By: Lani Hansen, Senior Reporter
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma– The Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s Claude Cox Omniplex served as the home field for Bacone College’s Lady Warriors softball team during their 2021 season.
According to MCN’s Tourism and Recreation Program Development Supervisor Brian McGertt, recently Muskogee Public Schools approved a bond to purchase property off of Bacone College to build a new sports facility. The property that was purchased is where the softball and baseball fields stood for Bacone College.
“Bacone decided they wanted to pay to have another baseball and softball field, but they have to move it into another area of the campus,” McGertt said. “Not being able to get that done immediately, they reached out to us as far as a place to play for softball. This not really being their home field but have adopted it, they have done well here.”
With Bacone softball using the facilities, it has been good for the MCN Tourism and Recreation Department to host college games on the fields since they have already hosted college basketball games in the dome. McGertt said they made history, having college games in the dome and now on the softball fields.
“We feel really good about that,” McGertt said about hosting Bacone softball. “We were able to help Bacone out, and it was good for our department and program on some of the things we were trying to do here.”
Bacone ended their season in April with a 12-24 record for the whole season but went 3-5 at home. McGertt said they met with Bacone athletics about next season, and the college is hoping to have their softball and baseball fields finished by then.
“That wouldn’t stop the relationship though,” McGertt said. “We were talking about maybe hosting some festivals for in the future or even some special games with other Native American institutions such as Haskell and Northern New Mexico.”
MCN Tourism and Recreation drew some funds through the gate and concessions for their facilities during the softball season.
McGertt said it was an excellent way to promote sports activity in the area and provide entertainment. They have received positive feedback.
As the host for Bacone softball, the department was able to help and support the team. They provided concessions, getting water, medical and safety measures for the team.
“We were the administrators on-site,” McGertt said. “Us being the host, we had to make sure everything ran smoothly. It’s been a wonderful experience and an educational part to help our staff to know what goes into college athletics.”