The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

OGE Energy Corp. to hold naming rights to ASA Hall of Fame Field !

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Official OGE Energy Field launch takes place May 29 . . . . . .

OKLAHOMA CITY– OGE Energy Corp. (NYSE: OGE) today announced that it has entered into a 20-year agreement with the Oklahoma City All Sports Association and the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball for naming rights to the stadium field at the ASA Hall of Fame Softball Complex.

The new name for the field, OGE Energy Field at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium, will be launched May 29 during the opening day of the 2014 NCAA Women’s College World Series (WCWS). Sean Trauschke, OGE Energy President and CFO, will throw out the first pitch at 6 p.m. on May 29.

“The ASA complex, with the fields and the stadium, has a significant economic impact for the communities we serve and showcases our state as a leader in women’s athletics,” Trauschke said. “Through our commitment, we’re not only helping maintain this important asset but also supporting the many local communities who take part in events here.”

The ASA Hall of Fame Complex is widely regarded as the finest softball facility in the nation and even the World. With four fields and many other amenities, the complex has played host to the most recognized softball competitions in the world, including USA teams that represent the nation in international competitions.

“On behalf of the entire ASA/USA Softball community, we want to thank OGE for stepping up to the plate to support our venue and all levels of softball played here,” said ASA/USA Softball Executive Director Craig Cress. “The current and future improvements at the facility are due to OGE’s support, the City of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City All Sports, along with several other community entities and leaders. The vision of all parties for the future of our sport is exceptional.”

The complex draws more than 120,000 fans a year to approximately 30 events with more than 400 teams from over 25 states. The NCAA WCWS draws more than 75,000 spectators from around the nation, with ESPN coverage during the seven-day event.

“In 1990, Oklahoma City All Sports first successfully secured the NCAA Women’s College World Series by aligning with corporate entities willing to join as community partners”, said Oklahoma City All Sports Association Executive Director, Tim Brassfield. “This agreement with OGE Energy is the most significant step to help provide the student-athletes a world-class facility.”

The agreement also calls for OGE Energy to work with the ASA on a capital improvement plan to incorporate energy efficient and sustainable technology and practices within the field and the ASA complex.

“We want the field to serve not only as an entertainment venue but also as an educational platform on energy efficiency stewardship for all who visit here, especially young people,” Trauschke said.

Upgrades include improvements to the dugouts and locker rooms as well as building a new media center and pressbox, adding suites and a 4,800-seat expansion as a part of the overall plan.

OGE Energy is the parent company of Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company, a regulated electric utility serving approximately 810,000 customers in Oklahoma and western Arkansas. In addition, OGE holds a 26.7 percent limited partner interest and a 50 percent general partner interest of Enable Midstream, created by the merger of OGE’s Enogex LLC midstream subsidiary and the pipeline and field services businesses of Houston-based CenterPoint Energy.

About ASA

The Amateur Softball Association, founded in 1933, is the National Governing Body of softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. The ASA has become one of the nation’s largest sports organizations and now sanctions competition in every state through a network of 76 local associations. The ASA has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 165,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2.5 million. For more information on the ASA, visithttp://www.asasoftball.com/.

About USA Softball

USA Softball is the brand created, operated and owned by the ASA that links the USA Men’s, Women’s, Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ National Team programs together. USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting these four National Teams to compete in international and domestic competitions. The USA Softball Women’s National Team is one of the only two women’s sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three consecutive gold medals at the Olympic Games since 1996. The U.S. women have also won nine World Championship titles including the last seven consecutive as well as claimed six World Cup of Softball titles.

For more information about USA Softball, please visit http://www.usasoftball.com/.

Julie Bartel
ASA/USA Softball
Director of Marketing & Communications
2801 NE 50th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73111

SODA is an Allied Member of ASA/USA Softball

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Almost one-fourth of private sports complex will come from tax funds !

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Lincoln, Nebraska – Tax dollars will cover almost one-fourth of the cost of a $13.8 million sports complex under development in northwest Lincoln.

Developers for the Great American Sports Park are seeking $2.1 million from tax increment financing and $1.18 million through a special 2 percent occupation tax on all sales in the sports complex area.

The TIF funds would be repaid from the property taxes paid by the sports complex over the next 15 years. The occupation tax would be paid by the people who pay the fees to play and buy concessions and souvenirs at the complex.

The 2 percent occupation tax sought by the developers would not apply in other areas of Lincoln, said Wynn Hjermstad, with the city’s Urban Development staff, during public hearings on the Great American Sports Park proposal Monday night.

The City Council will vote on the TIF and occupation tax bonds and on the TIF agreement at its next meeting on June 2.

A project must have private investments of at least $2 million and employ at least 25 people in order to meet the state requirements for the special occupation tax, Hjermstad said.

“This is a developer-driven tool and was requested by the developer,” she said.

The Great American Sports Park is one of two private multifield sports complexes being planned in Lincoln.

The 10 fields planned for the Great American Sports Park are being designed primarily for softball. The sports park, to be constructed on about 38.6 acres at Sun Valley Boulevard and Charleston Street, will include concession stands, parking and new roads.

The entire area is in the flood plain, and it is a former landfill site. There are a lot of challenges, Hjermstad said.

As defined currently, TIF and the revenue from the new occupation tax would be used for the public streets, sidewalks, water and sewer utilities and property acquisition.

The private development is a way to increase the city’s recreation resources without the city picking up the tab, Hjermstad said.

The developers are hoping that the fields will bring in tournaments and become a magnet for hotels and restaurants that might build in an adjacent area.

Developers of the renovated Nebraska Crossing Outlets in Gretna are using the occupation tax to pay for some of the improvements at the shopping center, Rick Peo, chief assistant city attorney, told the council.

Developers of the Great American Sports Complex are also seeking approval from the council to sell alcohol at adults-only events at not only the new softball complex but the existing Optimist Youth Sports Complex in southwest Lincoln.

There are no current plans for using the special occupation tax elsewhere in Lincoln. Another private group is developing a 10-field soccer complex, called Speedway Sporting Park, in southwest Lincoln.

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23 Best Ways to Get and Keep Motivated !

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No matter what you do for a living, the key to success is motivating yourself, each and every day, according to Geoffrey James, author of Business Without the Bullsh*t.

“Most people don’t realize that motivation mostly emerges from minor changes in your own behavior,” says James.

Here’s how to remain a go-getter, even when the going gets rough:

1. Realize that YOU are in control. You cannot control the outside world, but you can control your emotional reaction to it.

2. Accept where you are. Life is like those signs that read “You Are Here.” You can get somewhere else only if you know where you are now.

3. Adopt a positive vocabulary. Use strong adjectives (e.g., “fantastic”) to describe what’s good and weak words (e.g., “annoying”) to describe what’s not.

4. Condition your mind. Train yourself to think positive thoughts while avoiding negative thoughts.

5. Condition your body. It takes physical energy to take action. Get your food and exercise budget in place and follow it like a business plan.

6. Avoid negative people. They drain your energy and waste your time, so hanging with them is like shooting yourself in the foot.

7. Seek out the similarly motivated. Their positive energy will rub off on you, and you can imitate their success strategies.

8. Have goals—but remain flexible. No plan should be cast in concrete, lest it become more important than achieving the goal.

9. Act with a higher purpose. Any activity or action that doesn’t serve your higher goal is wasted effort—and should be avoided.

10. Take responsibility. If you blame (or credit) luck, fate, or divine intervention, you’ll always have an excuse.

11. Stretch past your limits. Walking the old, familiar paths is how you grow old. Stretching makes you grow and evolve.

12. Don’t expect perfection. Perfectionists are the losers in the game of life. Strive for excellence rather than the unachievable.

13. Celebrate your failures. Your most important lessons in life will come from what you don’t achieve. Take time to understand where you fell short.

14. Don’t take success too seriously. Success can breed tomorrow’s failure if you use it as an excuse to become complacent.

15. Avoid weak goals. Goals are the soul of achievement, so never begin them with “I’ll try…” Always start with “I will” or “I must.”

16. Treat inaction as the only real failure. If you don’t take action, you fail by default and can’t even learn from the experience.

17. Welcome obstacles. You can’t grow stronger if you’re not lifting something heavy, so savor your problems.

18. Get perspective. Take the time and effort to step back, reexamine your assumptions, and find truths that you missed before.

19. Appreciate being alive. Never neglect to marvel at the miracle of conscious existence, which is all too soon over.

20. Relax more often. Spend at least one hour every day doing something that’s just because you enjoy doing it.

21. Experience wonder. Take pleasure in the unexpected and unusual because without them life would be tedious and boring.

22. Be playful. The joy of a child still lives inside you; let that child out at least once each day.

23. Give thanks. Experience deep gratitude for all the wonderful things in your life: family, friends, work, and play.

“Getting and keeping motivated puts you in control of your actions and your career, thereby lessening stress,” says James. “Even implementing a handful of these changes can have a major effect on your health and your attitude.”

 

Adapted from Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know by Geoffrey James.

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About the Author:
Geoffrey James is a veteran business journalist who now writes a daily column for Inc.com. His latest book, Business Without the Bullsh*t, won the following praise from Publishers Weekly: “The author’s pithy and frank style matches his title…a quick, impactful primer for anyone wanting to be more effective on the job.”

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Earning Their Stripes as Umpires and Referees !

David Martinez left a teaching job to become an umpire. CreditOscar Hidalgo for The New York Times
  • In 2012, when David Martinez left a job teaching math at a high school in Bayonne, N.J., to try to become a professional baseball umpire, he understood that the numbers might not add up.

At the time, he earned $40,000 a year as a teacher and supplemented his salary by umpiring high school baseball. “Between my wife and I, we were doing well,” Mr. Martinez recalls.

But the promise of calling balls and strikes for a living — even a meager one (rookie umpires in Minor League Baseball make $1,900 a month and typically work from mid-June until Labor Day) — proved too tempting to pass up; he recently moved to Boca Raton, Fla., found a job as a valet at a nightclub to pay his bills and enrolled in one of the two training programs for umpires sanctioned by Major League Baseball.

Mr. Martinez, 33, who was one of the oldest students in his class, acknowledges that some of his friends in New Jersey consider him “absolutely crazy.”