That exciting Oklahoma City arena


Julie Del Cour, in today's Whirled, makes hay about Tulsa hosting Barney, while Oklahoma City gets all the great concerts.

Check out the events calendar for Oklahoma City's Ford Center over the next few months. This month features Bullnanza, the Wiggles (a favorite among Barney fans -- Anthony of the Wiggles is my nearly-three-year old daughter's first crush), and American Idols Live. September -- nothing. October and November -- nothing but minor league hockey. December -- hockey and the Gaithers Homecoming Concert -- great for gospel music fans, but hardly the kind of cutting edge entertainment that we are told Tulsa must offer to keep our young people here. And Bill and Gloria Gaither fans are not the sort of crowd that will fill Arnie's Bar after the show is over. (Anyway, Tulsa had the Gaither concert last year, and they will return in October 2004 to the Mabee Center.)

January -- minor league hockey and the Globetrotters. (We get them, too, the night before, at the Mabee Center. And by the way, your vote for Proposition 4 will fund the demolition of the Sand Springs neighborhood where Globetrotter legend Marques Haynes grew up.) February and March -- minor league hockey. April, May, and June -- nothing at all.

So where are all the big name acts? Have they decided Oklahoma City isn't worth the trouble of unloading the tour buses?

Should we raise our taxes by a billion dollars just so our three-year-olds can see their favorite Australian TV stars live? Would preschool Wiggles fans spend big bucks drinking at Bad Girls, Inc., after the show?

And where are bands like Aerosmith playing this summer? Amphitheatres. Wasn't there some guy who wanted to build an amphitheatre near Sand Springs with private (not taxpayer) money? Why weren't our local leaders rolling out the red carpet for him?

And in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, the hot acts are playing privately owned venues like the Smirnoff Music Center amphitheatre (owned by House of Blues) (list of concerts here), and Next Stage, a state-of the-art concert hall (list of concerts here).

UPDATE: Tulsa has bigger names coming to the Cain's Ballroom over the next six months than the Ford Center has over the next year: Dwight Yoakum, Merle Haggard, Michael Martin Murphy, and Leon Russell. Jerry Lee Lewis is at the Greenwood Jazz Festival next weekend, and Kansas will play the Brady Village Stage the following Friday night. Click here for a list of concerts in Tulsa over the next few months. Now these may not be the hottest acts right now, but hot acts aren't showing up on OKC's calendar either.

Anyone out there still believe that there's nothing fun to do in Tulsa? Put down that remote and go out and see for yourself.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 4, 2003 12:00 AM.

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