Interesting dilemma Oklahoma City finds itself in right now. We're banking pennies to build a big new convention center, but at the same time wondering if we really need one.
Steve Lackmeyer, reporter for the Oklahoman, and the guy who knows as much about downtown Oklahoma City's development as anyone has written an excellent article about the diminishing convention business across the country.
The economic downturn has more conventioneers staying home rather than attending out of town industry gatherings, and virtual conventions online are becoming more popular.
In light of all that does it make sense to build the most expensive MAPS project ever, a $250 million dollar convention center, right next to the Chesapeake Arena?
I can't say for sure, But, let's reflect on what MAPS has taught us.
1. Don't listen to the naysayers. If we had we'd have never realized that a little canal can transform a dusty warehouse district into a vibrant entertainment district.
2. If you build it they will come.. the NBA.. end of argument.
3. You gain an even greater advantage when you expand while others are just trying to maintain what they have.
We need to figure out what kind of convention center Oklahoma City needs and then build it, let's not take our foot off the gas now.