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Thunder thrives in Oklahoma City

BY JOHN ROHDE Published: April 28, 2013
/articleid/3791799/1/pictures/2023529">Photo - Serge Ibaka prepares to shoot a free throw on Feb. 24. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman Archives
Serge Ibaka prepares to shoot a free throw on Feb. 24. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman Archives

Couch said “The Peake” could endure further changes, depending on what’s needed.

“One thing you ask with any facility is, ‘Are the bones good enough? Do you have the size and the underneath supporting activity to keep the arena current?’ ” Couch said. “I think we do, but you don’t know what the long-term requirements are going to be. There may be a TV screen at each seat in 20 years. We could probably do that, I would guess. You just don’t know where the world’s going to take you, but right now it’s a pretty adequate facility.”

No matter what the future holds, Oklahoma City will be able to stay current if its undefeated run of MAPS proposals remains intact.

To date, Oklahoma City taxpayers have approved all three MAPS (Metropolitan Area Projects) initiatives, which have totaled more than $1.6 billion — the original MAPS ($363 million for nine downtown projects, including the arena); MAPS For Kids ($470 million for 72 new and renovated schools in the OKC school district); and MAPS 3 ($777 million for eight downtown-area projects).

“The prospect for Oklahoma City is really good for all kinds of reasons,” Couch said. “Why I think we’re poised to still be good in 10 or 15 years is because of MAPS 3. We really haven’t spent dollar one on MAPS 3, which will have a significant impact on downtown Oklahoma City. Just like MAPS 1, where we had the private investment to follow the public investment, we anticipate the same thing is going to happen with MAPS 3.

“I think a lot of it is how well the city performs. Can we get everything built with good quality, on time and on budget, like we’ve done in the past? It’s also things like what’s the economy going to be like? What’s the vision if that happens?”


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