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Oklahoma to host Showdown through 200801/11/2007 12:48 PM ET
By Benjamin Hill / Special to MLB.com
Some sporting events are inextricably linked with the cities in which they are played.
The NFL Pro Bowl conjures images of Honolulu. Likewise, the Kentucky Derby brings thoughts of Louisville to mind. Now, the International and Pacific Coast Leagues are doing their best to make the Bricktown Showdown an annual tradition in Oklahoma City.
The inaugural Bricktown Showdown, a winner-take-all Triple-A Championship Game, was played in Oklahoma City's AT&T Bricktown Ballpark this past September. A crowd of over 12,000 attended the nationally televised event and saw the PCL champion Tucson Sidewinders defeat the IL champion Toledo Mud Hens by a score of 5-2.
On Thursday, Pacific Coast League president Branch Rickey and International League president Randy Mobley announced that the Bricktown Showdown will be returning to Oklahoma City for at least the next two seasons.
"It has been our plan all along to make Oklahoma City the home for this event," said Rickey. "The support demonstrated for the game and related activities by the professional baseball fans and corporate community in Central Oklahoma in year one has made it clear that Oklahoma City is where this game belongs."
AT&T Bricktown Ballpark serves as the home of the Oklahoma RedHawks during the regular season. The club is thrilled to be hosting the event for the foreseeable future.
"Oklahoma City was honored to be selected as the site of the 2006 Triple-A Championship Game, and we are thrilled the game was received so well by our community and Minor League Baseball," said Oklahoma Senator Scott Pruitt, the managing general partner of the RedHawks. "The success of the game is an indication of Oklahoma City's incredible community spirit and love of the sport."
The 2006 Bricktown Showdown marked the first time since 2000 that Minor League Baseball was able to determine an overall Triple-A champion. In 1983, a round-robin tournament took place featuring teams from the now-defunct American Association as well as the International and Pacific Coast Leagues. The AA and IL held the Triple-A Classic from 1988-1991, while the IL and PCL champions squared off in the Triple-A World Series from 1998-2000.
The 2007 Bricktown Showdown will be played on Tuesday, Sept. 18, and tickets are currently available at oklahomaredhawks.com. The 2008 contest will occur on Tuesday, Sept. 16.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.