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  1. #1

    Bricktown3 Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    We just moved to OKC after living in San Francisco Bay Area, LA, and Dallas. I love this city, Oklahomans are probably the friendliest people I've ever met, I think we'll make OKC home for years to come. What I like about this city is that I can see the changes around me, new buildings, new restaurants, or new parks while at places we used to live, everything was there when we got there. That to me is really exciting. Hopefully, many major attractions will soon be built in OKC, and my children can enjoy what children in other mega cities have.

    I'm really excited about the idea of a world-class aquarium in OKC, I hope that it will be selected as one of the funded MAPS 4 projects, but it probably won't happen anytime soon. However, instead of totally relying on MAPS, I wonder if we can take a different (and more creative) approach to raise the needed funding, for example using crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo, or simply launching our own fundraising campaign to build an aquarium in OKC. Small donors can contribute money in exchange for future (steep discount) tickets, namesakes, or other merchandise. Many projects have managed to raised tens or even hundreds of millions on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, I think we can give it a shot. An aquarium is indeed expensive, but if we can raise some decent funding to start with, we can ask some big donors to match, a campaign like that will definitely help raise public awareness. If there is such a thing, I'd be happy to donate a lot more than just 1 cent sales tax.

    Last but not least, if the aquarium is built as part of a mixed-use complex with nearby shops, restaurants, stadium, it will be a blast. An aquarium in here will make it perfect:

  2. #2

    Default Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    I'm on board. An aquarium will be a game-changer. I think pushing it to be on Maps4 is what the focus should be right now. If that doesn't work, information gathered from Maps4 could be used to make a case for a privately funded aquarium. Probably could get boat-loads of TIF money (ha).

  3. #3

    Default Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    Welcome Dr. Pepper. I love your positivity!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    I'm all for the aquarium! Downtown needs something new to help promote tourism of some kind. Even though Bricktown is great, it's getting somewhat old.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    Until then the aquarium in the Tulsa area in Jenks is nice.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    Welcome drpepper!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    Where's a great location?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    Quote Originally Posted by CloudDeckMedia View Post
    Where's a great location?
    Sorry, the Youtube clip doesn't show up on my previous post! I mean if the aquarium lies within the soccer stadium complex, and with nearby Scissortail Park, the convention center, Bricktown and Boathouse District, it will add a lot of value to our downtown. Aquarium is one of those venues that people can visit 365 days a year, whether it rains or snows outside (unlike the zoo).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWHxr5sdu4k

  9. #9

    Default Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    What if we all went to the city council meetings,
    advocated for why we think an aquarium should be built,
    added a temporary sales tax to build it,
    and then the resulting revenue from the city could fund it.

    Maybe that'll work too

  10. #10

    Default Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    First class 300 mil. dollar aquarium is something I would vote for on MAPS. Don't bring me a cheap version to get votes for soccer stadiums I want a first class attraction in OKC that will keep paying off for years to come.

  11. Default Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    Not to be a negative nancy (or bill) but anyway - I think the acquarium is a good idea but just for Maps V.

    It appears as though Maps IV will be less infrastructure related and more about suring up maintenance of what we already have in addition to doing the sidewalks, lights, and bike trails right; not to mention adding more city transit (BRT, bus shelters, buses) and the dollars likely to go to the mental health and homeless. These and tree beautification are all needed IMO to improve LIVING in OKC imo.

    I think it is good for OKC to take a break (again) from an infrastructure type MAPS this go around and focus on the community on this one. That will make things easier in 5 or so years for another big infrastructure MAPS V downtown ($550M);

    such as the $250M+ OKC Zoo Aquarium, the $150M+ 30,000 seat football/soccer stadium [hopefully with significant contribution from team(s) ownership as well this time], and dual track streetcar expansions to Capital Hill ($50M), to OCU-Asian District-Plaza ($30M), and the Oklahoma Health Center ($30M) [with the state and OU pitching in as well], along with $40M to dual track key existing streets (Sheridan, N Broadway, Reno, S Robinson) fixing some of the mistakes from MAPS III s we have more dual track in the cbd.

    I don't want to see anything MAPS or OKC funds period going to the fairgrounds since they are so well funded/attended - until they come up with a plan to reintroduce the landmark attractions they eliminated for no reason to make the equine park they created back to being the fairgrounds, and I'm honestly hoping the river can start to self develop as well now that their revenue streams should be starting to mature.
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    Quote Originally Posted by HOT ROD View Post
    Not to be a negative nancy (or bill) but anyway - I think the acquarium is a good idea but just for Maps V.
    I agree, that's why I proposed a different approach to raise money for the project, through crowdfunding and from private donors. A world-class aquarium will bring so much economic potential to the area, especially with the completion of the convention center and Scissortail Park, and the existence of nearby Boathouse District, Chesapeake Stadium, Bricktown, etc. When people find out we have a convention center next to a world-class aquarium (even better, if the aquarium is part of a mixed-use complex, like the The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo), they will start organizing events in OKC. San Antonio has been making billions a year by taking advantage of their River Walk. The aquarium can also be used as a wedding venue, fancy restaurants and bars, or a giant classroom/laboratory for STEM education. It also complements the Thunder events.

    Below are same statistics I took from the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland website just to get some general ideas about the potential economic impact of an aquarium.

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  13. #13

    Default Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    Quote Originally Posted by gopokes88 View Post
    What if we all went to the city council meetings,
    advocated for why we think an aquarium should be built,
    added a temporary sales tax to build it,
    and then the resulting revenue from the city could fund it.

    Maybe that'll work too
    the zoo would not have a problem operatiing a new aqurium

  14. #14

    Default Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    Quote Originally Posted by BoulderSooner View Post
    the zoo would not have a problem operatiing a new aqurium
    Aquaticus didn't go over very well.

    "...the OKC Zoo will not only pursue ideas for new habitats and guest experiences but execute change to existing habitats like the Noble Aquatic Center, otherwise known as Aquaticus. This November, the Zoo will close the aquarium galleries at Aquaticus. The upgrades necessary to bring the 30-year-old aquarium habitats and associated support areas to or above accreditation standards would be prohibitively expensive."

    https://www.okczoo.org/blog/posts/fu...ng-our-mission

  15. #15

    MAPS3 Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    Recall our first MAPS back in 1993, The Oklahoma City Museum of Arts didn't receive any funds. Carolyn Hill raised the money necessary to get the museum funded. She was a native Oklahoman who returned to our city from NYC to make a difference.

    We remember Carolyn Hill: https://oklahoman.com/article/346105...um-of-art-dies

    Still think we should push for funding thru MAPS 4, it just may be the game-changer to get the aquarium funded and a host of projects approved thru MAPS 4. Invest big in a downtown aquarium (no less than $150 million) as the MAPS 4 centerpiece in coordination with the Zoo; this project will recoup its value as a tourist attraction.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    Quote Originally Posted by BoulderSooner View Post
    the zoo would not have a problem operatiing a new aqurium

    I was mocking the idea of using crowd funding. Raising a $25-100 million in crowd funding won’t happen.

    The largest crowd fundings in history have been crypto coins which results in the funder receiving the actual coin.

    Something like an aquarium would never come even close. Crowdfunding can’t achieve the scale needed for a project like this.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    Quote Originally Posted by gopokes88 View Post
    I was mocking the idea of using crowd funding. Raising a $25-100 million in crowd funding won’t happen.

    The largest crowd fundings in history have been crypto coins which results in the funder receiving the actual coin.

    Something like an aquarium would never come even close. Crowdfunding can’t achieve the scale needed for a project like this.
    Well, I'm a glass-half-full guy, and nothing is impossible if you can sell your ideas. I came from Silicon Valley where a guy convinced investors to give him $120M to develop $400 juicers, and he still couldn't make the machine. https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...-shutting-down

    So, back to the aquarium, we’ll launch a campaign:
    - Platinum donors can get lifetime family tickets to the aquarium for $5,000 x 500 donors = $2.5M
    - Gold donors will receive 10 years family tickets for $2,000 x 1000 donors = 2M
    - Silver donors will receive 5 years family tickets for $1,000 x 2000 donors = 2M
    - Bronze donors will receive 1 year family tickets for $500 x 5000 donors = 2.5M
    - Or $20 for a one day ticket x 10000 donors = $0.2M

    Aquarium tickets normally cost around $40-$50/each, I will be more than happy to pay $1,000 so my family of 4 can visit the aquarium anytime we want in 5 years. To me, it's a bargain, and OKC is still short of family attractions.

    Naming rights:
    - If you want your names on the walls, rooms, fish tanks, theater, or aquarium itself?
    Wall plaques:
    - Gold: $250,000 x 100 donors = $2.5
    - Platinum: $500,000 x 50 = 2.5M
    Rooms: 1M x 10 = $10M
    Sharks/dolphins/whales tanks: $2M x 5 = $10M
    Ballrooms/Shops/Restaurants: $5M x 2 = $10M
    Theater: $10M
    Aquarium name: $30M

    Merchandise:
    - Come up with design for mascots, keychains, coffee mugs, pillows, etc. ---> $500,000

    Or just simple donations: $1, $2, $5 --> $50,000

    So, that's $129.5M.

    Last but not least, if we can raise $50M or $100M, we go talk to the executives of Chesapeake, Love's, Continental, Sandridge, Boeing, Thunder, OGE, Hobby Lobby, Crest, Paycom etc. for the other $200M. If George Kaiser and co. could donate $465M to The Gathering Place, someone in OKC can certainly match that.

    Crowdfunding is possible, all we need is someone who can put together this campaign and sell it. PM me if you'd like to get together and draft a plan to push this one forward.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?



    We need to organize, meet & be prepared to present something before the city council or MAPS 4 project meetings in July & August.

    Voter approved MAPS 4 funds could build the aquarium; become the centerpiece for the initiative.

    The problem we have on this board, there are too many posters who are going in different directions; not wanting to compromise; they want to dictate what they want and don't want on MAPS 4. We are being asked to approve projects to be presented before the voters--you can't craft an initiative where everyone gets what they want and don't want.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    Quote Originally Posted by drpepper View Post
    Well, I'm a glass-half-full guy, and nothing is impossible if you can sell your ideas. I came from Silicon Valley where a guy convinced investors to give him $120M to develop $400 juicers, and he still couldn't make the machine. https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...-shutting-down

    So, back to the aquarium, we’ll launch a campaign:
    - Platinum donors can get lifetime family tickets to the aquarium for $5,000 x 500 donors = $2.5M
    - Gold donors will receive 10 years family tickets for $2,000 x 1000 donors = 2M
    - Silver donors will receive 5 years family tickets for $1,000 x 2000 donors = 2M
    - Bronze donors will receive 1 year family tickets for $500 x 5000 donors = 2.5M
    - Or $20 for a one day ticket x 10000 donors = $0.2M

    Aquarium tickets normally cost around $40-$50/each, I will be more than happy to pay $1,000 so my family of 4 can visit the aquarium anytime we want in 5 years. To me, it's a bargain, and OKC is still short of family attractions.

    Naming rights:
    - If you want your names on the walls, rooms, fish tanks, theater, or aquarium itself?
    Wall plaques:
    - Gold: $250,000 x 100 donors = $2.5
    - Platinum: $500,000 x 50 = 2.5M
    Rooms: 1M x 10 = $10M
    Sharks/dolphins/whales tanks: $2M x 5 = $10M
    Ballrooms/Shops/Restaurants: $5M x 2 = $10M
    Theater: $10M
    Aquarium name: $30M

    Merchandise:
    - Come up with design for mascots, keychains, coffee mugs, pillows, etc. ---> $500,000

    Or just simple donations: $1, $2, $5 --> $50,000

    So, that's $129.5M.

    Last but not least, if we can raise $50M or $100M, we go talk to the executives of Chesapeake, Love's, Continental, Sandridge, Boeing, Thunder, OGE, Hobby Lobby, Crest, Paycom etc. for the other $200M. If George Kaiser and co. could donate $465M to The Gathering Place, someone in OKC can certainly match that.

    Crowdfunding is possible, all we need is someone who can put together this campaign and sell it. PM me if you'd like to get together and draft a plan to push this one forward.

    Haha omg this is straight madness.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    you guys are weird

  21. #21

    Default Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    Quote Originally Posted by drpepper View Post
    Well, I'm a glass-half-full guy, and nothing is impossible if you can sell your ideas. I came from Silicon Valley where a guy convinced investors to give him $120M to develop $400 juicers, and he still couldn't make the machine. https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...-shutting-down

    So, back to the aquarium, we’ll launch a campaign:
    - Platinum donors can get lifetime family tickets to the aquarium for $5,000 x 500 donors = $2.5M
    - Gold donors will receive 10 years family tickets for $2,000 x 1000 donors = 2M
    - Silver donors will receive 5 years family tickets for $1,000 x 2000 donors = 2M
    - Bronze donors will receive 1 year family tickets for $500 x 5000 donors = 2.5M
    - Or $20 for a one day ticket x 10000 donors = $0.2M

    Aquarium tickets normally cost around $40-$50/each, I will be more than happy to pay $1,000 so my family of 4 can visit the aquarium anytime we want in 5 years. To me, it's a bargain, and OKC is still short of family attractions.

    Naming rights:
    - If you want your names on the walls, rooms, fish tanks, theater, or aquarium itself?
    Wall plaques:
    - Gold: $250,000 x 100 donors = $2.5
    - Platinum: $500,000 x 50 = 2.5M
    Rooms: 1M x 10 = $10M
    Sharks/dolphins/whales tanks: $2M x 5 = $10M
    Ballrooms/Shops/Restaurants: $5M x 2 = $10M
    Theater: $10M
    Aquarium name: $30M

    Merchandise:
    - Come up with design for mascots, keychains, coffee mugs, pillows, etc. ---> $500,000

    Or just simple donations: $1, $2, $5 --> $50,000

    So, that's $129.5M.

    Last but not least, if we can raise $50M or $100M, we go talk to the executives of Chesapeake, Love's, Continental, Sandridge, Boeing, Thunder, OGE, Hobby Lobby, Crest, Paycom etc. for the other $200M. If George Kaiser and co. could donate $465M to The Gathering Place, someone in OKC can certainly match that.

    Crowdfunding is possible, all we need is someone who can put together this campaign and sell it. PM me if you'd like to get together and draft a plan to push this one forward.
    While your optimism is appreciated, there are unfortunately several flaws to your comparison. First of all, you are limited to the Oklahoma City area population for all of your funding. Dallas and Tulsa already have aquariums so you likely aren't getting any support outside of this area.

    You're also ignoring ROI. In Silicon Valley, people invest thousands to make millions, and millions to make billions. There is essentially zero ROI in an aquarium in the midwestern US. You will find donors to help support an already functioning aquarium, but I see little to no chance of crowdfunding the actual creation of this kind of project.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_M View Post
    While your optimism is appreciated, there are unfortunately several flaws to your comparison. First of all, you are limited to the Oklahoma City area population for all of your funding. Dallas and Tulsa already have aquariums so you likely aren't getting any support outside of this area..
    I indeed considered that, if I didn't, I wouldn't put 1000, 5000 donors in my calculation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_M View Post
    You're also ignoring ROI. In Silicon Valley, people invest thousands to make millions, and millions to make billions. There is essentially zero ROI in an aquarium in the midwestern US. You will find donors to help support an already functioning aquarium, but I see little to no chance of crowdfunding the actual creation of this kind of project.
    Brought up the investors thing just to stress the power of good marketing, you can do a lot of thing if you can sell your ideas. I believe I didn't mention investors anywhere in my calculation. Anyway, $5,000 for a lifetime family ticket to a world-class aquarium (assuming it's not a lame $100M aquarium) doesn't sound like a reasonable ROI to you.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    Quote Originally Posted by gopokes88 View Post
    Haha omg this is straight madness.
    I know, right? As silly as you think the MAPS 4 route will work (and the 10 years you need to wait to see the day it actually opens.)

  24. #24

    Default Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    Quote Originally Posted by drpepper View Post
    I indeed considered that, if I didn't, I wouldn't put 1000, 5000 donors in my calculation.



    Brought up the investors thing just to stress the power of good marketing, you can do a lot of thing if you can sell your ideas. I believe I didn't mention investors anywhere in my calculation. Anyway, $5,000 for a lifetime family ticket to a world-class aquarium (assuming it's not a lame $100M aquarium) doesn't sound like a reasonable ROI to you.

    Brought up the investors thing just to stress the power of good marketing, you can do a lot of thing if you can sell your ideas. I believe I didn't mention investors anywhere in my calculation. Anyway, $5,000 for a lifetime family ticket to a world-class aquarium (assuming it's not a lame $100M aquarium) doesn't sound like a reasonable ROI to you.[/QUOTE]

    Okay, so you are tapping out all of Oklahoma's wealthy donors just to build this. You're giving roughly 3600 families free admission for the first 5+ years for a single donation. Those families will almost assuredly share their free admission with their friends, so lets assume somewhere around 7000 families that will not pay admission for 5 years. Schools usually pay less than half price for field trip admission.

    Also, if it is crowd-funded, who runs the project? Who hires the contractors? Who liasons with the government? Who is in charge? An aquarium doesn't just build itself.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Building the aquarium through crowdfunding?

    Dr Pepper basically wants to raise money on people’s ego trips and the like 37 people in okc would would chip in over 1,000+ for a 5 year pass.

    You’re new here Dr. Pepper. Ou and osu vacuum up pretty much all of the ego trip money.

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