The Oklahoma River redevelopment due to MAPS is an unquestioned success story. From the infamous "river that had to be mowed three times a year" to the site of international watersport competitions and Olympic-level training, perhaps nowhere have the positive effects of MAPS been seen more than on the River. However, in order to capitalize on the momentum gained in the past few years, we must continue to make improvements to secure Oklahoma City's growing status as a watersport capital.
The River elements in the new MAPS proposal will create a world-class public whitewater rafting and kayaking facility that everyone can enjoy. It will accommodate all skill levels and will provide a myriad of recreation possibilities for families, recreational enthusiasts, Olympic-caliber athletes and everyone in between. The improvements on the River also focus on enhancing the quality of both the rowing venue and the citizen's enjoyment of the river, making Oklahoma City the premier urban site for river sports.
Spectator improvements along the riverfront will include lighting (making the Oklahoma River the only permanently-lighted venue in the world), grandstands, a floating stage for concerts and performances, and course improvements. These projects are appealing to the young, vibrant workforce Oklahoma City needs to attract in order to grow our economy; help support the growing paddlesport programs at OU, OSU, OCU and UCO; create an ideal place for summer camps and youth activities for the children in our community; and make OKC an International destination for watersport activities and competitions, helping bring in even more outside dollars to our community's economy.
The original MAPS river investment helped attract the $40 million Dell customer contact center and its 1500 workers, as well as led to $25-$30 million privately funded university and community boathouses. We expect even greater private investment activity on the riverfront as a result of the new MAPS improvements.
Cost: $60 million
Description: This project will provide improvements to the Oklahoma River, including a public whitewater kayaking facility, and upgrades intended to achieve the finest rowing racecourse in the world. The whitewater facility is estimated to cost $25 million with the remaining $35 million to fund River improvements. Those improvements include grandstands, parking, Lincoln Bridge enhancements, a floating stage, river beautification, lighting and other improvements to the course itself.
The United States Olympic Committee recently named the Oklahoma River an official Olympic Training Site.
The whitewater kayaking facility is an amenity that will be open to the public.
Activities on the Oklahoma River have become a major attraction for Oklahoma City, and present an opportunity to achieve world class status in paddle sports.
Rowing and kayaking promote a healthier community.