Why not Drillers in the NASL?

Discussion in 'NASL Expansion' started by amancalledmikey, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. amancalledmikey

    amancalledmikey Member

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    Was looking at Drillers Stadium, the oft-mooted potential home of a Tulsa NASL franchise but I looked at the stadium and I don't think you could fit even a reasonable sized field on the current baseball field. Using the Daftlogic Google maps distance calculator, I can't get even a 108 x 60 yard pitch on there.


  2. wellington

    wellington Member

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    Re: Rumored NASL expansion cities

    Are you sure about that? They would need to tear down the outfield wall. Seems like there should be room.
  3. amancalledmikey

    amancalledmikey Member

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    Re: Rumored NASL expansion cities

    Actually, you're right. I flipped the pitch, the outfield wall would need to come down and the site be "squared off" to the corner of E 15th and S Yale. The pitch would be at least 100m long.

    I made a little image:
    [​IMG]

    The highlighted yellow structure would need to come down and the red line shows the new perimeter running alongside E 15th Street. On the new far side of the pitch, I took one side of Blackbaud Stadium, approximately 2,500 seats, and super-imposed it. I'm hoping it would work something like this that NUSSLI did at AT&T Park just bit smaller.

    [​IMG]

    Stick new dugouts in front of that and it looks mightily like the start of a stadium. The issue then would be the right field seats pointing the wrong way but until the site is rebuilt, which could happen if the team were a success over five years, this would make a neat 12,500 - 15,000 seat horseshoe stadium.
    soccersubjectively repped this.
  4. USRufnex

    USRufnex Member

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    Re: Rumored NASL expansion cities

    Hello. "Oft-mooted" here. Yawn.
    I believe the width could go to 65 or close to 70 yards.
    Problem is length more than width.

    I'm sorry to have not played around with google maps, but in the past couple of years, I have communicated with league officials, city of Tulsa officials, and Tulsa county officials... due to the history in this country of pro soccer being played at facilities designed for baseball, the field limitations are known issues... but there comes a point in time when beggars can't be choosers... the field at Chapman Stadium (formerly Skelly Stadium, where the Tulsa Roughnecks originally played in the 70s/80s) is narrower than the options available at the ballpark... my proposed idea of locating an NASL team at a 10k seat ballpark at the fairgrounds as a first tenant is reasonable, feasible, logical and rather popular politically...

    This 2002 interview while Tulsa was under consideration for a Major League Soccer team includes footage from games at Skelly Stadium but also from a 1985 game at the fairgrounds ballpark, 1:10 to 1:28... the pic you see below (before playing the video) is from the upper stands at baseball park....
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLy_CA-_fGg"]Interview with former Tulsa Roughnecks GM Noel Lemon - YouTube[/ame]

    Are there better fields available?... probably... but playing minor league soccer (D-3 USL) at a low profile high school football stadium failed here fifteen years ago and failed again for a pro women's soccer team (W-League) about twelve years ago... the soccer/track & field stadium at the University of Tulsa has stands on only one side, can barely accommodate 1,000 fans, and has poor parking options... there's no real room for expansion and I seriously doubt the University would be interested in expanding the stands for the NASL...


  5. amancalledmikey

    amancalledmikey Member

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    Re: Rumored NASL expansion cities

    As you can see, I've had a change of heart...
  6. USRufnex

    USRufnex Member

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    Re: 4 Rumored Cities

    A couple of things are conspicuously missing that keep the idea from coming to fruition: deep pocketed and committed ownership and..... revenue streams.

    I believe it was a stretch for Tulsa's WNBA ownership group (spearheaded by a couple of OKC people with connections to the Thunder) to commit enough local money to move a team here from Detroit at a cost of around $7 million?, while also combining to have an ownership stake in a Tulsa Talons team in the recently re-organized Arena Football League... IMHO a committed owner of an NASL team could do much better than the Tulsa Shock WNBA team... but it is the ability to sell luxury suites at the high profile BOk Center that sealed the WNBA/AFL deal, and ultimately seals the teams' fates.... and the deep pockets in that ownership group have already made the choice of backing the WNBA Shock over the arguably more popular Tulsa Talons arena football team, who were sold to a group that moved the team to San Antonio this year...

    I had been contacted a couple of times by Cameron Box Sports (the OKC group that operates the WNBA and Arena Football teams) a couple of years ago regarding the idea of bringing an NASL team to Tulsa... unfortunately I had to tell them that a pro soccer team playing at the old ballpark on the fairgrounds not only would have no BOk Center or Oneok Park corporate suites at their disposal, but that the powers that be (a certain douchebag county commissioner) also insisted they would have zero control over concessions, that 100% of concessions sales would go to the county, and that a prospective team would NEVER get the sweetheart lease deal the ballclub got when they were there... strike one... strike two... strike three... three deal breakers and you're out... so I gave up on the idea.

    But the idea is still a popular one here... a local entrepenuer who opened a couple of restaurants downtown and a tshirt shop specializing in all things Tulsa (you can get a Tulsa Roughnecks tshirt there) is now on the city council. His district includes both downtown Tulsa and the fairgrounds and he is pretty big on soccer... I was at his victory party....

    http://www.tulsaworld.com/business/article.aspx?subjectid=32&articleid=20120315_32_E1_CUTLIN316739

    .....now if I can only convince him that the NASL is "the girl who will be the hottest in 10 years." :D

    Wish me luck.
  7. USRufnex

    USRufnex Member

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    Re: Rumored NASL expansion cities

    No worries.
    Just wanted to communicate from my perspective that field dimensions are the least of pro soccer's feasibility problems in Tulsa right now....
  8. wellington

    wellington Member

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    Re: Rumored NASL expansion cities

    Nicely done! Ideally the field would run north to south, but that road to the north is very close to the field. Maybe compromise the width of the field a bit, take out some of the seats in the right field, and it may be possible to squeeze in a north to south configuration. This would also give more space for a bigger grandstand running down the side of the field (in the current out field). Maybe a pipe dream, but definitely fun to play around with it.

    USRufnex -- is the stadium currently used for anything?
  9. USRufnex

    USRufnex Member

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    Re: Rumored NASL expansion cities

    There was a youth baseball type thingy... trying to find a link... not sure if they're doing it this year...... otherwise, nothing... nada... a proposal to do midget car races there got shot down... http://www.tulsaworld.com/opinion/a...ticleid=20100424_61_A20_Anaeri696528&allcom=1
    ...found it...
    http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/arti...cleid=20101222_16_A5_CUTLIN463825&archive=yes

    Ironically, the county currently gets zero $$$ in concessions since the use doesn't dictate setting up concessions.... so 100% of nothing is nothing... splitting concessions with a pro soccer team would be far more lucrative than... well... anyway... two of three county commissioners were on board and would be thrilled to see the soccer team idea get going... Noel Lemon from Mundial Sports Group to the white courtesy phone, Noel Lemon to the white courtesy phone please....
  10. amancalledmikey

    amancalledmikey Member

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    Re: Rumored NASL expansion cities

    Is Noel Lemon still knocking around? Until the county is willing to play ball on the concessions, the stadium is just going to gather dust. It's a shame because with San Antonio in the league, it would be an excellent expansion idea. OKC too, though I imagine that's a million miles away.
  11. TheHun

    TheHun Member

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    Anyone have a complete listing of the 1985 Exhibition season for the Tulsa Roughnecks ?

    I am told they played 7 matches.
  12. AndyMead

    AndyMead BjgSoccer Muderator

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    Dave Litterer, Roger Allaway, and Dave Brett Wasser would be my first contacts if you want to find out something like that.
  13. USRufnex

    USRufnex Member

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    Haven't been able to pin it down. Will try the downtown library this week... worth a try. Pretty sure they played Houston and San Jose, among others....
    This 2002 interview while Tulsa was under consideration for a Major League Soccer team includes footage from 1985 game at the fairgrounds ballpark, 1:10 to 1:28...
    And a little fun....
  14. brentgoulet

    brentgoulet Member

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    Houston Dynamo (2-1 win), Independiente (1-2 loss), Sheffield Utd plus 4 other games
  15. USRufnex

    USRufnex Member

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    I spent about an hour re-learning how to use microfilm at the library. Because the Tulsa World newspaper internet archives only go to 1989, I skimmed though April/May of 1985 microfilm to try and find their 1985 schedule. It's hard to even find Tulsa people who have access to this info because the Roughnecks were literally changing schedules week by week (Everton was going to be the Roughnecks opening day match for 5/25/85).... I'm gonna spend most of today trying to find the 6-7 games (need to update my website anyway)....

    The fun part of looking through the old newspaper info was finding out the Tulsa World gave the team(s) just as favorable media coverage in '85 (with Noel Lemon again manipulating the media) as the local media had been in covering the team the previous seven years.... when Noel signed Winston Dubose in late April, it made the first page of the sports section, ditto for when they signed Billy Caskey.... I'm finding pro soccer articles 2-3 times per week in April of 1985 before a single game had been played...

    The ASL/USL Oklahoma City Slickers (coached by Mr. Warmth's favorite, Brian Harvey) moved to Tulsa in 1985 and somehow secured Skelly Stadium for their games... given a choice between going to a larger football stadium to see Delroy Allen in goal, Zequinha playing striker and Brian Harvey as coach versus going to the minor league ballpark to see Winston Dubose in goal, Billy Caskey upfront and Soccer Bowl winning coach Terry Hennessey, guess where the fans went?

    It's sad to realize that in the season after the NASL died, Tulsa actually had TWO outdoor pro teams in direct competition against each other, a USL team playing at a 41k capacity football stadium and a team without a league playing in a AA minor league ballpark...

    Later gator.
    kenntomasch repped this.
  16. brentgoulet

    brentgoulet Member

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    this must have been awful for the fans, less than 2 years after winning the soccerbowl 83 ending up playing friendlies in a AA minor league ballpark

    but anyway, you can the 1985 Tulsa Roughnecks schedule through "nasljerseys.com", though I don't know if they really played all those games
  17. USRufnex

    USRufnex Member

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    Tulsa World, Sunday, May 26, 1985
    FANS STAND TO WATCH ROUGHNECKS FALL, 2-1
    By Charlie Smith of the World Staff
    THE TULSA ROUGHNECKS sold every ticket printed and, managing general partner Noel Lemon estimated, several hundred more standing room only tickets.
    Hence, without question, Saturday night's sellout soccer crowd of 8,251 in County Stadium overshadowed the Roughnecks' home opener, a 2-1 loss to world club champion Independiente of Argentina.
    "I didn't expect a sellout," admitted Lemon, who delayed the start of festivities for more than an hour in order to accommodate the crowd.

    TORNADO'S CLIP EL PASO JUAREZ AS 450 WATCH
    By C.C. Cloutier of the World Staff
    AN ESTIMATED Skelly Stadium crowd of 450 was on hand Saturday to watch the Tulsa Tornado's win their second United Soccer League game at home, with a 3-1 victory over El Paso-Juarez.
    Team officials announced a paid attendance of 1,472.

    Here's the requested info for the 1985 Tulsa Roughnecks:

    1985 Exhibition Season Record: 8 wins, 2 losses, 1 tie

    5/18/85 Houston Dynamo 1, Tulsa 2 Attendance: 2,711 Lamar Univ Stadium (Beaumont, TX)
    5/25/85 Tulsa 1, Independente of Argentina 2 Attendance: 8,251 County Stadium (Tulsa)
    5/29/85 Tulsa 0, Sheffield United 1 Attendance: 3,819 County Stadium (Tulsa)
    6/1/85 Houston Dynamo 2, Tulsa 2 Attendance: 2,011 Butler Stadium (Houston)
    6/8/85 Tulsa 2, FC Portland 1 Attendance: 3,216 County Stadium (Tulsa)
    6/19/85 Tulsa 2, Linfield (N. Ireland) 1 Attendance: 1,821 Taft Stadium (Okla. City)
    6/21/85 Tulsa 4, Cleveland Force 0 Attendance: 2,112 County Stadium (Tulsa)
    6/22/85 Tulsa 4, Linfield (N. Ireland) 0 Attendance: 3,327 Skelly Stadium (Tulsa)
    ***6/22/85 The New York Cosmos cancelled the last seven of its 10-game exhibition schedule for 1985 due to lack of funds.
    6/30/85 Tulsa 3, San Jose Earthquakes 1 Attendance: 3,123 County Stadium (Tulsa)
    ***7/1/85 Home match against the Cuban National Team is cancelled at last minute
    7/1/85 Tulsa 2, Houston Dynamo 0 Attendance: 2,831 County Stadium (Tulsa)
    7/13/85 Tulsa 4, Minnesota Strikers 3 Attendance: 4,357 County Stadium (Tulsa)
    ***7/20/85 Home match against the Chicago Sting is cancelled after team is dissolved

    7/15/85 Roughnecks Threaten Walkout Over Money.... Quote from Noel Lemon:
    "I want to know if the players are walking out, where are they walking to."
    7/18/85 Coach Quits; Roughnecks Free Squad.... from Tulsa World: "Although the North American Soccer League suspended operations, the team tried to survive with and exhibition schedule. However, most of the top teams on the scedule failed to appear at Tulsa County Stadium. Despite losing only two of 11 starts, there was little fan support past opening night when the Roughnecks drew over 8,000 for their match with world club champion Independiente of Argentina. The next best attendance was the 4,357 the team drew Saturday night. The big blow was a no-show by the Cuban National team on July 1. That game, since Pepsi Cola was footing the expenses, would have probably filled the stadium, netting around $40,000..."
  18. brentgoulet

    brentgoulet Member

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    Interesting, the Minnesota Strikers played an outdoor game in 1985
  19. Bluesfan

    Bluesfan Member

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    The Cleveland Force too! Interesting that the Rowdies (who also played a few exhibitions that summer) didn't hook up with any other ex=NASL clubs like the Roughnecks for some games in 1985. I believe they only played a few foriegn clubs and the US Olympic team.
  20. USRufnex

    USRufnex Member

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    I understood that when the ballpark was built in 1981, it only held 4,500. However, digitalballparks.com quotes a 4,800 seat capacity, while the Tulsa World in 1985 quoted stadium capacity at 5,000 but the '85 team had 7,981 printed tickets for the opener....

    The stands juxtaposition to the field was a strict 90 degree angle, making for a wider pitch for soccer (70+ yds)....
    http://www.digitalballparks.com/Texas/Drillers_640_33.html
    One set of bleachers down the third baseline....
    http://www.digitalballparks.com/Texas/Drillers_640_10.html
    The first baseline had berms without any grandstands....
    http://www.digitalballparks.com/Texas/Drillers_640_7.html
  21. USRufnex

    USRufnex Member

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  22. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

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    US Nats in 1985. QPR represented the Rowdies for the four-game set against Glentoran, Dundee United, the Canadian National Team and the "NASL All-Stars" in 1986. All but the match against the NASL All-Stars (on 7/4/1986) drew horrible crowds.
  23. AndyMead

    AndyMead BjgSoccer Muderator

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    Sounds like the two "WUSA Festivals" from 2004 that the NSHOF counts as a "season" with regards to Hall of Fame eligibilty.
  24. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

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    Obviously, by that point, the Rowdies didn't have any actual players left, so they had to make do. QPR filled the bill.
  25. brentgoulet

    brentgoulet Member

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    I believe some former Rowdies (Dubose, Wegerlee,...) joined the party

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