Ford Center improvements
Did you see the drawings for the new-look Ford Center? Or read the upcoming changes to Oklahoma City’s arena? Those are exactly the kinds of things I was talking about a few years ago when I was less than kind to the Ford Center.
In August 2002, I wrote a column that pointed out all the great things about the new Oklahoma City, how we had gone from “sleepy frontier town to progressive New West city in a decade, with change to spare.” Bricktown and its ballpark. The new downtown library. The Oklahoma City Art Museum. The renovated Civic Center. “They all send the same message. The message we want the world to know: OKC is a first-class city.”
But the Ford Center was different. It was built on the cheap. Forget bells and whistles. There weren’t even doors on the bathrooms. The Ford Center was functional, nothing more.
History has justified the city fathers who produced the Ford Center. The Ford Center’s functionality proved to be cost-effective and proved to be just fine for what we needed. The humdrum Ford Center landed plenty of concerts, the Big 12 Tournament and even the temporary Hornets.
But history also has justified the critics who said OKC deserved something better. The Ford Center renovations — the first phase of which were approved by the city on Tuesday — will turn the now-6-year-old building into a jewel that can stand proudly by the Civic Center and art museum.
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