When the official home of Team USA Olympic Softball, the USA Softball Hall of Fame – OGE&E Energy Field – in Oklahoma City, underwent a $27.5 million renovation in 2020, Tahoma 31 Bermudagrass was chosen as the new playing surface. The facility hosts nearly 30 events each year including the NCAA Women’s College World Series.
According to Chuck White, sports turf manager at the time of the renovation, the facility had to have a field that can repair quickly from wear “because we have eight, 10, 12 games a day and that’s a lot of traffic in the three-day period because most of our tournaments are on a Friday or Saturday and Sunday. We catch so much traffic on our field that we have to have a surface that can help us manage the water issues both on the dirt and on the grass, and will also help us manage the high traffic issues. Tahoma 31 is a very thin blade, very tight grass so it handles the traffic much better than the old common bermuda that we had. So far from what we’ve seen of Tahoma 31, we love it.”
When the facility opened, rave reviews for the field poured in.
“The facilities are second to none… The new renovations and playing surface were excellent,” said Ryan Taylor, who oversees the Aces Fastpitch organization and is the Commissioner of the HFL, as quoted in news reports following a tournament.
At a press tour of the renovated facility held in June 2020, USA Softball CEO Craig Cress was quoted as saying, “This is the best softball facility in the world … I sit on the International Softball Board, so trust me when I say that. This is the premiere facility in the United States and in the world for our athletes.”
Source: Excerpted from SportsTurf magazine, September 2020