9 September 2003
Tulsa thinks big
For years and years, Tulsa has thought of itself as Oklahoma's Dallas, and that other city down 66 was Fort Worth, nothing more. Tulsa has had better convention facilities, a spiffier downtown, more hotel rooms and today none of it matters, as a refurbished Oklahoma City shoots for the big time and Tulsa descends into tedious Lubbockhood.
Today, voters will pass judgment on a package of expensive civic improvements and industrial incentives intended to restore Tulsa's edge. The operative word here is "expensive": Vision 2025, as it's called, will cost nearly a billion dollars and will be financed by an extra penny of sales tax over a 13-year period.
There are some objections to the package a downtown stadium? but I think it will pass, if only because Oklahoma's number two city hates to be, well, number two. Still, it's not as visionary, if that's the word, as the MAPS projects in Oklahoma City, and there are legitimate reasons to question whether Tulsans will get any kind of return on their investment.
Right now, though, the one question is "What will the voters say?" That, at least, will be answered today.