Devout fans have a new team on Oklahoma soil to help satisfy their football enthusiasm – the OKC Wranglers.

The former site of Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City will eventually transform from fashion to football and house the Wranglers for the majority of its season. 

Part of the United Football League (UFL), the OKC Wranglers are led by head coach and Oklahoma native J.D. Runnels. Runnels, a 2002 graduate of Carl Albert High School in Midwest City, set records during his high school career and went on to play for the University of Oklahoma, in the UFL with the Florida Tuskers, and in the NFL with the Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cincinnati Bengals.

Many believe it was high time Oklahoma got a professional football team. 

“Oklahoma City has a strong and passionate sports fanbase, with a rich tradition of supporting football at all levels, from high school to college,” says Joe McClendon III, commissioner of the UFL. “The city’s love for football [will] translate to a solid support for a pro football team.”

McClendon says the city’s central location in the U.S. makes it easily accessible to fans from across the country and could help build a large, dedicated fan base. 

“The city has experienced significant growth and development in recent years, making it an attractive location for businesses and individuals,” says McClendon. “A pro football team could help boost the city’s economy and profile further.”

Players on the 2023 roster includes a mix of familiar names from Oklahoma colleges and universities, as well as a lengthy list of players from other states – you can see the whole line-up at

“The star players will begin to make themselves known during training camp,” which started on April 26, says McClendon. “We have several players with some impressive football backgrounds, and we look forward to seeing what they can do.”

In the meantime, team officials are inviting local high school bands to submit requests to play during the team’s home games – at halftime, and pre- and post-game. Interested schools can email
[email protected] for more information.

“With a new team comes new rivalries,” says McClendon. “The team will likely have a roster of fresh, young talent, eager to make their marks in the league. This can be an exciting time for fans, as you get to watch these players develop and grow into their roles on the team. In addition, the Wranglers will be active in the community, organizing events and initiatives to give back to the fans who support them.”

Tickets are available starting at $25 per seat. Season ticketholders can purchase different levels of packages that include free parking, meal deal tickets and post-game meet-and-greets. Games begin in May; the Wranglers play in OKC on May 13, June 10 and 24, and July 1, 15 and 22. Check the website for exact locations.

“Oklahoma City has shown tremendous support, and we look forward to some exciting action this spring,” says McClendon.

Previous articleHiking Highlights
Next articleA Cultural Touchstone Evolves