Sporting events appeal to a broad range of people – from die-hard fans to those just looking for a fun night out on the town. If you’re on the hunt for another team to follow or just an event to visit, support one of these Oklahoma-based sporting franchises.
OKC Dodgers Baseball
The Oklahoma City Dodgers “has been continuous since 1962,” says Alex Freedman, the team’s director of communications. “The team was known as the 89ers from 1962 to 1997, the RedHawks from 1998 to 2014 and the Oklahoma City Dodgers since 2015.”
The Dodgers won league titles in 1963, 1965, 1992, 1996 and 2023. Last season, the team won 90 regular season games, which is the team’s most during the Bricktown Era – since 1998 – and the most generally since 1965 (91 wins).
Notable players who have moved onto the majors include Cody Bellinger (Chicago Cubs), Walker Buehler (LA Dodgers) and Nelson Cruz (Washington Nationals), among others. The team is the Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, meaning many players move up to the majors through the LA-based team.
“When the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series in 2020, 16 of the 26 players on the roster, and 8 of the 9 on the field when the final out was made, were former OKC players,” says Freedman.
FC Tulsa Soccer
FC Tulsa is Oklahoma’s premier professional soccer club. Founded in 2015 as the Tulsa Roughnecks FC, the team relaunched under its current name prior to the 2020 season. That’s due to brothers and Tulsa natives J.W., Ryan and Kyle Craft, who purchased the franchise. FC Tulsa plays in the USL Championship, the second division of U.S. soccer.
In February 2020, the team signed the first broadcast television deal in club history. Additionally, FC Tulsa became the sixth professional U.S. club to represent the PUMA brand.
Despite the 2020 pandemic, the team finished with a record-breaking campaign that saw the club go 6W-2L-7D, snagging a USL Championship playoff berth – the second in club history.
FC Tulsa offers an adult indoor league for ages 16 and over. Plus, the Craft family launched north Tulsa’s first fully-funded youth soccer league. FC Tulsa Training Academy also offers soccer camps and clinics.
OKC Spark Softball
With the USA Softball Hall of Fame complex in Oklahoma City, it makes sense that OKC is the softball capital of the world. Thus, the 2022 launch of OKC Spark Softball created a boon for women’s fastpitch in the state. One of four teams in the Women’s Professional Fastpitch League, the Spark is the newest team in both Oklahoma and in women’s pro fastpitch at large.
Swinging into action during June 2023, the team’s first six games, played at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Gerry Pinkston Stadium in Edmond, included a roster featuring fan faves from Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma. These days, most Spark home games are played at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium.
The team’s inaugural season ended in August; in the eight-week summer season, the team amassed 21 wins. Additionally, pitcher Donnie Gobourne was the WPF strikeout leader with 104 strikeouts in only 16 appearances.
Tulsa Drillers Baseball
Double-A minor league team the Tulsa Drillers is the affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers major-league club and currently plays in the Texas League. The team began in 1977, when the two-year-old Lafayette Drillers were moved to Tulsa, keeping the name.
The Drillers have been Texas League champions four times – in 1982, 1988, 1998 and in 2018. Notable pro players that got their starts with the Drillers include retired pitcher Ubaldo Jiménez, retired shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and currently LA Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler.
OKC Blue Basketball
The Oklahoma City Blue competes in the NBA G League as a member of the Western Conference. The franchise began in 2001 as the Asheville Altitude in Asheville, N.C. The team relocated to Tulsa as the Tulsa 66ers. In 2008, the Oklahoma City Thunder purchased the team, relocating them to Oklahoma City.
As a professional basketball team affiliated with the Thunder, the Blue plays home games at OKC’s Paycom Center. As of this writing, the team is ranked 18 of 31 teams in the league.
Tulsa Oilers Hockey
In terms of on-ice performance and longevity, the Tulsa Oilers hockey team is one of the most successful professional sports franchises in North American history.
Founded in 1928, the team has a 90+ year history, and began as an expansion member of the American Hockey Association. During the team’s inaugural season, the Oilers won the American Hockey Association Championship.
The Oilers team has existed as four separate franchises in five different leagues. In 2013, the Stevens brothers purchased the Oilers. Fans may enjoy home games in Tulsa’s state-of-the-art BOK Center, which is the 42nd largest indoor entertainment venue in the U.S. As of this writing, the Oilers are ranked No. 4 in the Western Conference of the ECHL.
Featured image credit: OKC Blue; photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images