MAPS History

MAPS: how OKC discovered the power of a penny

Whether it's strolling along the Bricktown Canal, attending a family-friendly OKC Dodgers game at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, rowing or kayaking in the revitalized Oklahoma River alongside Olympic-level athletes, enjoying a concert or play in the renovated Civic Center Music Hall, biking or running along a new paved trail, experiencing whitewater rapids in an urban environment or seeing the highest level of professional sports in person right here in OKC, MAPS has benefited the entire community in a variety of ways. 

Most of all, MAPS has done so much to turn around the city's perception of itself. The success of MAPS and other developments have greatly contributed to our community's relatively newfound sense of local pride and expectation of ability and success, the wherewithal to withstand whatever obstacles might be thrown in our way and come together to overcome them and emerge even better and stronger than before.

Video produced for MAPS 20th anniversary in 2013

MAPS is Oklahoma City’s visionary capital improvement program for quality of life improvement projects. After being spurned by a potential major new employer because the company's CEO didn't think employees wanted to live here, City and civic leaders came together to form a new plan--invest in themselves to make things better for OKC residents. The original MAPS program was funded by a five-year, one-cent sales tax passed by Oklahoma City voters in December 1993. The initiative called for the renovation and/or construction of nine major projects in Oklahoma City’s central business district, many of which are hard to imagine our city without today--Chesapeake Energy Arena, Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, the Bricktown Canal and more. Due to the transformative nature of the projects and forward thinking of the citizens, the original MAPS projects allowed us to do what would have once been unthinkable and land a major pro sports franchise. Since the passage of the original MAPS in 1993, Oklahoma City has seen more than $5 billion in new public and private investment throughout the city.

The nine MAPS projects took 10 years to complete, much of that time coexisting with Oklahoma City’s efforts to rebuild after the tragic 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. In the past 25+ years, and after rising together in the face of tragedy, the city has experienced a major renaissance that continues today and is a model for communities across the nation.

The capital improvement sales tax which funded MAPS for Kids was then passed by voters on November 2001, which was another temporary 1-cent sales tax over seven years to fund construction and renovations to Oklahoma City's public schools. More than 400 approved school projects and 70 new and renovated schools in 24 school districts in the Oklahoma City area were completed, with 70 percent of funds going to Oklahoma City Public Schools and the remainder to suburban districts.

Voters approved the capital improvement sales tax which funded MAPS 3 in December 2009, which was similar to the original MAPS in that it consisted of eight major projects all throughout the city, including Senior Health and Wellness Centers, Scissortail Park, RIVERSPORT Rapids, a new Convention Center, new trails for running and cycling, and more. The final project is expected to be finished in 2022.

MAPS 4 continues the MAPS tradition of being a product of its time, and addressing the needs the community is seeing in a truly transformative manner, hence the mix of 16 different projects that are part of the package. Let's come together once again to keep OKC moving in the right direction and VOTE YES on December 10.