This has been a great week for Oklahoma State baseball as the news was out that pitcher Tyler Buffett, an ace closer most of the season and a victorious starter three times in NCAA play including a 1-0 College World Series win over Arizona, fellow pitcher in starter and then closer Trey Cobb, and first baseman Dustin Williams will all return for their senior seasons.
Last Sunday some individual tried to ramp up the excitement by posting on another internet site that the funding had come through on the Cowboys new baseball stadium project at the corner of Washington and McElroy on the edge of the Oklahoma State campus and the athletic village. The new baseball stadium set to be built across the street from the award-nominated and fabulous Michael and Anne Greenwood Tennis Center is not paid for just yet. Unfortunately, the rumored report isn't true.
However, plans, meetings, and the work continues to bring it to fruition.
Oklahoma State athletics director Mike Holder, senior associate athletics director for development Larry Reece, and baseball head coach Josh Holliday continue to work the process. The College World Series appearance allowed for multiple candidates for fund raising, including candidates that could be the name rights donor were entertained from the dugout to the suites level at T.D. Ameritrade Stadium.
Holder and Reece have made the new home for Cowboy baseball a priority and they have made progress.
"We are much further along than we were on this project just months, even weeks, ago," Reece said this week. "We are closing in on having about half the project funded, which means if we could get that major donation that would go to the naming rights and the anchor for the stadium we'd be in great shape. I truly believe we are going to get this done for Josh and the baseball program very soon. I also think that once a major donor comes through that there will be more Oklahoma State supporters that will jump in to finish the project."
That project is a modern, yet intimate, baseball stadium that will create a tremendous home diamond advantage and ambiance for the Cowboys in baseball. The seating is right at 3,500 for a more intimate fan and participant experience, but with ways to increase attendance for postseason opportunities.
The stadium design is a joint project of Studio Architecture in Oklahoma City and the DLR Group of Kansas City, Mo. The design is for the most part complete with a few possible changes. Meetings have been held several times for Holder, Reece, Holliday, and other interested individuals to go over. The estimated cost of the project is in the $40 million to $45 million range.
The timetable is set with the land having already been cleared and ready to turn over from a parking lot into a construction project. The hope is that ground breaking could happen this fall, most likely tied to a major football home game and baseball recruiting weekend to get the maximum mileage out of the grand occasion.