The Roughnecks have been on a hiatus of about thirty years, but are now bringing professional soccer back to Tulsa …
Thirty years have gone by since the Roughnecks last played a game in Tulsa.
The team is back with a surprising amount of fan support. Another big component of their comeback was their ownership group, the Tulsa Drillers, who allowed them to use their stadium.
The Roughnecks coming back is another sign that soccer (or football for those who live anywhere besides the U.S.) is growing in popularity in America.
The sport has an incredible global following, but domestically has not been able to gain the same popularity.
The times seem to be a-changing as the game gains momentum.
I was a little unsure of what the fan presence would be like when I attended last Saturday’s game against the Austin Aztex.
The cheapest tickets were $8 which seemed reasonable compared to, say, the Oilers, whose cheapest ticket are $15.
Once I walked in I was pleasantly surprised to see a somewhat crowded (at least more than I expected) stadium with fans who were actually involved with the game.
Blowing horns could be heard and there was a slight chill in the air, but it was still comfortable for an April evening.
Chants could be heard throughout the game and there seemed to be a wilder section for those trying to let the Roughnecks know who they represent.
The marketing department for the Roughnecks has done a great job of trying to make the setting electric and fun.
The striking orange of their jerseys fits well with the trend that the Oilers have started for the city of Tulsa.
The Roughnecks fell 0–2 to the Aztex on Saturday, but the experience was still very fun.
They are still getting used to the field and their teammates.
They will eventually find their groove which will bring a winning atmosphere to an already entertaining experience. Go Roughnecks!