Taft Stadium

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Taft Stadium
Full name Taft Stadium
Location Oklahoma City
Coordinates 35°29′45″N 97°34′01″W / 35.49583°N 97.56694°W / 35.49583; -97.56694Coordinates: 35°29′45″N 97°34′01″W / 35.49583°N 97.56694°W / 35.49583; -97.56694
Owner Oklahoma City Public Schools
Operator Oklahoma City Public Schools
Capacity 18,200 (1934-2013)
7,500 (2015-)
Surface Grass
Construction
Broke ground 1934
Built 1934
Opened 1934
Renovated 1999 (partial)
2013-2014 (WIP)
General contractor WPA
Tenants
Oklahoma City Energy FC (2015-)
Northwest Classen HS
John Marshall HS
Former
Oklahoma City Lightning
Oklahoma City Dolls
Oklahoma City Plainsmen
Oklahoma City Slickers

Taft Stadium is a WPA-built stadium in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It is the current home to teams from Northwest Classen High School and John Marshall High School. Built in 1934,[1] the stadium is currently under substantial renovation. A dirt track was installed in 1946.[2]

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.[3][4]

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.[5] The combined budget is $19 million, with $9.7 million of that amount allocated to Taft Stadium specifically.[5][6] Under the renovation, due for completion in early 2014, the seating capacity will be reduced to approximately 7,500, with the red-stone facade being the only feature left unaltered.[6]

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.

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]