(above, allegedly obsolete arena, though it is very close to an In & Out Burger)
Awesome news for Oklahoma City, right? Speaking with the Las Vegas Sun’s David Toplikar, Mayor Oscar Goldman argued for the construction of a publicly-funded NBA and/or NHL arena, saying a referendum on the matter “would let the public decide whether they want to be a world class city or they want to go to Los Angeles.”
“There are no free lunches,” the mayor said, when told it was difficult to find much support for public financing. “With that kind of attitude, that kind of philosophy, we’ll never have an arena. End of story.
“We’ll never have a professional team here, end of story. I mean, that’s it. We can’t make up our own rules. We have to live in the real world. And the real world says that there has to be some kind of public financing,” he said. “And if people don’t like it, then they can live here without a team. I don’t want to live in a city without a team. I think a team makes a city a great city. “
Goodman, who supports building an arena in the downtown’s Symphony Park area, said public financing through a bond initiative on the ballot would make the project happen.
Two years ago, Goodman said he met with NBA Commissioner David Stern about getting an NBA team here, Goodman said. Stern told him that UNLV’s Thomas & Mack arena was antiquated compared to the newer arenas.
“Las Vegas was always at the cutting edge, always at the forefront,” Goodman said. “We were the example-setters. Now we drag our feet.”