201 N. Elgin Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74120
Administrative Office Phone: (918)744-5998
Ticket Office Phone: (918)744-5901
FAX Number: (918)747-3267
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Tulsa Soccer Team Name Revealed
Tulsa Soccer Team Name Revealed
The wait is finally over! Tulsa’s newest, professional soccer team now has a name, and it will be a familiar one to many long-time soccer fans. The city’s new USL PRO franchise will be called the Tulsa Roughnecks.
The name was selected by fans in a Tulsa World Media Company Name Your Team Contest. The name Roughnecks was the overwhelming choice from four selections in the final round of the contest.
The name Roughnecks received nearly 50% of the total votes, almost as many votes as the other three names combined. Tulsa Strike finished second in the voting with 25%, FC Tulsa was third with 16% and Oil City FC was fourth with 9%.
The new team’s official name with be Tulsa Roughnecks FC.
“We want to have soccer fans strongly involved with this team,” said Mike Melega. “That is why we wanted to do a Name Your Team Contest, so we could see what fans wanted and preferred in their team’s name.”
“Throughout the voting process, it became clear that the nickname Roughnecks has come to be the name that soccer fans associate with Tulsa professional soccer. It is our city’s soccer identity here and throughout the country and we are excited to bring it back.”
“We realize the name may be unpopular with some fans and also realize that it comes with lofty expectations. We are not trying to present this team as the past Roughnecks, because we have so much to prove as both a team and an organization. But, like that franchise, we do want to work to build a club and an operation that everyone in the city can be proud of. We hope the name will help introduce the game and the city’s soccer history to a new generation of fans.”
The original Tulsa Roughnecks began play in the North American Soccer League in 1978 when Texas businessman H. Ward Lay moved the franchise from Hawaii. The team played in the NASL, the United States’ top flight league at the time, from 1978-1984, capturing the NASL Championship in 1983.
“Jeff and I’s father, Went Hubbard, made a commitment more than 25 years ago to operate a quality, professional baseball franchise in the city of Tulsa,” said Roughnecks majority owner Dale Hubbard. “We are very excited to now expand that commitment to the beautiful game of soccer with the long overdue return of a professional franchise to our city. We look forward to being involved in the soccer community as we are with the baseball community. There is a lot of work to do in the next 12 months, but we cannot wait until the first game comes to ONEOK Field.”
The organization will now begin work immediately on developing team colors, team logos and uniforms. Those items will be released later this spring or summer.
“USL PRO is the strongest U.S. men’s professional soccer league on and off the field below and in support of Major League Soccer (MLS). In 2013 USL PRO began a groundbreaking, multi-year partnership with MLS that features individual team affiliations, inter-league play, and the opportunity for MLS clubs to field a second team in USL PRO. It is expected that the Roughnecks will have an affiliation in place by the time they play their first game in March of next year.”
The Roughnecks will play their home games at ONEOK Field in downtown Tulsa. Season tickets for the inaugural season are now on sale with fans able to secure a priority position for selecting seat locations by placing a $25 per seat deposit.
Below are comments written by fans during the Name Your Team process.
“It only makes sense to revive the Roughnecks name and enable a new generation of fans to wear it proudly on jerseys and scarves and to sing it loud in supporter’s songs during games in downtown Tulsa. A revised Tulsa Roughnecks logo/shield could also incorporate a single star, signifying the win in the 1983 Soccer Bowl as a means of recognizing the city’s history in a manner appropriate with soccer clubs around the world.” – B. Parker, Tulsa
“The Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps chose to continue their NASL legacy, so should Tulsa. I directed most of the Roughneck away games for Channel Eight and continue directing soccer, including ten years of MLS network coverage for ESPN and ABC Sports, Women's World Cup and the US Men's National Team matches. To this day, the US soccer community knows Tulsa as the home of the Roughnecks.” – D. Wren, Tulsa
“The name Roughnecks will probably be the most submitted, and it should be. There is history here, and we shouldn't ignore it, but build on a solid foundation. The term Roughnecks also has strong ties to the area, with our lengthy history and commercial legacy tied with oil and gas. We should embrace our history, and move forward with it.” – A. Holdsclaw, Tulsa
“It's our name!! Its relevance needs no explanation! – J. Crain, Tulsa
ONEOK Field Getting New Video Display
ONEOK Field Getting New Video Display
LED Ribbon Board being installed
Fans will notice a major change at ONEOK Field when Opening Day 2014 arrives on April 3.
The Drillers have announced that a new state-of-the-art, ribbon video board is being
installed on the suite level of the downtown stadium.
The LED display will be similar to the boards that are prominent in most Major League Baseball stadiums and NBA arenas. It will measure approximately 3 feet high and 450 feet in length and will cover almost the entire facade area of the suite level. The board will feature nearly 1 million LEDs.
The new display will be used to inform and entertain fans before, during and after all games. ONEOK Field is believed to be the first minor league stadiums in the country to install this type of technology.
“The installation of this new LED display at ONEOK Field is a one-of-a-kind project for a minor league ballpark,” said Drillers General Manager Mike Melega. “The wow factor that it will provide our fans is going to take our game experience to an entirely new level and will have a major impact for fans of Drillers Baseball as well as supporters of our new USL PRO Soccer franchise that will begin plan in 2015.”
TS Sports, based out of Dallas, Texas, will install the new display. TS Sports was founded in 1997 and is a high-end electronic video board systems integrator that specializes in state-of-the art light-emitting diode (LED) technology. They installed the current video board at ONEOK Field and are considered to produce the highest quality video displays in the industry.
The project will cost approximately $350,000 and will be funded entirely by the Tulsa Drillers.
Professional Soccer Coming to ONEOK Field
PROFESSIONAL SOCCER RETURNS TO TULSA!
New USL PRO Franchise to begin play at ONEOK Field in 2015
Professional soccer is returning to Tulsa! The Tulsa Drillers have announced that they have purchased majority interest in an expansion franchise in the USL PRO League. The Tulsa team will begin play in the spring of 2015 with home games slated to be played at ONEOK Field.
The Drillers will be majority owners of the new team with Prodigal LLC holding a minority interest in the squad. The USL PRO team will mark the highest level of professional soccer in the city since the Tulsa Roughnecks played their final season in the old North American Soccer League in 1984.
“We are very excited to be involved in bringing a high level of professional, outdoor soccer back to the city of Tulsa,” said Mike Melega. “We feel that Tulsa is a great soccer market, and this return is long overdue.”
The new team will share ONEOK Field with the Drillers. The USL PRO regular season runs from late March through mid August. Playoff games are held during the month of September. In 2014, the USL Pro regular season will consist of 28 matches with each team playing 14 home matches.
There is also the chance that Tulsa could host exhibitions and U.S. Open Cup games as well.
The USL PRO league began a unique partnership with Major League Soccer, the top professional soccer league in North America, prior to the 2013 season. Through the partnership, some USL PRO teams entered into affiliation agreements where the MLS team provided players to their clubs, similar to Major League Baseball’s player development partnership with Minor League Baseball. It is anticipated that the Tulsa club will begin an affiliation with a MLS team prior to its inaugural season in 2015.
“We think the USL PRO structure and its partnership with Major League Soccer provide the city of Tulsa with the best opportunity to have a successful and long-term franchise,” said Melega. “Over the years, Major League Soccer has looked closely at successful USL teams when selecting expansion cities, such as with Orlando moving to MLS in 2015. If the fans of Tulsa support the return of professional, outdoor soccer to the city, we feel that Tulsa has an excellent chance to move onto the radar of Major League Soccer as they consider future expansion cities.”
“Prodigal is pleased to partner with the Drillers to bring professional soccer back to Tulsa,” said Prodigal LLC owner Bob Funk Jr. “The fact that five of the last six MLS expansion teams have come from USL PRO showcases the fact that the USL PRO model is the best way for teams to experience success. We also look forward to playing games against and fostering a Turnpike Rivalry with our in-state neighbors.”
The playing surface at ONEOK Field will be converted into a soccer pitch prior to each game with the field running from first base toward the left field wall. The dirt infield areas will be covered with sod to provide a complete grass surface playing field.
All seating and hospitality areas currently at the stadium will be used for the soccer matches. The initial plan is to utilize the Budweiser Terrace area as a Supporter’s Section for hardcore fans who are interested in creating a festive atmosphere for all matches. Capacity at ONEOK Field will be very similar to the 7,833 figure that is used for baseball events.
The actual name for the new Tulsa team has not been determined. Plans are for a Name Your Team Contest in early 2014 with fans submitting their suggestions for the official name.
The team will begin taking deposits for season tickets immediately. Depositors will be given priority for selecting seat locations based on the dates that their deposits are received. Deposits will be $25 per seat with refunds given if a suitable location cannot be obtained.
As with the setup for baseball, several different seating tiers and price points will be available within ONEOK Field for soccer matches. Exact details and prices will be announced at a later date.
About USL PRO:
USL PRO is the strongest, best operated and most experienced North American men’s professional soccer league below and in support of MLS, both on and off the field. Focused on franchise stability and longevity, USL PRO will have 14 teams compete in its 2014 season, including expansion franchises in Oklahoma City and Sacramento.
In 2013 USL PRO began a groundbreaking, multi-year partnership with MLS that has further elevated the quality and stature of USL PRO, strengthened the competition in both leagues, and established a solid foundation for future collaboration. MLS teams will choose to either field a reserve team in USL PRO or affiliate with an existing USL PRO franchise by 2015.
In addition to league play, USL PRO teams will continue to compete in the national Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and various domestic and international exhibitions.
Approximately half of the teams in the league boast a decade or more of operational experience. It also has the distinction of being the longest standing pro league affiliate member of the United States Soccer Federation, with more than two decades of successful operations.
In 2013, the USL PRO league had teams operating in cities such as Pittsburgh, PA, Phoenix, AZ, Richmond VA, Dayton OH, Charlotte, NC, Charleston, SC, Wilmington, NC, Rochester, NY and Los Angeles, CA. Orlando captured the league title by posting a memorable 7-4 victory over Charlotte before over 20,000 fans at the Florida Citrus Bowl.
Orlando City Take USL Championship & Announces MLS Move
Orlando City, Dwyer Claim USL PRO Title
Sporting KC loaned player scores four goals in offensive explosion
Orlando City SC captured the 2013 USL PRO Championship in a memorable 7-4 victory over the Charlotte Eagles before a league record crowd of 20,886 at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Dom Dwyer claimed Most Valuable Player honors with a four-goal performance for Orlando. It was the second USL PRO title in three years for the Florida club.
Shortly after the championship victory, Orlando City SC received more good news. On November 18, Major League Soccer awarded the city an expansion franchise with the team set to begin play in North America’s top soccer league in 2015.
The championship match was one for the ages. The two teams were tied 2-2 at the halftime whistle, and Charlotte actually took the lead with a goal from Christian Ramirez in the 58th minute.
Dwyer made sure the lead was short lived. His penalty kick in the 61st minute evened the score, and his fourth goal of the game in the 69th minute gave the Lions the lead for good. Dennis Chin added two goals over the final 20 minutes to ensure the victory that sent the large crowd into a delirious celebration.
Dwyer, a native of England, was playing for Orlando City through a loan from Sporting KC of Major League Soccer. The forward split time during the 2013 season between Orlando and Kansas City, netting 25 goals in all competitions.
It was not the only championship for Dwyer. He started for Sporting in the MLS Cup Championship Game on December 7. KC claimed the MLS title with a dramatic 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake that was only decided after 10 rounds of penalty kicks.
Orlando City will become the 21st MLS franchise and will begin play in the league after one more season in USL PRO.
MLS and USL PRO Announce Partnership
USL PRO, MLS PARTNERSHIP GOOD FOR SOCCER
Much of the excitement surrounding the launch of professional soccer in Tulsa is the growing partnership between Major League Soccer (MLS) and USL PRO. By 2015, it is anticipated that all MLS teams will have USL PRO partnerships in place.
"If MLS is going to be everything we want it to be and believe it can be in 10 years, it’s critically important we have a successful lower division in this country," said MLS executive vice president of competition and player relations Todd Durbin. "That’s absolutely critical to the growth of the game. … It’s the strategic importance that this partnership represents in helping us achieve our long-term goal of being one of the best leagues in the world."
When Tulsa Professional Soccer, LLC launches their inaugural season in 2015 at ONEOK Field, it is anticipated that Tulsa will have an affiliation with a MLS team.
MLS operated a self-contained Reserve League in recent seasons, but league owners voted in November 2012 to give MLS clubs three options for reserve player development moving forward: 1) create an affiliation with an existing USL PRO team; 2) join the USL PRO with a standalone team; or 3) continue to participate in the MLS Reserve League while integrating matches against USL PRO teams.
Durbin indicated that the decisions made by MLS clubs over the next couple of years will help determine the ideal long-term model. But he was also adamant that MLS is committed to "building this division over the next five, 10 and 20 years."
2013 saw affiliations for select teams, facilitating loans from MLS to USL PRO clubs for players who otherwise would not get much playing time in the top flight. The goal is to immediately improve professional player development in the United States and Canada, providing more and better competition for young pros with big-league dreams.
“This partnership represents the first step in a long-term alliance between MLS and USL PRO to connect domestic professional soccer through a system that benefits player development, competition and the overall business of our sport,” said MLS executive vice president of player relations and competition Todd Durbin in a press release.
“USL Pro has for the past several years been the most sophisticated and competitive professional soccer league under MLS,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis said. “This new partnership with MLS will elevate and strengthen the level of competition for domestic professional soccer while simultaneously creating a more sustainable financial model for team owners. As a result, we expect this partnership will forge a seamless system for the development of players and coaches, and promote the expansion of professional soccer into new North American markets.”