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Thread: Ford Center/NCAA Tournament

  1. #1
    Patrick Guest

    Default Ford Center/NCAA Tournament

    Watching the NCAA tourny today, I couldn't help but keep commenting on how nice the Ford Center looked on national television. It really looks like a major league venue. Comparing it to the venue at Worchester was like comparing night to day, literally. Not sure what the problem was, but images from Worechester looked dark. The Ford Center floor looked bright and clear!

    Also, whoever chose the design for our basketball floor and the color coordinations, did a fine job. I'm impressed.

    I'd have to say the Ford Center was one of the nicest looking facilities for the first round that I've seen so far.

    floater and Hot Rod....I know you probably saw regional coverage, but did you get a chance to see any of the coverage of the Ford Center?

    Oh, one more comment. I do have a suggestion, for those city leaders that may be reading. I agree that we need to block off Reno Ave. between the Ford Center and Cox Center for an event like this, but can't we use something else other than orange Road Closed signs. On a trip to San Antonio a few year back, I notice that they used nice plastic baracades and temporary planters in some spots to block off streets for a short time. It might be something to look into.

    Also, I would've like to have seen more festivities going on in the street between the two facilities. We needed vendors...a small carnival of sorts. I noticed that Brewer and company took advantage of the crowd and closed Mickey Mantle to set up entertainment in front of the ballpark! We needed this on Reno. as well!

    Heck, let's just move up the Arts Festival, in conjunction with March Madness! lol!

  2. Default Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    I agree Patrick. I just wonder what the Ford Center would look like with colored lights instead of white.

    We should have gotten the finals. The Ford Center should be big enough.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    I've taken the opportunity to visit some of the fan boards of some of the teams playing at the Ford. So far, OKC is getting mixed reviews. One Wisconsin fan commented: There's not much to do.

    There should be live bands, food vendors, street vendors and an exciting atmosphere.

    I went down there three times and I was very disappointed. It was total dullsville.

    Our city does a good job at handling the infrastructural details, but they don't seem to "get it" when it comes to arts and entertainment. That's why there are often cheezy cover bands from David Box headlining most of our big events.

    No live music, no good food vendors, no atmosphere at all. I think we missed a real opportunity to market the city this year.

    If OKC becomes a "big-time city" it will be in spite of the efforts of the greedy, clueless good ole boys who run this town and wouldn't know what a real city is if it bit them in the ass.

  4. Default Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    Interesting story from Tulsa...


    OKC trying to get the regional tournament in 2009 or 2010 which I think is a great idea. However, the story said that usually larger venues are picked, the ones with around 40,000 seats. Maybe this is something OKC should look into? For the city leaders that read this forum, this may be a good thing to invest in.

    If the Ford Center was expanded to 30,000-40,000 seats, it would definitely put Tulsa out of the running for landing the Big 12 tournament or a regional or even NCAA first and second round games. It would cost a good amount of money, but the positive impacts that would come from this would be worth it. Plus, if the Ford Center was expanded, OKC could get Frank Ghery or someone like that to redesign it and put Cesar Pelli's dream to shame!

    I just have a bad feeling, that with only 18,500, 19 inch seats, the Big 12 tournament will only come to OKC once and won't return because the "fat" citizens of ALL the Texas cities, OK, and Kansas will not like it. And as far as economics go, why would the Big 12 want to hold a tournament in OKC over Dallas when they can sell 20,000 more seats in Dallas?

    I just think this might be something to look into, because we definitely want the Big 12 tournament to come back, not just to have the economic benefits, but also because it puts the Bricktown and River projects on the fast track and inspires new Bricktown and river developments!!!

  5. #5
    xrayman Guest

    Default Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    Quote Originally Posted by mranderson
    I agree Patrick. I just wonder what the Ford Center would look like with colored lights instead of white.

    We should have gotten the finals. The Ford Center should be big enough.
    Oklahoma City is not anywhere near being large enough to host a Final Four. The Ford Center is not even big enough to hold an NCAA Regional. Unfortunately, a lot of negatives: Facility is too small, lack of direct flights, and too few hotel rooms (way too few). Plus, unfortunately, we're not quite the "destination city" that gets the Final Four. We're not even scheduled for another first/second round - at least not through 2008. The arena size really hurts.....18,500 kills us for anything larger than a first/second round host site.

  6. Default Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    The Ford Center is one of the largest arenas in the nation. Many "famous" arenas are smaller and host other rounds. I am not sure of the typical size of the final four.

    Oklahoma City has a LOT of "direct" flights, to and from many cities across the nation. So this is not a factor.

    This city is getting far more compliments than complaints from the visitors here this week. So "destination city" is not a factor.

    Hotel room numbers are improving. So, if this IS a factor, it is being addressed.

  7. Default Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    That's why it blows me that Albuquerque and Syracuse earned regionals (named after them no less!!). Do they have larger facilities and more hotel rooms? Albuquerque may be a southwestern destination, but does it have a respectable facility? Syracuse has the Carrier Dome, but is it a destination with lots of hotel rooms?

    But I agree, we're not helping our case by having such poor "event" production. If we're grateful for hosting, let's hype it up and serve up a party!! I had similar thoughts about Reno when thinking about hosting the Big 12 tournaments. Reno ought to be a carnival, with live music, vendors, street performers, games, even hoops for pick-up games!!

    The Cox Center big screens and food was a good idea. But instead of the arena, I think one of the ballrooms would have been a better choice, as they look much nicer, and you don't feel like you're in a cold canyon.

    This past week was my spring break, and my destination was Indianapolis (yeah, others choose South Padre, how screwed up is that). On the Monday and Tuesday, I saw why Indianapolis is such a favored host. They have street signs named after the mascots of every visiting team, along with banners with their names. They dress their wastebaskets in Final Four sleeves. (I think the signs were for the Big Ten tournament, though). Their sports facilities are relatively close to each other and many hotels. We have some of the latter, but let's paint the town with these tournaments! What if we had team logos painted on buffalos? What about having a intramural on the streets? Or a basketball clinic? A charity event featuring coaches or players (current or former) like a golf tournament or cooking contest? I think the corporate community would step up with fundraising for some of these things.

    I have to say, though, that my school was also hosting a regional, and with the exception of having a day off (St. Patrick's Day -- the first day of the tournament) and being shut out of campus parking by President's order, you couldn't tell the regional was here. Not much hype or "event" production.

    Anyway, Patrick, to answer your question, on Friday, we did see some action depending on the teams playing. I saw close-by teams like the Wisconsin and Bucknell. I wasn't watching all the time, so how don't know how much St. Mary's and OSU games were shown. Of course, if a game heats up, they'll cut to it for awhile. And I have to agree that the floor and facility represents OKC well -- well-lit and with nice big lettering. Having "Oklahoma City" on the baselines gives us a lot of name publicity -- thousands of dollars worth. And the announcers were great, saying "Oklahoma City" with enthusiasm with every intro and cutaway. The Cinderella City coverage helped a lot, too.

  8. Default Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    GREAT story...


    I especially like this quote...

    Les Palmer of Carbondale, Ill., said downtown Oklahoma City far outshines other tournament sites, especially Syracuse, N.Y.


    A handful of Southern Illinois fans were surprised to discover a downtown they said could accommodate the Final Four — if only Ford Center could seat 40,000.

    Thats my point...we have everything except the hotel rooms, which are on the way, and the size of the facility which would be a very good investment.

  9. #9
    swake Guest

    Default Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    18,000 seats is enough for a regional and city size doesn't matter.

    Tha NCAA won't place the final four in an arena anymore, only Domed Stadiums with 40,000+ seats.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    Carrier Dome = 49250

    "The Pit" in NM = 18,018

    -- The Ford Center = way better than "The Pit"

  11. Default Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    The seats at the Ford Center ACTUALLY range from 19-21 inches. The cupholders were the problem of why seating was so tight. The problem was fixed in 2004, and the complaints have stopped.
    Continue the Renaissance!!!

  12. #12
    xrayman Guest

    Default Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    Quote Originally Posted by mranderson
    The Ford Center is one of the largest arenas in the nation. Many "famous" arenas are smaller and host other rounds. I am not sure of the typical size of the final four.

    Oklahoma City has a LOT of "direct" flights, to and from many cities across the nation. So this is not a factor.

    This city is getting far more compliments than complaints from the visitors here this week. So "destination city" is not a factor.

    Hotel room numbers are improving. So, if this IS a factor, it is being addressed.
    Maybe you're right. I DO know that the flight problem and OKC not being a "destination city" is a factor in the Final Four. Not a Regional site, but a Final Four site. We need to accept that we're getting there, but we're a LONG way from people being excited when they find out the Final Four is in -- Oklahoma City.

    I think the reviews on the city are very mixed from the visitors I have talked to. I heard many complaints from people who got here early and attended the ever-so-tiny St. Patrick's Day "festival" on Thursday.......Many people are confused over the lack of even a well-stocked convenience store near downtown. The lack of even basic retail downtown is bewildering to visitors. One man said to me that the closest thing that came to retail for what his wife needed was a vending machine. (ouch!) We need to accept that we are growing, we're getting better, but when we put things in perspective we have a long way to go.

  13. Post Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    Quote Originally Posted by swake
    18,000 seats is enough for a regional and city size doesn't matter.

    Tha NCAA won't place the final four in an arena anymore, only Domed Stadiums with 40,000+ seats.

    I think you hit it on the nail - Ford Centre was meant for NBA/NHL/AFL, not for large-scale sporting events such as competing to attract the NCAA Final Four. It was purposefully designed to give OKC all of the amenities needed to attract and support these major league franchises while at the same time create an intimate atmosphere and size such that OKC could fully support and use the facility.

    What we need is:

    * More downtown hotel rooms - I mean 1500+ more than we have (and on the drawing board). A total of at least 3000 downtown hotel rooms would put to rest our lack of hotel room issue.

    * MAPS III - featuring a domed stadium - something like the Heartland Castle idea (which would be a large scale multiuse stadium with retractable roof (or not) that would host our NFL team, a NCAA bowl game (Football), Big 12 championship (Football), rotate with Dallas for the OU/Texas game, Bedlam (OU/OSU) game - where both schools split the proceeds evenly, State Highschool championships, AND premier large events like NCAA Final Four.

    Like I always said, OKC is on the verge. But I think we need to address these two issues plus the "lack of streetlife" during large scale events. I was in OKC recently (for a day) and while downtown looked great - it was closed up. Granted, it was Sunday but still - I was surprised how great everything looked but no one was there. No street activity, and it was NOT HOT.

    I think the street activity brings-up the need for downtown housing as well. We should make it TOP PRIORITY to address these issues!

    Heartland Castle would cost what $150 Million, but would FINALLY set OKC into the BIG LEAGUES!!!!! Honestly, I think this should be the next MAPS, along with a renewed emphasis on neighbourhood beautification ($150 M), freeway/entryway improvement ($50 M), light rail - Downtown to Will Rogers Airport ($100 M), Airport enhancements/expansion and beautification ($100 M, plus the dollars the airport trust already allocated for the East Concourse), and finally construct a few small entertainment points downtown where street activity (people playing instruments, small bands, crafts, so on) could add to the downtown atmosphere ($10 M?). Total all of these estimates, and you get $560 M.

    But my list addresses nearly ALL of the issues we continually bring up with regard to OKC being great and all but not quite major league or attractive.

    * The Heartland Castle would FINALLY give OKC the "Big League" status. You know we would immediately get an NFL team, plus probably a MLS team. I think we should shoot for the OU/Texas and Bedlam games as well so we fully utilize the facility (MAKE $$$$).

    * Our Airport is looking great but the entryway to it is downright mediocre at best. Where are the Trees? Where are the nice signage that we used to have? Perhaps that is in the works, but I was quite unimpressed by the yellow grass and nothing else upon entry at the airport. This initiative would address that, possibly build another on-airport hotel (like AT THE TERMINAL) to create atmoshpere at the airport, and would give us the gates needed to ensure we get not only America West but also additional flights from other airlines (we dont have and we currently do)

    * Our freeway system would have insulating vegetation/sound walls which would really make OKC look pretty. I think the signage also needs to advertise DOWNTOWN OKC. You go to most big cities, and their freeway signs (those on the gantry) say DOWNTOWN or CITY CENTER. Ours dont, they say - FT SMITH, TULSA, WICHITA, and uggh DALLAS. We need to point the way to DOWNTOWN OKC. On that note, the Airport Sign says TULSA DOWNTOWN, making you think you are going to downtown Tulsa. It should just say, DOWNTOWN or Oklahoma City, not promote another city. You just got here, now you are "encouraged" to leave OKC. We need to change this, and not mention other cities in our freeway system until you reach an Interstate Junction. Otherwise, we should say - Downtown or City Center or Oklahoma City in the direction going toward downtown.

    What I mean is,

    - on airport road leaving the airport approaching I-44, the sign should say DOWNTOWN or Oklahoma City (or Downtown Oklahoma City, not Tulsa Downtown as you promote Tulsa and people get confused, you reach downtown OKC before you reach Tulsa anyways)

    - on I-40 West, it should say Downtown OKC until just past May Ave. Even then, it should still have r/h downtown signs with left hand for FT Smith and Wichita/Dallas on the approach to I-35, Edmond at I-235.

    - on I-40 East, it should say Downtown with like two arrows at the I240 junction, in midwest city (a big centre sign with three arrows), and at the I35 junction. the side signs at the junction would say Dallas or Wichita or St Capital Edmond, but the middle should say Downtown with at least two arrows, so people know how to get downtown and we promote our DOWNTOWN!!!

    - on I-35 S, it should say Dat the turnpike junction (I think it does, as you can see downtown skyscrapers infront of you when you are there which is nice!!!). It should also say Downtown as you go south a few times until you join I40.

    - on I-35 N, it should say Downtown with two arrows starting at the approach to Shields, with one at I-240 and a few more at the I-40 approach. It should NOT say Amarillo there, because you have not reach downtown OKC yet.

    - on I-44, it should say Downtown for I-40 Junction (instead of Ft Smith).

    In general, our freeway signs should say downtown up until we reach downtown. Im not saying, we should have ten downtown signs on I-40 Eastbound throughout western OKC with no mention of Ft Smith, Im saying we should add downtown signs in on the gantries. Have Ft smith on the far left with a big downtown with three arrows in the centre. Ditto that for I-35, I-235. For I-44 and I240, it should say Downtown at the junction whose exit goes in the direction toward downtown. This plus the trees would really give OKC that big city feel!

    * with the list, we would address our neighbourhood issue and more people would move back to the inner city! that is really what we want, more people in the inner city, close to if not IN downtown. Actually, if we can get all NEW residents in the inner city and keep what we have in the suburban areas, then OKC would continue to grow and the inner city would grow as well. I think neighbourhood trees, sidewalks, bus stops with shelters, streetscapes, fountains, and special detractions (for Little Asia, Capital Hill, Eastside) which pay homage to the heritage/culture of the neighbourhood would improve inner city and make the neighbourhoods more liveable and more of an attraction. It has already been discussed (and approved??) that Little Asia would get entry gates in Chinese fashion and the streetlights and signs would be painted red with oriental detail, but lets do the same for other significant neighbourhoods - especially those like Little Asia that are also touristy in addition to actual people living there with culture. Just brings a cosmopolitan image and feel to the city.

    Sorry for the long post, but you all know how passionate I am about OKC and its future as a big city. I was there recently, so I have this as observations and recommendations as we move forward. OKC has certainly come a long way!!! but we have some things that fundamentally if we do it, OKC will join the Tier 1 major leagues.

    Wanna hear something interesting that will make you all proud? Here in Seattle, on our local tv news channels (especially our ABC affiliate, also NBC) - OKC is listed with the other big cities around the nation on our national forecast map!!!! This used to not be the case, until about a year ago or so, I would occassionally see OKC on the map. Now, OKC is there permanently - along with the usual hub airport cities (Dallas, Denver, LA, San Fran, Chi, NY, Miami, Atl, DC, New Orleans, Stl, Detroit). I saw the weather last night and OKC was on the map, with its forecasted high of 70 for today, on the national map here in Seattle on our ABC Affiliate!!!!!!!!!!!

    I just cant tell you how happy and surprised I was!!!! I wanna look tonite to see if OKC is on the map again. If it is, I think this will be a trend around the country - that OKC is a major city and is a destination on the map. You may not realize it but being on the forecast map on the local news is REALLY how people recognize big cities in the nation. Think Im kidding, ask anybody around the nation what they think of Nashville - even though Im sure most people have not been there. It used to not be on the maps but now it often is.

    Of course, YOU GUYS need to continue to improve the city!!! So that when tourists like myself come in, we leave with the same impression we are getting before we come to OKC. That way, OKC will remain on everyone's national forecast maps, and OKC will become ingrained as a big city, along with the other Tier 1 cities in the nation.

    Isnt that what we really want, for OKC to be major league with major league attractions. Well, like I said before, we are on the verge!!! Lets continue the momentum but also be proud of how far the city has come.

    Continue the Renaissance!!

    (I never saw OKC on the forecast maps (locally) until last year and that was occasional. Even on CNN and Weather Channel - by the way, why does Weather channel have Tulsa on the South Central forecast map and not OKC?))
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  14. #14
    xrayman Guest

    Default Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    HOT ROD,

    Why don't you have any ideas????? Obviously, just kidding.

    You had some good suggestions there. I will tell you this about the freeway signage as I had reason to look into this not long ago. When you're talking freeways with the Interstate designation, you don't have all the freedom to do as you suggested. It's all based on some fairly scientific and measured calculations. For example, AMARILLO must be on the signage where you were talking about because of its population size and distance from the Interstate exchange ahead. The Interstate signage issue is tricky because we have to remember the reason for the signs is to direct travelers and not to promote areas of the city. There are brown colored signs that can be added for those purposes. But when it comes to actual Interstate signage - there are bureaucratic rules and regulations. Why else is "Fort Smith" on the signs and it be duly called the "Ft. Smith Junction" by the media? More people need to head East there to go to other major cities further East, but the population/distance calculations come in. This is what was explained to my office and some of it makes sense and some of it is ridiculous.

    I have to applaud you on your passion and your grand vision for our city. The "Heartland Castle" does have a certain ring to it as a major professional stadium.

    I agree about the hotel rooms downtown. I am hoping that the latest Hammons plans will continue despite his interest in retiring. Hammons is in his late eighties I believe. You certainly can't blame the guy!

    One thing you didn't mention, which I think is crucial is attracting retail downtown. A gift shop, trinket/t-shirt shop and antiques just won't cut it.

    I would love to see an airport hotel. However, you can't expect a major developer to build at the terminal just to "create atmosphere." Unfortunately, with OKC's car culture and lack of adequate mass transit, a true terminal airport doesn't make sense - as much as you and I would both like to see it!

    The only idea you have I don't like is the "gateway" idea upon entry of neighborhoods that are generally of one race, etc. Little Asia? Maybe. The current signage is nice I suppose, but anything beyond that reeks of promoting segregated areas. You mentioned the East side. There is certainly nothing there that anybody could possibly want to promote with a gateway. Just because it is predominantly black does not a "cultural district" make.

    What I really like is your obvious thinking and love and passion for Oklahoma City. If that could only be transferred to the horseshoe downtown. The current City Council is about as blah as any I've seen in my years in Oklahoma City. All things change though - and that will too.

    Finally, I had to mention, I love your sign-off: "Continue the Renaissance!!"

    Good thinking, Hot Rod.


  15. #15

    Default Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    We need to get over the major league sports fantasy. It isn't going to happen any time soon and it is counterproductive for us to waste valuable and finite resources chasing such a delusion.

    There are other things we can go after that will improve the quality of life in OKC and reposition our image as a happening place.

    For the cost of a domed stadium, we could subsidize direct flights to the coasts for years.

    For the cost of a domed stadium, we could finish renovating the Cox Center and stay ahead of the curve on spiffing up the Ford Center. It may look like a dump in a few years.

    We need urban atmosphere in this town. We need the housing NOW, and it needs to be owner-occupied housing.

    I was extremely disappointed by the effort the city put in for the Tourney this year. There were people wandering around in a daze, bored out of their freaking minds. No live music, no carnival atmosphere.

    The local TV stations all went out of their way to scare the normal residents away from downtown this weekend, citing the "tens of thousands" of people who would be competing for parking spots. As a result, there were fewer people in Bricktown Friday night than one would see on a typical weekend. Lame.

    I'm sorry, but Bass Pro and Toby Keith's Roadhouse do not enhance the urban vibration downtown, and they do not project the image we desperately need to project to be viewed as anything other than a hokey cowtown.

  16. Talking Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    thanks xray.

    I m glad that you agree with me for the most part, but I wanted to comment on some of your comments, funny heh?

    1) I know the interstate system is meant for intercity travel and thus the signage for point to point population centres, however, the rules of engagement generally agree that a metro area could list its cities or destinations first as long as the point to point is prominently indicated. What the heck does that mean? Well, on a Gantry - you could list the Point destination to the left - for thru traffic, then in the center have your local destination like downtown if heading in that direction, and then stops and exits on the right.

    Also in the rules, is that you dont have to indicate population centres until the next centre has been reached. This is my biggest argument of contention for Oklahoma City. It lists Tulsa and Amarillo and all of these places before the freeway even enters OKC or its population centres. For example, upon arriving at the airport, you see Tulsa right away. Yes, downtown is also listed but it looks like downtown Tulsa, not OKC. I think OKC could and should list Downtown OKC on gantry signs outside of a five mile radius from downtown because that is where the population centre of the metro is. also, from there you can pretty much tell where downtown is anyways due to our skyscrapers.

    I know ODOT has leverage here and this is the reason for my post. Go to Dallas, and I35 does not list OKC until you leave denton, TX. Denton is listed in Downtown Dallas. If this were OKC, you would see signs for Wichita beginning at Crossroads Mall area, which I think is stupid, since you have not reached Downtown OKC yet and We have major suburbs of Edmond and Guthrie that could be listed (like Dallas does).

    2) You mentioned about the entryways to neighbourhoods. Remember I said all neighbourhoods should have improved beautification and that those who are more touristy (like Little Asia, cap hill, and eastside, paseo, so on) should have ornate signage. All chinatowns have pagodas and entry gates, so that is just part of being a major chinatown. You are not promoting a race but instead the city would be embracing and celebrating its diverse culture and heritage - and promoting that to tourists. Im telling you the truth here, go to LA, San Fran, or Vancouver (all cities with very large asian pops with entry gates into their Chinatowns) and you immediately know what the area is and what to expect. You think nothing about the race but more about the food, the scene, the culture of the neighbourhood. And this is what OKC should promote.

    3) The Heartland Castle idea was proposed a long time ago by MrAnderson. We (the original Maps Forum posters) liked it so much that it became the cornerstone of our slogun, continue the renaissance - which I proposed. Thus, these are not new ideas but instead are a reminder of what we originally proposed and a plea that we should act now to implement them.

    4) As far as the airport hotel is concerned, the city could build it and rent it to a hotel company to operate. This is what ORD, YVR -Vancouver International, and many other airports around the world have done, as Airports are typically municipally controlled. I dont think it would be a long shot at all, to expand the airport again with a hotel on the east side, the east concourse, and a light rail station there. That, and improved vegetation along the roadways is my proposal for the airport and I think it is very feasible.

    Also, MrAnderson loosely proposed that the airport have a shopping centre inside. Well, YVR-Vancouver International has this inside their International and Domestic terminals and this airport is consistently voted as the Best in the World. I also mentioned that YVR has a hotel in the terminal, and it is a four 1/2 star Fairmont Hotel at that! You really could fly into YVR, go shopping and to exclusive restaurants, exchange your money, see a movie, go to a spa, have a mini-convention, and stay in 4 1/2 star luxury hotel without leaving the airport terminal in Vancouver. You could have all of the experiences of big beautiful downtown Vancouver, without leaving the airport - that is what we should strive for (in addition to striving for a downtown like Vancouver's, which every body else in the world would like to have). In fact, visitors to downtown often stay at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport opposed to the many downtown hotels because of the Fairmont's luxury, the amenities in the airport (a city within a terminal), and proximity to Richmond - an international destination itself. And, YVR is only 10 Km from downtown Vancouver, so the big city is not far away.

    O, and the airport is municipally owned (well, there is a trust like organization that is private-public partnership). One last thing about YVR is that soon they will expand the Vancouver Metro system - called SkyTrain - to the airport. It will begin at the existing subway in downtown Vancouver, then continue through the city underground then emerge above ground at the airport and terminate at a Vancouver suburb called Richmond. Once this takes place, it will be tough for any city in the world to compete with YVR for its convenience, quality of life, and flights.

    I think if we want to copy anything, we should copy Vancouver. Everybody else is, and they really have some good things going. Most of the ideas I come up with originate from my travels and experiences there, as Vancouver is 100 miles from Seattle - I go there quite alot, so do other Seattle residents.

    Other than that, Im glad we all agree. I just wanted to give you guys some examples that WE CAN do what we are proposing, We are not singling out a race but instead promoting our diversity and cosmopolitan image, and public investment is needed at our airport and entry ways. In the end, the private wins! due to increased visits, increased access, and improved "word of mouth" advertising. Not to mention, OKC would be on the national weather maps!!!

    Continue the Renaissance!
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  17. Default Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    "We need to get over the major league sports fantasy. It isn't going to happen any time soon and it is counterproductive for us to waste valuable and finite resources chasing such a delusion."

    It is this kind of negitave thinking that has caused this city to fall behind. I certainly hope we prove you quite wrong, soonerguru. And I feel strongly we will.

    Why not be optimistic instead of negative.

  18. Default Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    Mr anderson, I agree with you but

    I think sooner has some points. He mentioned that the media in OKC created a "scare" which resulted in no locals going downtown and making us look artificially 'empty'.

    I honestly think that is the biggest problem with OKC - its MEDIA. They are the ones that downplay everything in OKC, put residents down through stereotyping and segregating, and as soonerguru stated "scare people away" from downtown and Oklahoma City's wonderful inner city amenities.

    I too wish Soonerguru would be a bit more optimistic BUT his statement reflects the truth in reality. Your local media is why OKC still "acts" like a small town. And what I cant believe is people there actually do whatever the media says - like Zombies or something. Where is the independence, where is the American way of 'let me see for myself,'

    I think the MAPS II 1/2 should be a revamping of the local media - including every tv station news and of course that crappy daily. I wish the OKC times would come back, to give another daily "voice" to Oklahoma City and present the NEWS!!! Both the Daily OK and the tv news have so much fluffy reporting that rarely do you guys know whats actually happening in OKC besides statistical things.

    I think this would be a true renaissance because the media is the first voice of your town and they more than anyone should be promoting the good of OKC.

    Continue the Renaissance
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  19. #19

    Default Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    "It is this kind of negitave thinking that has caused this city to fall behind. I certainly hope we prove you quite wrong, soonerguru. And I feel strongly we will."

    I'm sorry you interpreted my post as being negative. I would love to see a viable plan for OKC to have a major-league franchise, but if you're familiar with the metrics involved you would understand that my post is not negative, but realistic.

    Here's my problem. I love what OKC is trying to do, but there are so many holes to patch my point is this: why are we investing so much effort and resources chasing something that isn't likely to occur.

    Austin doesn't have a major-league franchise, and Austin is a helluva lot better city than OKC right now.

    Austin developed its downtown, downtown housing, transit, entertainment, airport, arts, etc. Bike paths, great DOWNTOWN grocery, book stores, music stores, etc. These are all things we can try to tackle.

    If we put too many eggs in the major-league franchise basket we are neglecting things we can do to improve this city right now.

    I am passionately supportive of efforts to improve this city, but I don't always buy into the "rah-rah" Chamber stuff here because I know a lot of insiders and see how key decisions are made here and what often results.

    MAPS is great. MAPS II is great. Mick is saying good things. But let's be real. You can't even find a downtown market to shop in. No place to buy food, wine or flowers. Thanks to Taylor's, you can buy magazines, but they have a lousy book selection. We have a lot of mediocre restaurants in Bricktown, a great movie theater, a canal and a AAA ballpark. It's great what we've accomplished, but like Mick himself said, the day we pat ourselves on the back and think we've done a good job "we will be done."

  20. #20

    Default Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    Hot Rod for Council!

  21. Default Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    The Oklahoma City Times for most of its existence was run by the same Gaylord machine that operates The Oklahoman; if it was a second voice, there was a lot of echo to it. The last competing daily was The Oklahoma Journal (born 1964, died 1980).

  22. Default Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    Well, I have never known Hot Rod to not be passionate about OKC, but it still warms me to read his suggestions and enthusiasm.

    Thanks for info, xrayman about highway signage. In terms of signs for neighborhoods, I like them. Granted, I do not like the way it was done with Little Saigon. To me "Asian District" does reek of segregation. "That's where all the Asians have their restaurants and stuff." That's what we don't want. Rather, "Little Saigon" works much better because it's more geographic; it speaks of a place, not some kind of ordered segregation. People would liken it to beloved ethnic enclaves like Chinatown or Little Italy. I might even go for a "Little Asia."

    I like neighborhood signs because they brand their neighborhoods. They say that living there is unique from living somewhere else (even though it may not really be different). That's why we like calling places "Stockyards City" or "Paseo". People like living in a place with an identity, and that's what signs do.

    I agree with soonerguru that some basics have to be addressed. Having a major-league sports team is not a silver bullet that'll shoot us to top-tier status. But I've become a fan of emphasizing sports because they bring us good exposure, they unite us as fans, and they bring outside money into the local economy. So they're a good jumpstart.

    Sorry for rambling again....

  23. Default Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    I agree with some points, on a personal note, our first visit to OKC was on a Sunday and I seriously felt like I was in the twilight zone. I was blown away that there were no people on the streets. It was Sept 28, 2002 and we stayed at the Westin. My husband went to get a bottle of wine so we could enjoy a glass before a party we were attending. About 45 min later, he returned and told how he had to drive around forever trying to find a store that he could buy a bottle of wine. That almost changed our minds about moving to OK! But, we did and we have adapted to a lot of changes. I do think we got some nice positive comments about OKC this weekend, yet we still have room for improvement... we do need retail downtown and a few stores for basic toiletries and necessities, books and maps, tour guides, snacks, beer or wine etc ...

    Don't know if this has been implemented yet but here is an Article about signage : A new comprehensive wayfinding system, funded by a City General Obligation Bond Issue, provides consistent, clear directions to various destinations, attractions and landmarks in the Downtown area. They complement the traditional street signs which are often unfamiliar to infrequent visitors to the central city.
    The system will eventually consist of 45 vehicular signs and 22 pedestrian signs along with 27 kiosks for more detailed visitor information.

    The wayfinding system generally targets the area bound approximately by Northwest 10, Reno Avenue, Shartel and Bricktown. Drivers exiting I-40 and I-235 downtown will also be greeted by the new blue and white signs pointing the way to various destinations including the National Memorial, Bricktown and the Arts District. The Arts District includes the Oklahoma Museum of Art, Stage Center and the Civic Center.

    “Wayfinding replaces the typical city hodgepodge of unrelated signs with a unified system. People can’t be expected to navigate downtowns by relying on unfamiliar street names and addresses,” City Manager Jim Couch said.

    “This wayfinding system is expected to make our citizens and visitors feel comfortable and confident about coming downtown whether it’s for business, culture or entertainment,” he said.
    " You've Been Thunder Struck ! "

  24. Default Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    I like the design of those wayfinding sings. Art Deco-ish.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Ford Center looks nice on TV

    I noticed these signs have a similar color scheme to what was used on the floor at the Ford Center. Does anyone know if that is significant?

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