Plans For Norman Entertainment District Revealed

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Norman leaders are trying to step up the city’s appeal to tourists. They now have plans to build an entertainment district that will bring not only money and jobs, but life to the city. 

“It’s just a good idea, it’s a wonderful idea,” said Norman Mayor Larry Heikkila.  

“The idea was we would bring Norman together in a way that hasn’t been done before,” University of Oklahoma President Joe Harroz said.  

They are part of Team Norman, a group of organizations working toward the city’s economic growth and development. They unveiled their development proposal Wednesday morning, and it’s going to cost some big bucks. 

“This is bold,” said Harroz. “This is a $1 billion entertainment district.” 

However, Team Norman said “…approximately 80 percent of the plans $1 billion cost would be paid through private investment…” and assured “…none of the funds would come from the city’s general funds.” 

“It is so good that we can do this in a way that we’re not bearing the brunt, the taxpayers aren’t bearing the brunt,” said Mayor Heikkila.  

The proposed development would be just north of University Town Center on 24th Avenue Northwest.

The regions shaded blue on the map below show the land that Team Norman wants to build on. 

Norman Entertainment District MapImage Provided By: Team Norman

“There is so much that our city and our county have to offer that hasn’t been realized,” said Harroz.  

Many of OU’s sporting events including basketball and gymnastics will be moved to the new venue, but the city hopes to bring headliners to Norman in between. 

“Yeah 28 percent of it would be occupied by OU as the lead tenant, but that isn’t the big attraction,” said Harroz. “The big attraction is that it creates a vibrancy in our city that right now is missing.”  

Harroz says the plan benefits OU and the city as a unit. 

“You’ve got to create a live work play environment where people are attracted and want to be,” said Harroz.  

The group said their ultimate goal is to create a space for Norman’s community to thrive.

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