Widgets Magazine
  • New survey suggests $1 billion for new arena

    A new survey suggests the total price tag for a new downtown arena could be north of $1 billion.

    Yesterday, a survey from an anonymous source was sent to many OKC residents asking for feedback on a proposed ballot measure that would provide funding for a replacement of Paycom Center.

    Mayor David Holt recently mentioned at the State of the City address that the full plan would be presented to the public by the end of the summer with a vote to take place in December.

    Although the mayor was vague on exact numbers, this survey seems to provide a good indication of what to expect when the plan is ready to be shared.

    The four questions that have proposed details are shown. All are being asked in the context, ‘how would this influence your decision to vote for the measure?’.

    The first asks about raising $891 million in sales tax. The mayor had previously indicated that a likely funding source would be continuing the MAPS 4 $.01 sales tax once it expires in 2028.

    Adding this up: $891 million in sales tax + $70 million in MAPS 4 funds + $75 million from the Thunder ownership (see additional question) = $1.036 billion. Since the likely site is already owned by the City (Prairie Surf Studios/old Cox Center) the value of the land is likely not factored into the total.

    Holt has spoken of many arena examples in the $1 billion range and has said our new arena would be state-of-the-art.

    The mayor has also stated the goal would be to have the new arena operational before the end of the decade, therefore a loan would have to be taken to cover the sales tax total as the collection would run through 2034 (six years after MAPS 4 expires).

    It also appears the Thunder plan to sign a 25-year lease to anchor the new facility.

    Although all these numbers may change before they are finalized and presented for a vote, this survey seems to give a good indication of what to expect when the detailed plan is presented in a couple of months.

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