OKC Passes Proposition for New Thunder Arena; Local Election Winners Declared
KOKH - December 14, 2023 6:24 am
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — With 100% of precincts reporting in all four races Tuesday evening, the results have been called.
District 39’s Republican State Representative winner is Erick Harris, with 27.16% of votes.
District 39’s Democrat State Representative winner is Regan Raff, with 82.37% of votes.
Over 40,000 voters have said yes to a new arena.
FOX 25’s Tom Ferguson was able to speak with Mayor David Holt who expressed his excitement over the deal.
“I’m just so excited for our city… to have this security of knowing that we’re going to be a big-league city for another generation is amazing… thinking of how we can build upon that… knowing that we’ve got that secure is just amazing. The fact that it happened with basically a consensus of the community, an almost record-breaking level of support… is just a sense that this city has never been better,” said Holt.
The new arena will be funded by a 72-month, one-cent sales tax that will start when the MAPS 4 tax ends and will not increase the sales tax rate.
The arena will also be paid for with $70 million in MAPS 4 funding and $50 million from the OKC Thunder Ownership Group, said the City of Oklahoma City in a statement Tuesday evening.
The OKC Thunder will play all home games at the Paycom Center until the new arena is ready, which is said to be no later than the start of the 2029-2030 NBA season.
The Thunder’s 25-year commitment to remain in OKC begins when they move into the new arena.
“With this project we will be doing more than just building a world-class sports and entertainment complex, we will be propelling Oklahoma City towards the next generation. This new home for the Thunder will serve as an iconic centerpiece of our vibrant and modern downtown and continue to represent the values of our city and its people. As we take the next step in this historic journey, I am particularly grateful and energized by what this means for our city’s young people and the Oklahoma City they will lead and enjoy over the coming decades,” said Clay Bennett, Chairman of the OKC Thunder.
Keep OKC Big League also released this statement: “We are proud of the Keep OKC Big League coalition and all that it has accomplished in this campaign. This is an important step forward for Oklahoma City and its continuing momentum as one of America’s fastest-growing and prosperous cities. Now, we can look ahead to a long future with the OKC Thunder, major concerts, and an exciting list of other entertainment events for all of Oklahoma. We are proud to live in a city that continues to invest in itself. Our citizens are working together to make this the best city in America”.
The following statement is from Oklahoma Progress Now: “Tonight’s result, though not what we hoped for, reflects the democratic voice of Oklahoma City. The influence of the Chamber of Commerce was notable with them outspending us at least 200 to 1. Key questions about the arena deal’s cost, location, and impact on existing infrastructure still linger. Mayor Holt negotiated the worst deal in the country, that remains the case. Our resolve for a transparent, fair, and responsible future for Oklahoma City remains undiminished. The journey towards a better city continues.”