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MAPS 3 lights up the Oklahoma River

Post Date:06/25/2013

(June 25, 2013) - The Oklahoma River will become the world’s first permanently lighted racecourse when the lights are illuminated during a MAPS 3 River Lighting Ceremony at 8:45 p.m. on June 29. This marks the first large-scale MAPS 3 project to be completed. 

The ceremony will take place during the second annual SandRidge Energy Stars and Stripes River Festival and is open to the public. 

“The goal of MAPS 3 is to improve the quality of life in Oklahoma City, so I’d say we are off to a great start with this project,” said Mayor Cornett. “The stadium lights won’t just attract elite Olympic athletes.  Families and community groups will have plenty of opportunities to get in the water under the lights with rowing, kayaking, dragon boating and stand up paddle boarding.  It will be a new way to experience the Oklahoma River.”

Ceremony speakers include Mayor Mick Cornett, MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory Board Chairman Tom McDaniel, Oklahoma City Riverfront Redevelopment Authority Chairman Ron Norick, Ward 7 Councilman John A. Pettis Jr., Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation Executive Director Mike Knopp and Greater Oklahoma City Chamber CEO Roy Williams.

“This is the perfect example of a tremendously successful public-private partnership,” Cornett added. “It is fitting that our first completion ceremony be at the Oklahoma River, which in my view, is a great symbol of progress and growth in Oklahoma City.”

The SandRidge Energy Stars and Stripes River Festival includes a full day of family activities including the Riversport Challenge 500m kayak/5K run, RIVERSPORT Corporate Rowing and Dragon Boat League Championships, the Stars & Stripes Regatta for masters rowers, the Paddle for the Cure Dragon Boat Race, Olympic Day activities, a Rubber Duck Race and RIVERSPORT Adventures, as well as live music, food and fireworks.

The MAPS 3 Oklahoma River Improvements project includes lighting and windscreens for the first 500 meters of the racecourse, a starting system, starting docks, a judging platform, LED lighting, cameras, irrigation, buoy and cable improvements, cable crossover markers, a starting tower and more.  It also includes a whitewater rafting facility and parking.  The total budget for the MAPS 3 Oklahoma River improvements is $57.1 million. The lighting project cost approximately $3.2 million.

The whitewater rafting facility will be open to everyone from beginners to expert kayakers and is currently in design.  Construction is expected to begin in 2014 with an opening scheduled for 2015.

The MAPS 3 Oklahoma River subcommittee provides guidance to the project and is made up of nine Mayor-appointed citizens. The MAPS 3 subcommittees generally meet monthly and meetings are open to the public. The subcommittees provide input to the MAPS 3 Citizen Advisory Board which makes recommendations to City Council.

Every MAPS 3 project is currently underway, either in planning, design, construction or land acquisition.

MAPS 3 updates are available by subscribing to the MAPS 3 e-newsletter at Updates are also available on  and Log on to for project details and to read the implementation plan.

About MAPS 3
MAPS 3 is a 10-year, $777 million construction program designed to improve the quality of life in Oklahoma City.  It is funded by a one-cent sales tax initiative that began in April 2010 and ends in December 2017. MAPS 3 funds eight projects: Downtown Convention Center, Downtown Public Park, Modern Streetcar/Transit, Oklahoma River Improvements, Oklahoma State Fairgrounds Improvements, Senior Health and Wellness Centers, Trails and Sidewalks.

Contact:  Kristy Yager
 / 863-2831

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