We take our sports pretty seriously here in OKC. And while the Oklahoma City Thunder have certainly captured our hearts, our passion for sports doesn't end with basketball season. Not by a long shot.
Ever since our boys in blue arrived in 2008, Oklahoma City has been Thunder-struck. Playing to sell-out crowds, winning four consecutive Northwest Division titles and advancing to the Western Conference Finals three out of the last five seasons, this team’s popularity is skyrocketing both locally and nationally. Want to get in on the Thunder action? Here’s your guide for how to Thunder Up in OKC.
The United Soccer League (USL) expanded its pro franchise to Oklahoma City in 2014, and the inaugural season of the OKC Energy FC played in front of sold-out, enthusiastic crowds. In 2015, energized fans returned with the same enthusiasm to the newly renovated Taft Stadium, built in 1934, that could accommodate the growing crowds. So wear your green and check out one of the games at Taft Stadium at NW 27th Street and May Avenue. Or stop by the team’s store at 1001 N. Broadway Ave. in Automobile Alley near downtown and buy some Energy gear and souvenirs.
The area’s favorite minor league baseball team is the Oklahoma City Dodgers, which play at the impressive Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Dr., in Bricktown. This Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers has won five divisional titles in the past decade and a conference title in 2008 and features some of baseball’s top young talent. The ballpark itself, built in 1998, pays tribute at its entrance to three iconic baseball players with Oklahoma ties, all members of the Baseball Hall of Fame – Mickey Mantle, Johnny Bench and Warren Spahn. In 2013, USA Today named the ballpark one of its top 10 minor league stadiums, according to the 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards.
The Boathouse District along the Oklahoma River in downtown Oklahoma City is a hot spot for urban recreation. It is also an official U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Site and home of the OKC National High Performance Center for both rowing and canoe/kayak. Be a spectator at several events throughout the year, such as at the USA Canoe/Kayak Sprint National Team Trials in April, the Stars and Stripes River Festival in June and the Oklahoma Regatta Festival in October.
The National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum, the headquarters of the governing body of USA Softball, is located in Oklahoma City and the adjoining USA Hall of Fame Stadium - OGE Energy Field hosts the annual NCAA Women’s College World Series. Located in the heart of the Big 12 Conference, Oklahoma City routinely plays host to the conference’s baseball, men’s and women’s basketball and softball tournaments. The NCAA also holds several of its championships in Oklahoma City.