City Councilor Asks State Where Bassmaster Money Went
As events go, landing the Bassmaster classic last year was like landing an economic whale, pumping in roughly $26 million to the local economy, and impressing the organizers.
"Right now we're tending to be one of the higher attending events that we've had in recent years," said Eric Lopez of the Bassmaster organization.
With weigh-ins that resembled rock concerts, at the end of the day it was a resounding success.
"Absolutely, big, big thing for the city of Tulsa," said Tulsa city councilor Skip Steele.
And could be even bigger, he says, if the state would pony up.
"The state passed an incentive program for communities to bring in big events into the state of Oklahoma," said Steele.
The Quality Events Incentive Act gives communities a portion of any incremental sales tax increase generated by an event. So for the Bassmaster classic the state would theoretically cut a check to the city of Tulsa for roughly...
"It's approximately $250,000 worth of benefits that the city of Tulsa deserves," said Steele.
But so far, a year later, the city is still fishing for that money like an angler on choppy water.
"Apparently there's some problems with the law that they say that they are not going to pay the city the money that we thought we were going to get," said Steele.
Thursday, he's bringing the item before the rest of the council to see what to do next, hoping to eventually reel in the state.
"I really don't think that the city of Tulsa should be punished in any way because the city of Tulsa did everything that they needed to do," said Steele.