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Coca-Cola “Pour Rights” Take the Fizz Out of
USA BMX Expo Square Plan

June 15, 2017 by  

Coke Pour Rights Take Fizz Out of USA BMX Tulsa Deal

On April 6, of last year, BMX News celebrated with the rest of the BMX universe, as voters in Tulsa County, Oklahoma approved a ballot initiative called “Vision 2025.”

This initiative had a lot packed into it, but a small portion of the $882 Million plan included about $16 million for the construction of a new USA BMX headquarters complex, training facility and dual hill, indoor BMX track (a facility we have taken to call the “Epicenter project”), at the Northeast corner of the Expo Square fairgrounds—home to the USA BMX Grand National.

All systems seemed to be “go” to proceed for a 2019 move-in date—just in time to train the 2020 US Olympic BMX Team for the Tokyo games. That is, if all went according to plan.

Anyone who has remodeled a bathroom in their own home knows that construction projects routinely go off the rails. Completion dates slip, budgets balloon, and you’re taking a shower in the “temporary” stall in the backyard for a lot longer than you ever thought possible.

Fast forward to this week, when local media in Tulsa (links below) carried the story that a long-standing agreement between the Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Company and Expo Square requires that only Coke products are poured on the property. Seems like a small thing at first blush, but when you go a bit deeper, it was a deal breaker for USA BMX, at least for the Expo Square location.

BA Anderson told News, via a statement:

USA BMX is certainly disappointed that we were unable to come to an agreement with Expo Square as the future home of the USA BMX headquarters. This was certainly not from a lack of effort from all parties including USA BMX, Expo Square and the Tulsa Sports Commission.

As this agreement spans multiple decades it became very challenging to ensure that certain limitations would not hurt the long-term sustainability of the new venue. Multiple limitations required by Expo Square which were out of their control simply became too burdensome to allow the agreement to move forward.

Regardless, this has in no way hampered the relationship between USA BMX and Expo Square for our most coveted event, the Grand Nationals.

I also want to reiterate that we remain completely committed to the relocation to Tulsa. The City and the Mayors office is dedicated to finding the best site for the long term growth and development of USA BMX. In fact last week I personally visited 3 alternative locations.

So, the project will progress, though on a side-track, instead of the express rails. BMX Racing continues on its merry way, and USA BMX staffers will call the 602 (well, the 480, really) their home for the foreseeable future. It is going to be 120 degrees in Gilbert on Tuesday—a perfect day for an ice-cold Coke Pepsi.

—MIke Carruth

BMX News will update you on this story as developments develop.

Links

The Frontier: Soda sales likely to keep proposed BMX training facility from Expo Square

Tulsa World: City scrambles to find new site for BMX facility

BMX News: Tulsa Voters Clear Path for USA BMX Epicenter

Coke Pour Rights Take Fizz Out of USA BMX Tulsa Deal

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