Downtown Drillers ballpark and the Tulsa Stadium Trust -- quotes of the day

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From "Floyd," on TulsaNow's public forum, regarding the Trust Indenture for the Tulsa Stadium Trust:

Sigh.

If they had just decided to build a stadium and then created a set of special design codes for the stadium district, they could be moving dirt soon. But they can't help themselves from overreaching, can they. And it always ends badly.

I want to know who drafted this thing and why they thought it would fly. I wonder if this was even a unique document or if it came from some kind of template that wasn't tailored to this kind of purpose. 12 yr terms? For the donors? Really?

After Mayor Taylor's confused, tearful performance in front of the TDA, I'm convinced she's not the one actually orchestrating this whole deal. Can anyone tell us who, ostensibly even, is the public face of the ballpark master plan?

I had the impression that BOK President Stan Lybarger was heading this up, but he hasn't really been a public face on the issue. It is interesting that no one showed up at that TDA meeting to speak on behalf of the ballpark donors (other than Mayor Taylor, of course -- and the three board members who didn't recuse themselves but should have).

Another example of the overreach is the TDA's premature termination of their exclusive negotiating period with Will Wilkins and Novus Homes, to which Floyd alluded. Late last week, carltonplace had this to say on TulsaNow's public forum about the frustration many downtown boosters and ballpark backers feel about the Novus Homes situation (reformatted slightly for readability):

The ballpark is not a done deal, the Novus project could have been had the TDA not changed their mind and pulled the offer to Novus in favor of reserving that property for the ball park donors. This action by the TDA whose members are comprised of volunteers that work for companies on the donor list rubs people the wrong way for the following reasons:

1. Frustrated Development: We are begging for downtown development but there is a perception that building in downtown (and dealing with the TDA) is too difficult. That perception now is now reality in many people's minds.

2. Ethical Concerns: Choosing one's employer over this developer whether real or imagined feels wrong.

3. Transparency: Why can't the ballpark and the development work together? Why won't anyone give a valid reason why they can't. Feels like back room politics

4. Treatment:Why did they leave Novus hanging so long and let them continue to spend money and jump through hoops if this final action was what they've intended since the ballpark announcement?

5. History:This isn't the first time that the TDA has acted this way toward a potential buyer. Its no wonder they can't sell and develop a downtown property. What are they holding onto them for? Why did they start empire building? What happened to Jones Lang Lassalle?

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4 Comments

Ardent Author Profile Page said:

This whole thing is yet another attempt to have the taxpayers subsidize selected businesses. Why not taxpayer subsidized bowling alleys or skeet fields or movie theaters, all operated by commercial firms at little or no risk. Since the Drillers are so fantastically successful at pulling in the fans, why do they need a subsidy?

The recently announced development on the west bank at Jenks just shows that the real problem with downtown development is that a certain cabel of folks simply are not willing to make an investment without a major taxpayer subsidy.

Can we trade the Tulsa administration for the people running Jenks?

webworm Author Profile Page said:

Let us hope that the Drillers deal themselves out of this horrible scam. And, when spring rolls around, they will be set for "batter up" without having to deal with N227KT and her manipulators.

sbtulsa Author Profile Page said:

The fallcy of downtown development -

1) Slice the economics anyway you want. In the end, attendance at any of these venues will have to be (put in your own stat but mine is 75%) local. That is in order to fill up the BOK Center, Driller Park, etc. They put these venues in places that cry for "entertainment districts" surrounding them. Will Bible Belt Tulsa take their families to events in or near bar districts? I doubt it.

2) These things are not economic development. They create jobs that are in service industries, 7$ per hour to $15 per hour. You can't do much sales taxable spending on those wages.

3) Taylor won election with a campaign promise of 200 more cops on the streets to "protect our senior citizens". These downtown venues will certainly required added police presence but, if they don't increase the authorized strength of the police force, all the extra cops in downtown will have to be taken away from other areas of the city or other tasks within the police department. How is that protecting the "senior citizens" or the residential parts of the city?

sbtulsa Author Profile Page said:

its amazing that such an important civic effort (as told to us by the captive leadership of the last two adminstrations) can be so poorly organized.

as mentioned above, there was a way we could have been moving dirt much quicker than is playing out. it seems advance planning is a mystery to our elected officials.

could it be there is none? or could it be that there is no concensus even among the priviledged elite that must protect their investment values and rates of return even if it means ruining the city for the normal folk?

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 18, 2008 7:07 PM.

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