Downtown changes once again as team moves

Thursday, July 3rd 2008, 9:36 pm
By: News 9

By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9

Bricktown Ballpark was one of the first landmarks to go up as a result of MAPS. Now, almost two decades later, the man who started it all is thrilled his dream is finally a reality.

That man, at the time, was the mayor. It was 1990 when former Mayor Ron Norick put a plan before voters for a bigger and better downtown. In 1993, MAPS, or the Metropolitan Area Projects, initiatives was barely approved.

It was the green light needed to begin building the ballpark, the Bricktown Canal and the Ford Center, which is the new home for the former Sonics.

"I always envisioned that this city, someday, would be a major league city," Norick said. "I just didn't know when it was going to be."

Norick said he's glad the team is moving to the metro.

"I'm so pleased for Clay and the city and all of his partners in the deal," Norick said. "It's just a really, really good deal for Oklahoma City."

There's still more that needs to be done before the first tip-off in November, including finding a name for the team, and of course, Norick has a suggestion.

"I kind of like the name...the ‘Raider' so we'll call them the ‘Raiders,' Norick said.

Clay Bennett said the team is in the process of deciding what the name and colors will be and they'll make that announcement sometime in the coming weeks.