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City, USA BMX Agree on "Preferred Site" in North Tulsa

Matt Trotter

A few weeks after a long-term soft drink contract derailed plans for the new USA BMX headquarters at the fairgrounds, city officials announced Wednesday a new site has been chosen.

Evans Fintube is now the preferred site. Mayor G.T. Bynum said there will be a complete overhaul of the 22-acre former steel foundry over the next couple years.

"So, you will see the building that we're in now renovated for a headquarters facility," Bynum said during a news conference inside a large, metal warehouse on the site. "You will see a new arena built just outside of these doors. You will see a third of this site left available for private development."

City Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper said redeveloping the site, which has been vacant for decades now, will bring economic benefits and more to north Tulsa.

"This endeavor represents an opportunity to promote health and wellness at a high level in my community that experiences health disparities, including a lack of healthy food options and sedentary lifestyle choices," Hall-Harper said.

Vince Trinidad with the Tulsa Sports Commission said besides drawing tourists and providing an economic boost, USA BMX is a good local education partner.

"Their build-a-bike kit program is now in 23 schools across the Tulsa region, including one not even a mile away from here," Trinidad said. "Their innovative build-a-track program is also embracing the ideals of STEM overall in a new, innovative way of making 3-D model tracks."

The site has groundwater and soil contamination to clean up, and both the city and USA BMX said they’ll do their due diligence before moving forward. The city has received nearly $900,000 in federal grants to clean up the site.

Bynum said Vision Tulsa’s $15 million allocation for USA BMX could change depending on lease negotiations.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.