News from the Plains. All this RED can make you BLUE
Tulsa Awarded The World Cup, too
by Barry Friedman
This business about the 2024 Summer Olympics coming to Tulsa, Oklahoma has to stop.
Has. To. Stop.
Should the city actually submit a bid, Think Progress reports, it would be a wild longshot: as the Times explains, the Olympic workforce amounts to half of the city’s population, the city has a third of the hotel rooms required by the International Olympic Committee, and the estimated cost is equivalent to half of Oklahoma’s state budget.No. A longshot is Senator Tom Coburn handing out condoms in the lobby of a Gay Men's Choral Holiday Jubilee after the show.
This is something else.
I live in Tulsa, a block from the University of Tulsa, where the city's largest outdoor venue, H.A. Chapman Stadium, is located. It holds 30,000, so organizers are going to have to build an 80-thousand seat arena (which will no doubt be used as a Mega Church after the games) or runners from Ghana will be stomping over the Golden Hurricane logo during the Opening Ceremonies. Tulsa is a fine place to live. Far too close to Arkansas, it's in Oklahoma, but why quibble? We've got Route 66, the downtown is alive, Woody Guthrie has a museum, and The Tulsa Drillers, our AA affiliate, play in a new stadium in the shadow of a rotating U-Haul truck high atop a building out past center field. The town is immensely livable. You can get a bagel and a schmear. With any luck and sane leadership, we could be the next Austin or Portland (which also aren't getting the Olympics) but that's it. And that's plenty. This Olympic thing is not a dream, it's a meth-induced, oxygen-deprived hallucination. Tulsa couldn't get an NBA franchise, it lost the International Finals Rodeo Competition to Las Vegas, its major league soccer franchise went belly-up (okay, just about every city's franchise did that.)
The Canoe Kayak Slalom Quarterfinals? Crickets.
"I see this as a great opportunity I really do,” said Tulsa’s mayor, who probably has a name like Dewey Bartlett. Oh. His name really is Dewey Bartlett. Anyway: "If we come off looking a little lighthearted on it, so much the better, but we are serious about putting our name out there."
A little lighthearted? Mayor, the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Oklahoma's state bird, just crashed into the praying hands at Oral Roberts University it was laughing so hard.
Beijing, the site of the 2008 Olympics, has approximately five times the population of ... the entire state; London, which hosted in 2012, twice as many.
And if you're thinking about the long-term positive effects on a city of hosting the games, Atlanta, the site used by organizers as justification, barely broken even and had to raise taxes to service the debt.
Something else: the other night, Saturday, I went out for dinner at 10.30 pm. Europeans and their socialist eating habits won't tolerate a "bar" menu where burgers, chicken quesadillas, and nachos are the only things being served.
Further, we have no mass transit to speak of, another thing those late-dining European socialists like, and the closest big city, Oklahoma's biggest, Oklahoma City, is about 100 miles away--or, as described around here, "about an hour and a half. I've made it in less, though."
"Some people think of Tulsa as a flyover, Dust Bowl town," said Neil Mavis a member of the Tulsa 2024 Olympic Exploratory Committee. "Many people think of cowboys and Indians. ... Bidding for the Olympics is the one way to change those stereotypes."No, actually when people think Oklahoma, they think senators who deny global warming
and the line from "Officer and a Gentlemen" about steers and queers.
And the price tag? It's steep: Mavis estimates it would take a $3.5 billion budget to host the Summer Games, though he insisted no local tax dollars would be used.Right. Because this is a state that doesn't want to raise taxes so our fifth grade classrooms won't be as crowded as Chuck E. Cheese on a Saturday afternoon--it's certainly not going to annoy midtown Tulsa residents with a hotel and taxi surcharge just to watch Belgiums ride around a brand new taxpayer-financed Velodrome.
Maybe we should try getting the rodeo back first.
And, besides, has anyone considered the traffic problems from the millions of people here at the same time to see the 217-foot Native American statue?
I know, I know. Details, details. See you at the Opening Ceremonies. If you need parking, let me know. Five bucks in the driveway; $3 on the front lawn.