Questions about Tulsa...

Discussion in 'MLS: Expansion' started by d8n_two, Aug 1, 2002.

  1. d8n_two

    d8n_two New Member

    Jul 18, 2002
    I just got into somewhat of an argument on another sports-related forum concering Tulsa's prospects of landing a franchise. When I stated that Tulsa had been reluctant to pass city improvement measures in the past, the guy jumped all over me claiming the measures were crap, and that the current leadership of Tulsa has something new in the works that will show how bad the past proposals are. Can anybody from Tulsa (or Green Country) shed some light on what is in the works?

    It was also claimed the MLS has been courting Tulsa for 10 years, and that a facility is all that kept Tulsa from getting a charter franchise. Is this the case, and if so, what has kept Tulsa from making it happen in the past (if it is a reason other than what the previous question involved)?

    Last, but not least, have any potential I/Os surfaced in Tulsa? I'm curious about this since is claiming Tulsa is 6 months ahead of OKC/Metro area. It seems that, since neither city has a proper stadium in the works, but OKC has Express Sports as a potential I/O, OKC would be in the more favorable position.

    Since I've been told that I'm very misinformed about what is currently going on in Tulsa, I'd like someone from Tulsa to help me get up-to-date,


  2. t-town

    t-town New Member

    Jul 24, 2002
    well, the person you got into the arguement with is somewhat correct. I have been in tulsa for the last few months. I have been in okc for the last six years at the HSC but was raised in tulsa. I like both cities for different reasons. I did not want to get into the arguements on earlier threads but would like to add this info. Tulsa city leaders are preparing to present ,probably with a year, a major downtown and riverfront proposal to the city. this will most likely be similar somewhat to the bricktown/maps deal but a little more "tulsa-like". An arena, and remodeled convention center of course, but it will likely include increased development in the arts. The downtown area and brady arts district may will likely be encouraged with private and public help. Increased cafes, night scene, residental etc. Already there are a number of new bars, clubs and new lofts being built here downtown without any public help. Also I believe they will try to do more with the river, such as expanding the river parks or having commercial development along it. On July 9 Mayor LaFortune(R) (nephew of the Mayor Lafortune in the 70's who headed the riverparks development and the somewhat successful downtown revitalization at that time) and former mayor Roger Randle(D) held the "vision summit" in which the first steps of determining what items should be focused on for a county wide effort for creating a downtown revitalzation. I along with 1,100 other people attend this all-day community input session (only 300 where expected). LaFortune has stated numorous times that a proposal should be presented as soon as possible to voters. He does however want to make sure the plan is a solid detailed plan before he brings it to voters. And he wants to try to line up as much private money as possible. The former plans under susan savage where the worst planned out and silliest things I have ever heard of. Thank god that they did not pass. An olympic pool and track and field area downtown?!? Yeah, that will bring 'em in!
    Anyway to the point, this has not been mentioned on previous posts yet, but Tulsa is gearing up for a MAPS type project based on tulsa's strong suits arts, art-deco, river, strong historical neighborhoods, etc. The projects will focus on downtown and the brady arts district. I think an arena will be the top priority, but it will include other major downtown projects not just an arena, who knows maybe a soccer stadium? They are currently running a feasibility study on a soccer stadium. The overall feelings in tulsa are changing. Remember, OKC hated to be called the ugly step-sister to tulsa all those years, just as much as tulsa hates to see OKC one-up them on something.
  3. t-town

    t-town New Member

    Jul 24, 2002
    Oh, there have not been any I/O that I have heard of here. But if there is a green light for a downtown tulsa stadium I think they would emerge or even come from someplace else, like OKC. There has been very little coverage about this with football season starting soon and catholic priest scandals.
  4. d8n_two

    d8n_two New Member

    Jul 18, 2002
    Thanks for the info. I wasn't really questioning the truth of what I'd been told, but when someone says "something is in the works" but provides little details or backup, it makes you wonder. I guess the big question is whether or not any proposals will pass. I certainly hope they do, but it's not my call as I'm not a Tulsan.

  5. Laramie4OKC

    Laramie4OKC New Member

    Jul 25, 2002
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Tulsa has experience!

    Tulsa does have a fan base which has matured some and should have an even bigger fan base if an MLS franchise is granted.

    Tulsa has not been aggressive about getting a new stadium built for MLS. Many people in Tulsa feels that MLS is going to do the same thing that the NASL did two decades ago, fold!

    Oklahoma City on the otherhand could use a stadium. There is more demand for a stadium in Oklahoma City (without MLS) than Tulsa.

    OKC voters are not in a hurry to approve any more sales taxes; however, there is a property tax supported bond issue that the city will be retiring in about two years (Police, Fire, Parks) and they could build a stadium without any new taxes by not retiring that tax.

    If anyone can persuade Tulsans to vote on an MLS stadium, the LaFortune family would be the ones.
  6. Paul Nasta

    Paul Nasta Member

    Oct 16, 2001
    Long Island
    Tulsa investors

    According to Don Garber's State of MLS address, investors from Tulsa are in D.C./Md. for this weekend's All-Star festivities. Not identified, though.
  7. d8n_two

    d8n_two New Member

    Jul 18, 2002
    Express Sports (OKC) CEO Brad Lund will be at the all-star game also, and I assume he is going there as a representative of the OKC-metro area. I haven't heard anything about people representing Tulsa, unless Lund could also be considered a Tulsa rep.

  8. benine

    benine New Member

    Jul 22, 2002
    That is interesting, I havent heard of any new city proposals under LaFortune yet, but the past plans were, well, at least it was SOMETHING, but an olympic indoor SWIMMING facility? A minor league hall of fame? (yeah) An olympic track and field venue?? A new minor league ball park (four years after the drillers stadium just updated itself, nonetheless)? And, the worst of all, a rapid transit trolly that runs from downtown, down brookside and cherry street, out to Cinci. & Pine???????? Just a bit off i think. Really, I think that the investors are remaining private right now because they are really close to LaFortune and he doesnt want this to turn into an explosive bond issue before it even IS a bond issue (Tulsans, Oklahomans in general, love jumping the gun on pre-bitchen). I can think of three or four political millionare if not billionare types that would be interested as a IO to build a SSS as part of a downtown rejuvination project, probably part of a package bond deal that would be 100% funded but call for increased city spending downtown to the surrounding area of such a stadium. And that right there my friends would be the death of that; you put the term "Downtown" on a bond issue and watch it burn to cinders. Then again, LaFortune is also a republican so he could sway the Owasso/BA/Jenks conservatives to giving a little on dt bond issues.

    Still, no word at all on it, but it's a hot if not very much "On the DL" topic in Tulsa and the buzz for a MLS team is still hot topic.

    And yeah, Tulsa was going to be one of the original clubs just short of a stadium. TU said "no, we dont want to pay for maintaince or ripping up the current field" then, three years later, they renovate the stadium and put down the grasscarpet...go figure. After that fell through, MLS still wanted a team in the market so Savage (former mayor) had an exploratory comittee put together to plan out a SSS as part of a new bond issue. Originally, the comittee thought that SW Blvd and Riverside would be a great area, but the property value made the plan a bit too ambitious so they just rolled the SSS into the "multifunction" stadium to be built as part of the 96 (97?) bond issue in downtown. I think that one failed by a very small small amount, but was later revamped and offered back up to the public at which point it was voted down nearly 4 to 1.


    Still, on any given Saturday in Spring/Fall around Tulsa, there are five soccer facilities that see probably 5000 people, players and family, EACH (Valley Pk, West Bank, B.A., Jenks and SS). Thats insane for a city that has yet to crack the million mark.

Share This Page