Metropolitan Area Projects Plan
The Metropolitan Area Projects Plan, or MAPS, was a $350 million public works and redevelopment project in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma during the middle to late 1990s, funded by a temporary voter-approved sales tax increase.
In the early 1990s some Oklahoma City interests were concerned about what they perceived as civic decline. In 1992, after the city lost a contract to house a new maintenance facility for United Airlines to Indianapolis, Indiana because the airline considered Indianapolis to have a better standard of living, then-mayor Ron Norick and the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce proposed MAPS as a measure to improve the city's economy and attractiveness as a tourist destination.
City residents were initially skeptical over funding the public projects through a sales tax increase, and as late as a month before the tax referendum opposed the plan by a 20% margin. However, the plan did pass by a slim margin in a vote in December, 1993. During the five year tax period the city raised nearly $310 million in direct taxes, plus $52 million of income on the tax money it had deposited. The tax was extended with voter approval for an additional six months to raise enough money to complete all of the projects, and construction continued until 2004.
Encouraged by the success of MAPS, city leaders proposed and adopted "MAPS for Kids", a public school improvement program. In December 2009 the city approved a third program, "MAPS 3", which would build $777 million in further improvements paid for by a similar sales tax increase.
MAPS comprised nine projects, chosen to appeal to a wide variety of city residents:
- renovations to the Civic Center Music Hall, The Myriad (Now Cox Convention Center) and Oklahoma State Fairgrounds;
- construction of the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark
- construction of the Ford Center, an indoor multipurpose sports arena. The new arena was an important aspect of plans in 2006 through 2008 by local businessman Clayton Bennett, who had just purchased the Seattle SuperSonics, to move the basketball team to Oklahoma City.
- construction of the "Bricktown Canal"
- construction of a riverfront and recreational dams for the North Canadian River
- the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, a four-story main library to replace a facility that had been built in 1951
- a new Library/Learning Center
- development of the Oklahoma Spirit Trolleys, a trolley-replica bus network
- Douglas C. Henton, John Melville, and Kimberly Walesh (2004). Civic revolutionaries: igniting the passion for change in America's communities. John Wiley and Sons. p. 213. ISBN 978-0-7879-6393-4.
- "Chamber History". Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce.
- Mike Lewis (2006-07-20). "Oklahoma City is positively giddy:'Looks like we might be getting y'all's team'". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.