New OKC Convention Center Could Cost Taxpayers More Money

Tuesday, November 27th 2012, 8:06 pm
By: News 9

A new $250 million convention center promised by city council could cost taxpayers more money. The possibility brought about a lot of debate during Tuesday's city council meeting.

The Oklahoma City City Council approved a 470,000 square foot facility to be put here, funded by MAPS 3, a project approved by Oklahoma voters. But one councilman argues taxpayers were deceived by the campaign.

The majority of the council says that's simply not true.

The item did not make the agenda. Still, a multimillion dollar convention center became the subject of much debate.

Councilman Ed Shadid expressed concerns after hearing there could be extra expenses to make a $250 million MAPS 3 project work. The council discussed the new convention center could require a convention hotel and parking to attract business, facilities not covered by MAPS 3 funding.

Majority of council argued back. The campaign did not specifically mention the hotel because MAPS 3 funding only covers the price tag for a new convention center.

Proposals for a convention hotel have not been submitted to or approved by the city, and the council acknowledges taxpayer money may be used to subsidize the possible project.

Still, taxpayers are split on the idea.

The council says there are about 2000 hotel rooms down here and three hotels currently under construction.