NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) — Billion-dollar plans are in the works in Norman.
A coalition of Norman city leaders, called “Team Norman,” unveiled its proposal for a new entertainment district Wednesday morning.
“What we’re talking about today is a once in a two or three generation moment,” said University of Oklahoma President Joseph Harroz Jr. “This is bold. This $1,000,000,000 entertainment district.”
The plan includes a multipurpose venue for anything from concerts and shows to OU women’s gymnastics competitions and Sooner basketball games.
“We want this to be an experience. This has got to be something like when you go to a Thunder game and it’s so stinking noisy,” said Norman Mayor, Larry Heikkila. “We want that kind of experience.”
It also entails retail shops, restaurants, bars, offices, a hotel and housing for thousands.
The entertainment district would be located in between I-35, W. Rock Creek Road, Max Westheimer Airport and W. Tecumseh Road.
“We want to have our work, live and play needs to stay right here in our region and not going to Oklahoma County,” said Cleveland County Commissioner Rod Cleveland.
As for who would cover the cost of the billion-dollar project, about 80 percent would be paid through private investment, while the remaining 20 percent would be paid through public funding.
The next step is getting the plan approved. The proposal still needs to pass through Norman City Council and the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners.
“I’m confident that we have an open-minded City Council,” said Lawrence McKinney, Norman’s Economic Development Coalition President. “They’ve been listening to us. We’ve been providing them with a lot of information. They’ve been asking a lot of questions.”
Mayor Heikkila said the project is still “in the design stages.”