9/6/02 latest article in Tulsa World re MLS

Discussion in 'MLS: Expansion' started by the-boulder, Sep 6, 2002.

  1. the-boulder

    the-boulder New Member

    Sep 6, 2002
    Tulsa, OK
    sorry if this is posted, but I didn't see it on here-

    Council delays vote on feasibility study for soccer
    By CURTIS KILLMAN World Staff Writer
    The City Council delayed action Thursday on a measure that would authorize spending as much as $100,000 to finance a study on the feasibility of locating a Major League Soccer franchise in Tulsa.

    The council sent the measure back to the Urban and Economic Development Committee meeting Tuesday for further discussion.

    The item was referred back to committee, where it was previously heard Tuesday, to "get more solid answers" as to how the money would be spent, Council Chairman Bill Christiansen said.

    "In speaking to the other councilors, we all have a lot of questions," Christiansen said after Thursday's regular council meeting.

    Christiansen said a review of the proposed study's scope failed to include an analysis of a suitable site for a soccer stadium.

    "We want it to be an objective study of the entire city of Tulsa," Christiansen said, referring to the site analysis.

    He said he knew of no councilors who opposed the idea of funding the study.

    Two residents spoke against use of the funds for the study during the Thursday meeting.

    "I have a problem with playthings because the city is in deep financial trouble," said James Alexander, a regular at council meetings.

    Councilor Tom Baker said the city didn't seek out the project, saying it was a "business opportunity" that has been presented to Tulsa.

    The city should "at least consider the possibility of evaluating" the prospect of a franchise, Baker said.

    The $100,000 for the study will come from excess revenues in the 1985 Sales Tax Economic Development fund. The fund has $900,000 in surplus revenues from the 1985 third-penny sales tax program.

    The city will give the money to the Tulsa Metro Chamber as part of an existing economic development contract with the city.

    The chamber plans to use the funds to hire Dallas-based Conventions, Sports & Leisure International to study the viability of a new multipurpose stadium and Major League Soccer franchise.

    As part of the study, CSL will conduct telephone surveys to determine season ticket and premium seating interest. The company will also provide revenue and expense estimates associated with the proposed stadium.

    Mayor Bill LaFortune has voiced an interest in bidding for a soccer franchise if a suitable stadium site and investors for the project can be located.

    Franchise backers have identified two downtown locations as possible sites.

    A study would be completed within 12 to 14 weeks, according to a proposed CSL service agreement.

    Christiansen said he didn't think the one-week delay would hurt the city's chances of landing a franchise.

    NACIONAL New Member

    Dec 31, 2001
    Medellin, Colombia
    when i saw the title of the thread i thought about a 6 month delay or something like that
  3. Laramie4OKC

    Laramie4OKC New Member

    Jul 25, 2002
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Tulsa is doing it right!

    Tulsa needs to take their time so that they will have all the anwers when these tax revolt people come in wanting all the infrastructure fixed first.

    Infrastructure is find and it should take top priority; however, a city the size of Tulsa will never fix all of its infrastructure problems--however, that doesn't mean that you neglect them anymore than you neglect the quality of life issue until all infrastructure problem are corrected.

    Tulsa, I would say has an advantage over Oklahoma City. You see, Tulsa hasn't passed a sale tax referendum yet; therefore, they have time to include a stadium.

    Our mayor, Kirk Humphreys doesn't want the voters in Oklahoma City to look at anymore projects. He believes that we are maxed-out on sales taxes. We would like for the voters to look at projects which were left off MAPS: a 600 foot centennial downtown derrick-like tourist structure (Petroleum Plaza); extension (doubling the size) of the Bricktown Canal; an 80,000-seat NFL quality stadium, String of Pearls parks on the North Canadian Riverfront Development, light rail and rapid transit. We should have gone for 2 cents; however, at the time, we didn't think that we could get one cent by voters.

    The only advantage that Oklahoma City had over Tulsa as far as getting a sales tax passed was that people here knew and could see that Oklahoma City was run down and that our downtown was dead.

    Will Tulsa's beautiful downtown have to die before people realize that a sales tax referendum is needed?

    WHOLMAN2 New Member

    Dec 4, 2000
    Lahs Angeleez
    If money is an issue, then don't use public funds to pay for the study. Let the benefactors pay for it.
  5. Laramie4OKC

    Laramie4OKC New Member

    Jul 25, 2002
    Oklahoma City, OK
    If the City is going to build the stadium; it needs to do the study. That way you don't have public outcries as to the credibility of the study.

    Funds are already available for the study:

    The $100,000 for the study will come from excess revenues in the 1985 Sales Tax Economic Development fund. The fund has $900,000 in surplus revenues from the 1985 third-penny sales tax program.

    The city will give the money to the Tulsa Metro Chamber as part of an existing economic development contract with the city.
  6. Viking64

    Viking64 Member

    Feb 11, 1999
    Tarheel State
    Sounds like come council people are either:

    interested in having more time to hear what people think

    interesed in buying options on land likely to be later found "suitable"

    interested in having it their district, and want "all options" considered.

    I presume Tulsa has single-member districts and a few at-large seats.
  7. USRufnex

    USRufnex Red Card

    Tulsa Athletic / Sheffield United
    United States
    Jul 15, 2000
    Tulsa, OK
    Actually, the BIG problem is that the 1985 fund can only be used in areas that would economically disadvantaged: downtown, north Tulsa, and some parts of west Tulsa qualify.

    In other words, the study will only examine sites in the above areas but if a stadium gets proposed/built anywhere else the city will have to pay the $100,000 back to the fund.

    Bill Christensen is covering his own butt by at least making sure that all parts of Tulsa (including his south Tulsa district) are considered as part of a feasibility study.

    Wes Minter (conservative, anti-tax, and self proclaimed "proud capitalist" local radio guy) from KRMG radio said on his afternoon show that even though he was completely against the stadium that his listeners in general supported it. Also on the show it sounded like a site at the Tulsa fairgrounds would be a problem since the midtown folks already have lawsuits pending against Bell's Amusement Park for wanting to build a new roller coaster... god forbid how pissy they'd get over a stadium...

    Unfortunately, I think if this is looked upon as a "downtown soccer stadium," any bond issue will probably NOT pass. Every time in the last 25 years that there's been a proposed stadium,etc. or convention center, the location is always downtown and the bond issue has always failed.

    If the stadium is built outside of downtown and/or is truly seen by the public as "multi-purpose" then the chances are very good it could pass given the fact that some previous proposals have only been narrowly defeated...

    Tulsa's Republican majority city council is very nervous about getting it right so any final proposal can have the best chance to pass...

    I'm wondering if private funding may be the only way to go on the feasibility study...

    I think Tulsa's position is infinitely more complicated than the situation in Edmond.

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