OKLAHOMA CITY – Residents in Oklahoma City are getting a better look at a proposed multipurpose outdoor stadium as part of MAPS 4.
The proposal would create a permanent home for a professional soccer team and a centralized venue that is suitable for hosting high school football and soccer championships. Organizers say it would also enable Oklahoma City to compete for major outdoor concerts, festivals and sporting events.
“This is an opportunity to once again set our city on a global stage,” said Bob Funk, Jr., co-owner of OKC Energy FC. “It will connect and unify Oklahoma City’s diverse cross-section of cultures and provide a powerful economic boost to our urban core.”
Officials say there are two options to build the venue, each with new amenities and features. The first option represented a $37 million to $42 million investment for an 8,000-seat stadium that would accommodate soccer, high school football, rugby, lacrosse, concerts and festivals.
Organizers believe it could host more than 60 events each year, which would bring $60 million annually to the city.
The second option was a $67 million to $72 million investment with 10,000 seats, shade structures and other amenities to improve the fan experience. Additional restrooms would be included, along with a larger stage and secondary stage. Organizers say this venue could host more than 80 events each year, which would bring over $79 million to the city.
“A centrally located multipurpose stadium will be a powerful catalyst for private development,” said developer Chuck Wiggin, who backs the concept. “MAPS projects are city-owned, which will put the City in a position to manage and incentivize nearby development that is consistent with the needs of its residents as well as City planning objectives — dense, mixed-use, affordable, bike-friendly, walkable, and accessible by public transportation. It’s an opportunity to connect and boost nearby districts and attractions and promote connections citywide.”
The presentation also covered missed tourism and sporting event opportunities due to Oklahoma City’s lack of an outdoor venue capable of hosting large scale events, citing Big 12, NCAA, NAIA and junior college soccer, high school football and soccer, college and club lacrosse, international and club rugby, and e-sports events as examples of what would be possible if Oklahoma City included such a facility in the MAPS 4 initiative.
“I’ve witnessed the impact a new athletic facility can have on a community, and how it inspires young athletes and brings neighbors together through a common interest. MAPS 4 is Oklahoma City’s chance to do this on a major scale,” OKC Energy FC co-owner Tim McLaughlin said. McLaughlin founded nonprofit organization Fields and Futures.