Kelly Ogle, News 9
The Renaissance in downtown Oklahoma City that a CNN reporter marveled at, has been underway for 17 years now.
Have you thought about that? It's been 17 years since we approved building the ballpark, the arena, the canal.
Seems like it's been long enough that outsiders appreciate our accomplishments more than we do.
I was lucky enough, or unlucky enough, to be there at the genesis of the MAPS concept.
I was in Chicago when our local leaders made the pitch to land the United Airlines maintenance facility, and got shut out because United didn't think they're employees would want to live here.
Then Mayor Ron Norick gritted his teeth and decided that won't happen again.
And so the downtown was reborn.
I have to be honest. I can't figure out how anyone looked at the success of the first MAPS project, and decided to vote against MAPS III, but some did.
It's a penny at a time for crying out loud.
And we wouldn't even be talking about a CNN story on Oklahoma City if the reporter hadn't had his eyes opened to it by the presence of the NBA here.
Took a penny sales tax, Maps for Millionaires as some opponents dubbed it, to get the arena fully NBA ready and build a practice facility.
All paid for now.
Oklahoma City taxpayers ignored the naysayers and hit the jackpot.