City Dream "Triangle" Can Come True with Joint Effort

By Nichols, Max | THE JOURNAL RECORD, April 10, 1985 | Go to article overview

City Dream "Triangle" Can Come True with Joint Effort


Nichols, Max, THE JOURNAL RECORD


Let's dream a little about what could happen if Oklahoma City business and government leaders get together on a domed stadium, a race track and plans for downtown.

A strong triangle of major tourism and entertainment facilities could be established for promotion, transportation and communication. It would be a geographical triangle as well as a three-way concept.

It could even be promoted as the "Oklahoma City Golden Triangle," or a "Fun Trilogy in OKC," or some such.

The triangle could connect a domed stadium at the State Fairgrounds with a race track at the Riverfront Pearl or on the northeast side, plus a cultural, entertainment and hotel center in the Myriad Gardens-Galleria area.

If we let ourselves go and dream wildly, the major points even could be connected by a Masstrans system - possibly even light rail. At the worst, they could be connected by a bus system with special service adjusted to events, plus special signs routing cars from one area to another.

With telecommunications, they could be connected for ticketing, reservations, traffic control, accounting and transportation requests.

All this dreaming obviously can be tranformed into reality only with extensive cooperation among backers of the various facilities.

That is an opportunity, and a movement has been started to take advantage of it. The togetherness dreams, of course, stem from a series of recent events going a variety of directions:

- Mayor Andy Coats suggested that the race track be built in the Riverfront Pearl, on the N. Canadian River. It would be across Western Ave. from Downtown Airpark.

- A race track also has been proposed near the Zoo by the Oklahoma City Zoological Trust, with a recent presentation to the Edward J. DeBartolo Corp. of Ohio, which owns the San Francisco 49ers, Pittsburgh Penquins hockey club, plus hotels and shopping malls.

- Jefferson H. Haney of Miami, Okla., will try again on April 18 to get approval for a $42 million track near Hefner Rd. and Kelley Ave.

- A domed stadium has been proposed for the State Fairgrounds. A study is under way, and most leaders seem to be coming together on that idea.

- A new hotel has been proposed for the northeast corner of the Myriad Gardens by both Burks & Co. and Gibraltar Properties Inc. Financing is still needed to take advantage of a federal grant.

- A development project involving entertainment as well as retail space has been suggested for the Galleria by Coats, with more specific plans from developers expected this spring.

- A museum has been talked about for the northwest corner of the Myriad Gardens, joining with the Arts Council of Oklahoma City and the Stage Center at the Myriad Gardens to form a nucleus of acultural center.

Each project would provide a tremendous boost to the city, and each has its own supporters. However, those are not the only common denominators.

Each also will need help from others to make it go, from financing to approvals by authorities to promotion to just plain public enthusiasm.

Therein lies the opportunity for all of them, and therefore for all of us.

The trick is to get together on where we are going, so all of the supporters can back all of these projects.

It's the old "scratch your back' theory. The backers of these various projects may be able to help their own causes by helping each other. …

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