The Tulsa Drillers are opened their fifth season at Oneok Field Thursday. Leaders and area businesses say downtown has grown a great deal during that time.
"About the time the ballpark has been announced, we've been tracking development, and the investment has reached the almost, close to billion mark, both in public and private investment downtown," said Tulsa Metro Chamber Executive Director of Downtown Delise Tomlinson. She said along with the BOK Center, Oneok Field has been a major catalyst in growing the area.
Tomlinson said downtown has seen more housing develop in downtown, and the resident population is now about 4,200. She said the venue helps draw people to downtown who then stay and spend money at area businesses.
Fat Guys Burger Bar sits next to the stadium. The restaurant is anticipating a busy, successful opening night and season.
"Thursday, Friday, Saturday, we just see a huge influx of business come through here. It's a madhouse in here pretty much," said General Manager Mikel Richardson.