A proposed $1 billion entertainment district is set to be announced by Team Norman, a group of city and university leaders, during the Norman Economic Development Coalition’s annual State of the Economy breakfast Wednesday.
Team Norman described the district as a mixed-use development that would include a multi-purpose performance venue for entertainment and sporting events. The development would also include new retail shops, restaurants, bars, offices, a hotel and housing for “thousands.”
Team Norman is a task force dedicated to preparing and bolstering OU’s move to the Southeastern Conference in 2024. The group involves leaders from business, local government, education and athletics.
The release reads that tomorrow OU President Joseph Harroz Jr., Norman Economic Development Coalition President Lawrence McKinney, Norman Mayor Larry Heikkila and other local leaders will speak at the event. The group is expected to reveal details and timelines for the proposed development during the breakfast.
The release did not explain where the proposed entertainment district would be located or its specific connection to a new OU athletics arena.
In December of last year, Team Norman and OU Athletics revived conversations about a possible entertainment district that included a new arena for OU athletics in a community survey.
In 2017, the City of Norman unveiled a project to create a similarly described new entertainment district to house OU basketball and other amenities between Tecumseh and Rock Creek Roads in the University North Park area, roughly six miles from OU’s campus.
The OU Foundation requested tax incentives through the University North Park tax increment district in 2018, according to the Norman Transcript. The foundation later withdrew its request in July 2018 after community members expressed opposition and a lawsuit alleging violations of the Oklahoma Open Records Act
The breakfast will be held at 8 a.m. Wednesday at the Nancy O’Brian Center for the Performing Arts. There is a $30 fee to attend the event.
This story was edited by Peggy Dodd.