mil?  According to Wikipedia (so you KNOW it's true), FC Dallas stadium cost $93 mil in 2013 dollars.  It's a nice place.  I gues we could have a helluva place for $150m. 

Honestly, if I had won the Powerball back when it was 500 mil I was planning to try to lure a team here and build a stadium.  Even picked out a spot for it.  Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2013, 03:00:11 pm »

Didn't Oneok Field come in at around $40 million?
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« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2013, 10:51:13 pm »

The closest comparable is San Antonio's new 8,000 seat stadium built for the NASL ($35mil?), but expandable to Major League Soccer specs...
http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/scorpions/article/Scorpions-finally-have-their-8-000-seat-field-of-4429684.php
Quote
Hartman and Cornfield refused to reveal the final price for the privately funded stadium. A league source said a prospective NASL ownership group has drawn up plans for a 10,000-seat venue in a comparable market that would cost roughly $35 million.

In other news, Bob Funk Jr. evidently still has plans to bring a USL PRO team to Oklahoma City which would put it in direct competition with Brad Lund's NASL team...

Pro soccer: Oklahoma City expected to join United Soccer League
Prodigal LLC expected to bring in franchise despite arrival of NASL team in 2015.

BY RHIANNON WALKER, Staff Writer, rwalker@opubco.com • Published: June 28, 2013 [/i]
http://newsok.com/pro-soccer-oklahoma-city-expected-to-join-united-soccer-league/article/3857297

Quote
Five months ago, Oklahoma City learned it would be the home of a Premier Development League soccer team. On June 17, it learned a North American Soccer League team was in its future.

On Friday, the fight for professional soccer dominance in Oklahoma City continued, as Prodigal LLC announced that a United Soccer Leagues Pro team will begin play in Oklahoma City.

On Tuesday at 2 p.m., Prodigal LLC will formally announce its plans to bring a USL team to the city.


On June 17, Bob Funk Jr., the owner and president of Prodigal LLC, lost out on a two-year lease for Taft Stadium to Brad Lund, the managing partner of Sold Out Strategies.

In a majority ruling, the Oklahoma City Public Schools awarded the lease plus a renewal option to Lund, who is bringing in an NASL team to the city once Taft's renovations are completed in 2014. The NASL team will play its first game in the spring of 2015.

Upon formal approval on July 25, Oklahoma City will become the smallest market in the NASL. The NASL is the second-highest tier in the United States' soccer pyramid, with 12 teams in its league. The USL is the third-highest tier, while the PDL is the fourth-ranked tier.

When Funk was asked by the Board of Education if a USL team would be brought to Oklahoma City regardless if Prodigal LLC received the lease, Funk said yes.

Should a USL team be brought to the city, this would not be the first time Funk and Lund have squared off.

Funk currently operates the Oklahoma City Barons hockey franchise for the Edmonton Oilers. He is a former co-owner of the Oklahoma City RedHawks. Funk was also the president of Express Sports in 2008, a year before the Oklahoma City Blazers hockey team ceased operations.


Lund is the former chief executive officer with Express Sports, which owned the Blazers. During Lund's 16 seasons with the Central Hockey League franchise, the Blazers were ranked No. 1 in all of minor league attendance on five occasions.

In November 2008, Lund resigned as the CEO of Express Sports. In an article published by The Oklahoman on Jan. 2, 2009, he stated that “For the last nine months of my tenure, I wasn't happy. I didn't have the zest for the job, and I didn't always look forward to coming to the office every day.”

Here are the divisions of American soccer:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_soccer_league_system
1.  Major League Soccer
2.  NASL
3.  USL PRO
4.  NPSL & PDL (Tulsa is in NPSL and OKC has a team in PDL, both started play this year)
5.  USASA
« Last Edit: June 30, 2013, 11:02:06 pm by TulsaRufnex » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2013, 06:36:47 pm »

TulsaRufnex:

Brad Lund did one hell of a marketing job for Bob Funk Sr.,  when he was with the Blazers as GM (team averaged 9,000 per game).  He eventually got exhausted.  NASL and the USL will both be targeting Oklahoma City's untapped limited soccer market.  I would give the edge to Lund because of the fact that Taft will have undergone renovation and Lund has the skills and the marketing strategy advantage over Bob Funk Jr.

The Oklahoma City sports market is almost maxed-out.  Most of the efforts for marketing by Lund will be toward OKC's 110,00 hispanic population.

http://newsok.com/hispanic-population-increases-in-the-oklahoma-city-metro-area/article/3689173

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« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2013, 07:43:40 am »

Newsflash:  It's official... we now have a pi$$ing match between Funk Jr and Lund... and a lawsuit...

Soccer: Pro soccer's future in OKC will go through courtroom
In response to a “cease and desist” letter sent by the United Soccer Leagues, a lawsuit has been filed by a group wanting to bring a North American Soccer League team to the city.
BY RHIANNON WALKER, Staff Writer, rwalker@opubco.com • Published: July 1, 2013

http://newsok.com/pro-soccers-future-in-okc-will-go-through-courtroom/article/3858192

Quote
The lawsuit said: “ ... Mr. Jones, Ms. Clark, Mr. Lund and Mr. Ayala, each received a letter from the USL's attorneys threatening to sue each of them if they did not immediately abandon the idea of a NASL men's professional team in the Oklahoma City area. In addition to threatening to sue (the) plaintiffs, the USL has sent letters to both the board and Mr. McLaughlin.”

It's really strange.... from my perspective, the reason Lund would appear to have the upper hand (fans and the general public) is largely due to having a team in the USL right now. (Oklahoma City FC competes in the USL's Premier Development League)  If Lund had secured a team in Tulsa's league, the NPSL, then the USL wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

***TULSANOW FORUM OFFER***... if any of you want to be with the crazy group behind the south goal for the game tonight against Club America U20, I am offering $10 tickets at the tailgate starting at 5pm and online (PayPal) at http://tulsaroughnecks.com/Tulsa_Athletics_NPSL.php ... I am shutting down PayPal at approx. 2pm this afternoon.  Otherwise, tickets are available at the box office for $15 and $20.  Our supporters group will be entering the stadium in somebody's biga$$ military vehicle... not sure if that's the most politically correct idea for this particular game, but hey...  Cool

« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 07:47:37 am by TulsaRufnex » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2013, 02:16:43 pm »

So what is it that prevents Tulsa from having anything more than bottom tier minor league sports?  Double A baseball against a bunch of Texas suburbs, Double A hockey in the same boat.  Now an amateur soccer team that is doing well (including an announced crowd of 5700 for a friendly match last night that had no bearing on any standings), but why was the first step in a city with a metropolitan population of right around 1,000,000 starting at the very bottom rung?  And now OKC is awarded an NASL team with a stadium of 8,000 capacity?  The Athletics are getting 3000-4000 per game and showed last night that they can do significantly better if the competition is right.  And they're doing it without much promotion and with almost no coverage by the media (I've seen a few articles but not a single recap in the paper from last night's game).  Drillers stadium's capacity was 10,000, and the way the field is set up can do temporary bleachers in the outfield for a better view.  I sat down the old first base line last night behind the dugout and it was a fine view.  

Why is NASL seemingly not even an option for Tulsa?  Drillers Stadium could be fixed up a bit more and would be great for NASL to prove its viability with a long term hope of supporting a soccer stadium downtown.  Instead, I'm guessing were fourth tier for the long haul.  Hope I'm wrong and that there is some talks in the works to move up.  The Athletics games are a ton of fun and I've never really been a soccer fan until now.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2013, 02:18:53 pm by DowntownDan » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2013, 10:03:37 pm »

In Tuesday's online edition of Tulsa World, this story popped up... http://www.tulsaworld.com/article.a...ccer_team/20130703_235_B2_OKLAHO528112?subj=2
However, in Tuesday's print edition, the writer (from The Oklahoman) has some additional copy and quotes not found in any online versions of the story I've come across thus far...

Quote
     Over the next few months, Prodigal LLC will be talking to MLS clubs in Dallas, Houston, and Kansas City about keeping a regional affiliation. An affiliation between a Major League Soccer team could help Oklahoma City scout, recruit and field players for its new organization.
     A rivalry between Oklahoma City and Tulsa in soccer could be rekindled at some point in the future.
     John Allgood, Prodigal's Senior Executive Vice President of New Business Development, and USL President Tim Holt admitted they would like Tulsa added to the USL.
"Oh, absolutely," Allgood said. That is of keen interest to (Prodigal LLC) because regional rivalries are great, and so we have talked to USL Pro about their plans to do that."
     No timetable has been given and no deal has been set in place, but having USL Pro soccer in Tulsa is on Holt and the league's radar.
     "Certainly, we'll accelerate the process to get in there," Holt said. "Tulsa is absolutely a priority expansion market; what a great rivalry that would be between those two organizations. Both markets can absolutely support professional soccer at the highest ultimately, certainly at the USL Pro level from the outset."
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« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2013, 03:00:22 pm »

Whichever league gets Tulsa; the USL-Pro or NASL there won't be a stadium big enough in Tulsa to hold the interest generated with the right marketing mix.  

Tulsa is much bigger metro-wide now than when the Roughnecks played in 40,000-seat Skelly Stadium (currently Chapam).  In 1980 Tulsa had a metro population right at 750,000; now you have eclipsed 1 million.

I know Chapman (artifical turf) would not be an option for the MLS (requires grass); however does the NASL and/or USL Pro allow for playing on artificial turf?
« Last Edit: July 14, 2013, 03:03:35 pm by Laramie » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2013, 01:28:02 pm »

So what is it that prevents Tulsa from having anything more than bottom tier minor league sports?  ................

Why is NASL seemingly not even an option for Tulsa?  Drillers Stadium could be fixed up a bit more and would be great for NASL to prove its viability with a long term hope of supporting a soccer stadium downtown.  Instead, I'm guessing were fourth tier for the long haul.  Hope I'm wrong and that there is some talks in the works to move up.  The Athletics games are a ton of fun and I've never really been a soccer fan until now.

We appear to be in the catbird seat for this fight between Bob Funk Jr/USL Pro and Brad Lund/NASL... don't look now, but Funk Jr has a plan... seems that both leagues may have a heightened interest in Tulsa, at least for the short term...

Prodigal, ADG to build soccer stadium in Oklahoma City
BY RHIANNON WALKER, Staff Writer, rwalker@opubco.com • Published: July 16, 2013
http://newsok.com/prodigal-adg-to-build-soccer-stadium-in-oklahoma-city/article/3862781

Quote
Prodigal LLC announced today that it has formed a partnership with locally owned ADG, Inc. to design and build a soccer specific stadium in Oklahoma City to be the home of Prodigal's USL PRO franchise.
Beginning in Spring 2014, Prodigal will operate a USL PRO franchise in Oklahoma City. Several stadiums for game play for the first season are currently under consideration.

Prodigal and ADG are exploring multiple building sites for the stadium and are engaged in discussions about long-term strategy, location and design. Initial plans for the stadium call for it to seat 7,000, with the expansion capability of 20,000, which is the minimum size for a franchise to be considered to earn an expansion team in Major League Soccer (MLS).

“Part of the three-year long process to bring a USL PRO team to Oklahoma City was to explore the opportunity to build a soccer specific stadium in the metro area,” said Prodigal CEO Bob Funk Jr. “ADG has proven itself to be a company that can design and service award winning work. We look forward to working with ADG to design a stadium that can serve the needs of our USL PRO team, and also expand based on our long-term goal of bringing and MLS team to Oklahoma City.”

It will be interesting to see what happens in the next two to three years.
The Tulsa Athletics are in the NPSL which, along with the PDL, are leagues that have very short seasons to accommodate NCAA and NAIA student athletes on their rosters.
As much as I really love the local flavor of the team and the outstanding grassroots support, it's gotta be difficult to only have 8 revenue generating homes games (including Club America exhibition AND our home playoff game against 'Nooga).  Parking was STOOPID last Saturday night due to dozens of Winnebagos parked hapharzardly in the parking lots we use...

A full season as either USL Pro or NASL would give the team a full season extending through August (USL Pro) or have a split spring/fall schedule (NASL).
USL Pro has an expansion fee that last I checked was $250,000 while the NASL expansion fee is $1.5 million...
« Last Edit: July 16, 2013, 01:33:16 pm by TulsaRufnex » Logged

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Mission

 

"TulsaNow's Mission is to help Tulsa become the most vibrant, diverse, sustainable and prosperous city of our size. We achieve this by focusing on the development of Tulsa's distinctive identity and economic growth around a dynamic, urban core, complemented by a constellation of livable, thriving communities."
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Contact

 

2210 S Main St.
Tulsa, OK 74114
(918) 409-2669
info@tulsanow.org