Taft Stadium

Last updated
Taft Stadium
Full nameTaft Stadium
Location Oklahoma City
Coordinates 35°29′45″N97°34′01″W / 35.49583°N 97.56694°W / 35.49583; -97.56694 Coordinates: 35°29′45″N97°34′01″W / 35.49583°N 97.56694°W / 35.49583; -97.56694
Owner Oklahoma City Public Schools
OperatorOklahoma City Public Schools
Capacity 18,200 (1934–2013)
7,500 (2015–)
SurfaceTurf
Construction
Broke ground1934
Built1934
Opened1934
Renovated1999 (partial)
2013–2015
General contractor WPA
Tenants
Oklahoma City Energy FC (USLC) (2015–present)
Northwest Classen HS
John Marshall HS
Former
Oklahoma City Lightning (WFA) (2002–2010)
Oklahoma City Dolls
Oklahoma City Plainsmen
Oklahoma City Slickers (ASL) (1982–1983)

Taft Stadium is a WPA-built stadium in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It is the current home to teams from Northwest Classen High School, John Marshall High School, Classen School of Advanced Studies, Oklahoma Centennial High School, as well as a minor league professional soccer team, Oklahoma City Energy FC. Built in 1934, [1] the stadium closed in 2013 and reopened in 2015 following substantial renovation. As part of the renovation the seating capacity was reduced from approximately 18,000 to approximately 7,500, with the red-stone facade being the only feature left unaltered. [2] A new all-weather track replaced a dirt track which was installed in 1946. [3] [4]

Works Progress Administration largest and most ambitious United States federal government New Deal agency

The Works Progress Administration was an American New Deal agency, employing millions of people to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads. In a much smaller project, Federal Project Number One, the WPA employed musicians, artists, writers, actors and directors in large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects.

Oklahoma City State capital city in Oklahoma, United States

Oklahoma City, often shortened to OKC, is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The county seat of Oklahoma County, the city ranks 27th among United States cities in population. The population grew following the 2010 Census, with the population estimated to have increased to 643,648 as of July 2017. As of 2015, the Oklahoma City metropolitan area had a population of 1,358,452, and the Oklahoma City-Shawnee Combined Statistical Area had a population of 1,459,758 residents, making it Oklahoma's largest metropolitan area.

Northwest Classen High School

Northwest Classen High School is a public high school serving students in grades 9-12 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

In addition to the high school uses that it was designed for, Taft Stadium also briefly hosted professional football games in 1968 as home of the Oklahoma City Plainsmen of the Continental Football League. Professional soccer's Oklahoma City Slickers also hosted games there in 1982–1983, and (as the Oklahoma City Stampede) in 1984. [5] [6]

Continental Football League professional American football league

The Continental Football League (COFL) was a professional American football league that operated in North America from 1965 through 1969. It was established following the collapse of the original United Football League, and hoped to become the major force in professional football outside the National Football League (NFL) and the American Football League (AFL). It owed its name, at least in part, to the Continental League, a proposed third Major League Baseball organization that influenced MLB significantly.

Oklahoma City Slickers

The Oklahoma City Slickers was the name given to two different American soccer clubs based in Oklahoma City. The first team competed in the second American Soccer League in 1982 and 1983, and as the Oklahoma City Stampede in the United Soccer League in 1984 and 1985. The second Oklahoma City Slickers competed in the USISL from 1993 to 1996.

In January 2013, the Oklahoma City Public School District announced a plan to apply revenues from a past 2007 bond issue, as well as other funds, to substantially renovate both Taft Stadium and Speegle Stadium in Oklahoma City. [7] The combined budget was $19 million, with $9.7 million of that amount allocated to Taft Stadium specifically. [7] [2]

In June 2013, the Oklahoma City Public Schools District announced they had granted a multi-year lease to OKC Pro Soccer, LLC, led by Tim McLaughlin. OKC Energy FC (USL Pro), owned by McLaughlin and Bob Funk, Jr. will begin play at Taft Stadium in 2015. A $2 per ticket surcharge will support Fields & Futures, a local nonprofit created in 2012 to support Oklahoma City Public Schools Athletics in its effort to rebuild 44 athletic fields and provide professional development and improved resources for the district's 265 coaches and 4,500 student-athletes.

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References

  1. Harper, Justin (July 7, 2007). "Taft Stadium needs costly repairs". The Oklahoman. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
  2. 1 2 Wright, Scott (May 13, 2013). "Taft Stadium renovations to be discussed at community meeting Tuesday". The Oklahoman.
  3. "Taft Stadium" . Retrieved December 18, 2008.
  4. "Taft Stadium to undergo major renovation" . Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  5. Pego, Dave (May 25, 1982). "Taft Stadium gets facelift for Slickers' home opener". The Oklahoman.
  6. "1982–1985 Oklahoma City Slickers / Oklahoma City Stampede / Tulsa Tornados". Fun While It lasted.
  7. 1 2 Wright, Scott (January 6, 2013). "High schools: Taft, Speegle stadiums will be flattened, rebuilt". the Oklahoman.