Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More News From Back Home

On the heels of posting about the new U.S.O.C.-designated Olympic and Paralympic facilities in Oklahoma City, I just read Brian Barber's report in the Tulsa World and on GamesBids.com that this northeastern Oklahoma metropolis has a small team that wants to pursue a 2020 Olympic Bid.


[insert "Huh?!" and "Come again?" or "Oh, really?" and head scratching motion here]

Tulsa is an interesting city with historic downtown and riverfront districts, lots of art deco architecture (if memory serves me, Preservation magazine reported Tulsa has one of the biggest collections of art deco buildings outside of Miami) and a solid business school.

The news reports quote the bid team's comparison of Tulsa in 2009 to Atlanta in 1990, when the Southeastern city made a run for the Games. This is a good foundation for stating their case, but one must stop and think about the scale and sales tactics of the 2016 Chicago Olympic bid and wonder how the Tulsa bid team is going to present its case against recent (and potentially 2020 fellow bid) U.S. cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and the Windy City in the event that come Oct. 2, the International Olympic Committee picks Madrid, Tokyo or Rio de Janeiro over Chicago.

But I don't want to be a naysayer for Tulsa ... kudos to their team for giving it a try and bringing an interesting idea to the Olympic news cycle.

Here's a link to the Tulsa Olympic feasibility study, for those who are intrigued -- someone on that Tulsa bid team must have some P.R. background given their slide about potential publicity from just attempting a bid. Today's 200+ comments on the Tulsa World site and in other news outlets are indicative people are certainly talking.

People talking ... I've heard that one before, in relation to Oklahoma. I think Hannibal Lecter said it, too, many years later.

From my view, the Tulsa bid team could strengthen their presentation by adding the U.S. Olympic Festival '89 (Oklahoma City) legacies to their deck; they also need to look closer at how many XX thousand hotel rooms would need to be created in Tulsa and Oklahoma -- this could be a big Achilles Heel for their efforts (cruise ships on the river ... OK, it's been done before). The Olympic Flame has been through Tulsa a time or two ... perhaps they can find some archived photos of Torch Relays through the city. The wheels are turning.

Anyone out there ever been to Tulsa? Please share your Tulsa stories.

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