The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

July 16, 2013

Enid Plainsmen, Pacers to have serious home-field advantage

Those participating in the recent public shootaround at the new Enid Event Center experienced a first-class facility that will be the envy of prep players statewide.

Enid High School athletes have been living a nomadic lifestyle of sorts, sharing Northern Oklahoma College Enid’s Mabee Center for the past five years as guests.

Now they have a serious home-field advantage.

“It’s going to be fun to play here,” said Plainsmen head coach Ryan Wilkinson. “It gives them a little bit of ownership to have a place that’s kind of theirs. This is a really nice facility, with good size and good proportions.”

The color-coordinated confines will mirror Enid’s navy blue with the names “Plainsmen” and “Pacers” at each end of the natural oak floor.

Configured for sporting events, the 4,521-capacity arena will hold 3,200, with seats extending to within eight feet of the court. That’s close.

“It’s set up to where you’re right on top of the action,” said Enid Event Center General Manager Keller Taylor.

In its agreement with the Enid Event Center and facility manager Global Spectrum, Enid Public Schools will pay $32,000 per year for 11 events each year. The agreement is for 10 years, and is based on the cost of basketball-related equipment installed at the facility, which amounted to approximately $320,000, according to Taylor.

We feel good about the cooperation between the city of Enid and the Enid school district for making this partnership happen. Let the games begin!

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