Together Square opens in downtown Oklahoma City
A tip off between NBA star Blake Griffin and Mayor David Holt on Sunday kicked off the opening of downtown’s newest park, Together Square.
Directly west of Myriad Gardens, the area features a basketball court branded by the Team Griffin Foundation, a futsal soccer pitch branded by The Energy Assist Foundation and a large open space for public use. The park is on land owned by OGE Energy Corp. and will be overseen by the Myriad Gardens Foundation.
The park is a block along Sheridan Avenue between Hudson and Walker Avenues that was home to Stage Center and originally cleared to make way for a four-tower development that later was scrapped.
Visitors Sunday afternoon were treated to an opening party featuring basketball and futsal (smaller scale soccer) on the new courts, food trucks, music, and activities for kids. Children were taught soccer and basketball tips from professional and elite athletes including Energy FC players and Griffin, and his brother, Taylor Griffin, who also played at the University of Oklahoma and formerly in the NBA.
“It’s been exciting to see Together Square come to life,” said Sean Trauschke, OGE Energy Corp. CEO. “Working alongside our great partners, we’ve been able to make meaningful use of this site for the entire community to enjoy.”
Together Square will be open to the public daily between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. The Myriad Gardens Foundation will coordinate reservations and rentals of its courts and grounds for groups, games birthday parties or private events. Reservations can be made by phone at 405-445-7089 or online at myriadgardens.org/togethersquare.
“Having Together Square is a natural fit for our foundation,” Myriad Gardens Foundation Executive Director Maureen Heffernan said. “It’s also a tremendous benefit for John Rex students. The space will undoubtedly bring fresh vibrancy to our community’s enjoyment of downtown.”
Another key driver of the park’s concept is the participation of two sports brands: the Energy Assist Foundation, the independent, charitable arm of the Oklahoma City Energy FC and E, and Team Griffin Foundation, formed by Oklahoma City natives Blake and Taylor Griffin.
Blake is the current power forward for the Detroit Pistons, and Taylor retired in 2016 after playing for the NBA as well as the NBA’s development league.
“Any time we can help create places for youth and families to be active together, that’s a positive for us,” Blake said. “One of our goals at Team Griffin Foundation is to get more youth involved in athletics and help give them the kinds of opportunities my brother and I benefited from when we were kids.”
The futsal court will be branded to the Oklahoma City Energy FC’s logo.
“Futsal is an energetic form of soccer that is played on a hard-surface, basketball-size court,” said Mickey Dollens, executive director of the Energy Assist Foundation. “We’ve installed courts at multiple schools in our city, and each time it creates vibrant, safe community centers for use by youth athletes.”
Dollens said futsal is played across the world and can be played with as few as two on each team, making it a low-barrier sport. Energy Assist is working to install courts in numerous places across the city as a way to increase participation in youth athletics, provide access to soccer and supply local schools with equipment required for the activity.