Monday, September 11, 2006

A Modest, Half-Billion Dollar Proposal

John-Kelly Warren's dad stood up near the end of last week's pep rally to kick off the unvailing of "The Channels," and challenged the "nay-sayers" to hold back their "nays' unless they had a better idea.

Well, here's my proposal of a better idea. Please note, I doubt that I would support this proposal to the tune of $600 million of sales tax dollars, but hey...I think it's still "a better idea." I even have a conceptual!

Given that it is obvious that J-K and his buddies have reading a lot of Richard Florida's "Rise of the Creative Class," I've come to nickname "The Channels" as, "The Florida Keys." The underlying assumption of their endeavor is, that if you build the islands, the creative class will be lured to Tulsa to enjoy the "island life."

Rather than a climate controlled shopping area and a poodle park designed as a magnate for the trendy and chic, how about just building something that all real Oklahomans would flock to?

Let's build a big-honkin' football stadium!

Just think of it as Warren-Memorial Stadium, home of the "Route 66 Bowl."

Every year, during the "Route 66 Bowl" we could let the creative classes put on a half-time extravaganza, featuring Leon Russell and the GAP Band. We could award the Cyrus Avery Trophy to the winner of the game, which pits the second place team from the Sub Belt Conference against the eighth place team from the Big XII.

The creative classes could develop one heck of a parade that would run along the historic "Mother Road" [with a half-mile deviation to the trendier Cherry Street] that could feature marching bands and a Precision Briefcase Brigade of laid off mid-level managers.

Heck, if I keep ticking off the rich and powerful in this town, what a wonderful opportunity to bury me [ala Jimmy Hoffa] in one of the end zones!

On a more serious note, [more serious than being bumped off?] compare which of the two plans would have the greatest potential economic effects, if done right.

Warren-Memorial Stadium could host an annual, neutral site match up between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Arkansas Razorbacks at the same time as the Tulsa State Fair. Billed as the Illinois River Shootout, this could become one of the nation's burgeoning rivalries, which would draw tens of thousands to our fair city to swill beer on Cherry Street and to pack the Blue Dome District with chanting fans.

Each December, the Route 66 bowl could lure thousands to the area with a regional match up, just a few miles up the road from the Tulsa Hills Shopping Center. Perfect time to support your teams and shop at some "uniquely Tulsa" stores.

If the stadium can be designed with some flexibility that would allow for a wider soccer pitch, we could have a shot at landing an MLS soccer franchise. What's left of Westport, after it's been torn down for parking lots, could feature adjoining soccer fields.

If we wanted to pop for another $100 million or so to put on a retractable dome [like the brand new Cardinals Stadium in Arizona], who's to say we couldn't try to land a Canadian Football League franchise for our stadium? Hey, if Toronto can have a baseball team, we can have a football team that plays on a 110 yard field!

High school football state championships and rock festivals? Which will lure more dollars to the area?

There you have it Mr. Warren. My better idea.

Or better yet? How about 40 miles of brand spankin' new, four lane roads in our city? You know, a vision of going from worst to first in streets? That might work, too.

Yuh think?


Twatch said...

Not bad, at least it holds together from beginning to end and has a real chance to appeal to a broad cross section of Tulsans.
The part of the Warren plan that blew the credibility for me was the windmills. Wind mills on forty
acres? Somebody needs to make a trip to western Oklahoma to the wind farms and take gander at how much room they need to operate and listen to the constant WHOOP, WHOOP, WHOOP. I wonder how that fits into the Micro-Environment of
the "Young Professionals"?

Paul Tay said...

Keep it simple, stupid. The "creative" class could simply convert da T-whirld Building into a pile of rubble, with you inside, ala Jimmy Hoffa. Then, spin the whole bloody mess as a tourist attraction for a song and a dance. Worked great for OKC.

On the Channels plan to pick TULSA TAXPAYERS pockets for the whims of the over-pampered Utica Square set of trust fund slackers engaging in naughty lovefest orgies on Tresure Island, Santa says, WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME?

go-stillers said...

Not taking the Whirled any longer, I have no idea if PJ Lassek has discovered (and noted front page above the fold) your blatant plaigarism of Heinz Field for your aerial view rendering. Go Stillers!

This question is pobably rhetorical in nature, but did Tulsa Partners mention at the grand unveiling why the island format was chosen over say a San Antonio/Indianapolis/OKC Bricktown river walk, or an Atlantic coast boardwalk type arrangement? Seems that the civil engineering aspects alone would be more manageable.