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On Nov. 5, the Broken Arrow City Council unanimously decided to name the new adult softball complex in Broken Arrow as “Broken Arrow Challenger Sports Complex.”
The complex, which is currently under construction, will feature four full size adult softball fields as well as an additional reduced size adaptive field that allows players of all ability levels to participate. The adaptive field will host games for youth and adults with disabilities and wheelchair games.
“The ‘Challenger’ name is synonymous with the adaptive program,” said Brad Gordon, president of Broken Arrow Adult Softball (BAAS). “The word ‘challenger’ means a person or team that engages in a contest or prepares and competes against a rival or a champion. That definitely describes our sport and the challenges our program has endured.”
Broken Arrow has competed to host tournaments against much larger softball complexes and now with the four new adult fields, in conjunction with the two existing fields at Indian Springs Sports Complex, BAAS will attract larger regional, and possibly national, tournaments to Broken Arrow.
“The name ‘Challenger’ is very near and dear to my heart,” Gordon said. “My dad, Tom ‘Dirt Man’ Gordon, helped maintain the two current fields at Indian Springs for many years. My other great memory of him is the 1971 Dodge Challenger he and I worked on and modified together, which I still own. We wanted a name for this complex that sounds attractive to competitive softball tournaments and the adaptive sports world as well as honors my father.”
Tom Gordon died in 2010. Gordon’s mother, Jackie, also helped BAAS by running concessions from 2005-2011. He said both were highly supportive of his efforts to expand Broken Arrow’s softball complex.
“Having top class facilities has always been a priority for myself and the rest of the City Council,” said Broken Arrow Mayor Craig Thurmond. “Facilities like Challenger Sport Complex will allow Broken Arrow to bring in the biggest adult tournaments available, which allows us great opportunities to show off our wonderful city.”
The mayor also stressed the importance of the adaptive field.
“Broken Arrow is an inclusive community and we want athletes of all abilities to be able to find a place to play,” he said. “I’m excited we were able to include this feature in Challenger Sports Complex and thankful for the input that Broken Arrow Adult Softball has given during the design and now the naming of this complex.”
“I really appreciate the opportunity to be involved in the process to name this park,” Gordon said. He said now that the complex has a name, BAAS will be able to develop a strategy to market Broken Arrow as a host city for numerous larger regional tournaments.
Challenger Sports Complex is expected to be completed early summer 2020.
Also on Nov. 5, the Council renamed the park where Challenger Sports Complex is located. Officially named Chisholm Trail South Park by the City, the park on New Orleans, across the Creek Turnpike from NSU Broken Arrow, is known in the community as Events Park. The Council voted to officially rename the park “Broken Arrow Events Complex.”