Big 12 baseball championship coming to Tulsa

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Updated: 9/26/2013 5:21 pm Published: 9/26/2013 5:20 pm

The Big 12 made it official: Tulsa will host the conference baseball championship in 2015.

The Tulsa Sports Commission, along with city leaders, made the announcement on Thursday OneOK Field.

“We compete with everybody about these bids and these events and I think no pun intended we will knock it out the park in 2015,” said Ray Hoyt with the Tulsa Sports Commission.

He told FOX23 along with filling up seats, the championship will bring tourists for an entire weekend.

“It starts on the 19th and goes through the 24th. There'll be lots of hotels, downtown will probably be sold out for it,” he said.

Businesses near the ballpark hope to get in on that.

“There’s gonna be a lot of activity around the stadium there’s gonna be all kinds of teams down here, all kinds of fans checking out all the restaurants all the venues so I’m sure it’s just gonna be an all day event,” said Lee Brennan, owner of Rusty Crane.

Mike Melega, the Drillers general manager, also says the Big 12 will fit right in because the OneOk Field provides the right kind of feel despite its smaller size.

“We dropped in size from the Drillers stadium to OneOk Field substantially and it was by design to create atmosphere and I think this is going to be the perfect atmosphere for an event like the Big 12 championship,” he said.

But avid Drillers fans may have a tough time snagging an early seat to the usual games.

“That Sunday we have the championship game at one and we'll probably have a Drillers game that night at 7,” he said.

Something that city leaders say is another promising sign Tulsa will secure the bid for more Big 12 tournaments to come.

“The long term impact is probably substantial because the visitors that will come here for that championship may not have been here in the past so we’re going to expose those fans and those alumni to Tulsa,” said Hoyt.

FOX23 also learned Tulsa will be putting in bids to host the Big 12 Men and Women basketball championships as well.

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