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Bucksfan

Arena nice, but OKC SUCKED!

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Every time we've been there we've noticed that the restaurants had no idea what was happening. In 83 85 92(?) you'd be lucky to find anyplace open at all downtown. Definitely not in the underground. This year we stopped in at some new pizza place in Bricktown and they only seemed to have two people working there and they were swamped. They ran out of food. We talked to them about it, they had no clue.

We also Waffle Housed it for the 3 days. I don't think they knew either but they had a reasonably large staff (I asked and it was the normal sized staff for the morning shift). They did an awesome job of keeping up in spite of it all. We were wondering how they did it, the usual procedure is for the servers to call out the orders and then hold on to the tickets.

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Sounds as if you went in expecting New York and East Coast rudeness and are complaining you didn't get the 'in your face' attitude you are used to.

 

haha, what? restaurants on the east coast work under the same principles that the service industry uses all over the country. like you sit down for a meal in new york city for a meal and the waiter starts cursing you out?

 

i would love to find any restaurant that gives you "in your face" attitude, actually. sounds like a trip.

 

 

Dick's last resort. That is exactly how it goes.

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Ok, maybe I shouldnt have generalized all of OKC as sucking, because some things were alright. Could it have just been terrible luck on my part to have a number of bad dining experiences? It could have, but the fact I was hearing the same gripes from other people at the hotel i stayed at (Hilton/Homestead) prompted me to start a thread and ask others. IDK, call me picky but when you know years in advance that the NCAAs are coming bringing thousands of paying customers in town for 4-5 days, BE PREPARED. Hell, why not fence off a couple streets and have a scaled down festival type atmosphere? Vendors, food, drinks, entertainment...cmon there are thousands of people wanting **** to do after the sessions are over. Sheesh, wasnt much to do except drink at some packed hole in the wall. GET ORGANIZED

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A couple thoughts:

 

1. Ate at Mickey Mantles twice because it was so good. I eat at alot of great steakhouses and my food was as good as anywhere. I had the bone in filet and the bone in ribeye and they were excellent. Salad and onion rings were awesome. I did choose to eat at the bar because there were only two of us so there was no wait and the bartenders were very good.

 

2. Spent between sessions at Toby Keith's bar and grill. They were a bit understaffed but it was a huge place and definitely think they could've had more wait staff. Cool bar and met a couple of good ole' OK State fans so we had a good time.

 

3. They definitely could've been better prepared because on Wednesday night, bars and restaurants were closing around 10 which was just when people were rolling into town.

 

4. Bricktown, was very cool and enjoyed myself in several of the various "establishments". Saw Randy Couture singing "Friends in Low Places" and playing the harmonica with a local band and ran into Billy Baldwin. One of the bars bought a round of shots for 6 wrestlers on Friday night who were out of the tournament and was appreciative of the business.

 

I agree with others who say that if you want to eat around the venue, you always have to expect a wait. Just too many people storming a place at the same time. I also think I had the benefit of being a small party so it's easier to get a table(or barspace). Saw numerous banners around town welcoming the wrestlers but do think the places should have overstaffed rather than understaffed.

 

 

ps. But then again, I might've just been in a great mood since the Great State of Pa had 17 AA's! :lol:

Come and get me bitter guy!

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Sounds as if you went in expecting New York and East Coast rudeness and are complaining you didn't get the 'in your face' attitude you are used to.

 

haha, what? restaurants on the east coast work under the same principles that the service industry uses all over the country. like you sit down for a meal in new york city for a meal and the waiter starts cursing you out?

 

i would love to find any restaurant that gives you "in your face" attitude, actually. sounds like a trip.

 

Actually, there is a place in St.Louis like that. You can give it try next year.

 

Ed Debevic’s Short Order Deluxe.

 

The service at Zio's Italian place on Thursday was atrocious, though. They were totally unprepared for the crowd between sessions. If you were located that close to the sports arena, wouldn't you check out the schedule daily and staff accordingly? Just seemed weirdly disengaged. The staff was friendly and did their best, but inadequate all the same.

 

Dick's Last Resort?

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Cattleman's is a chain restaurant. Not sure why anyone would think it special. I ate at one near my house some years back. Very average. OKC should be able to do better than that.

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suckazz!

we tailgated!

burgers, pork wings, salads, beer!!

great time, GREAT WEATHER

 

yeah, try that in NYC.

 

only went to one restaurant, mickey mantles...and speaking of sucking and overpriced... wow. bad.

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Cattlemen's is not a chsin restaurant in Oklahoma. It has been in business at the same location for about 90 years. Still it is not my favorite steakhouse in OKC.

 

Having lived in a resort area for 30 years before moving back 6 years ago i realize the city needs to improve on how it attracts and treats tourists. Please keep the comments coming, I will forward them to the mayor's office. OKC is planning to build a new convention center. South of the doentown area to the Oklahoma River is an area that is called the "Core to Shore" project. Inckuded will be a very large city park. The Urban Land Institute has weighed in with it's suggestions. That area most likely will become an area of upscale rental apartments, townhouses, and condos. That will put good quality resudential housing in all four directions adjacent to downtown. That is in the MAPS 3 project funded by sales taxes. MAPS 1 rebuilt schoold, built the arena, and the Oklahoma River area that is now the Olympic training center for rowing and will soon be for whitewater rafting and kayaking.

 

Adjacent south of the arena will be a ground level parkway with interchanges to I-40, the west part is done. A trolley system is now in the works.

 

For 20 years OKC was in an economic slump, then four energy companies began as startups about 15 years ago, today Devon, Chesapeake, Continental Resources, and Sand Ridge are all major employers. The new Devon 52-story tower was paid for in cash and all 2.5 million SF is occupied by Devon.

 

Whenever OKC gets another NCAA tournament things will be significantly better for tourists. It reminds me of Phoenix when I moved there in 1978. It will never be a resort area, or as big as Dallas-Ft. Worth, but it won't be what many consider a small city. Metro area is about 1.3 million.

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Really though, how could you prepare for an influx of 15,000 people all at the same time? OKC is not NYC. The NCAA wrestling tournament is unlike any other event in college sports. The vast majority of those 15,000 people are staying in hotels, and are there for a "tourist" trip. I have been to CWS, NC football games, and March Madness games. The football rivals the influx, but football games are a 3 hour event, not a 4 1/2 day marathon. CWS has a lot of local fans, and people are in and out all day, and basketball is the same...these other events do not have the rushes that wrestling does. So when a city that hosts it for the first time in almost a decade, (it is an almost completely different downtown since then) they are not familiar with how the wrestling tournament works, and can be surprised that wrestling has that many "fans".

 

Travel outside of the downtown areas if you want quicker dining experiences. Get away from the atmosphere for a little bit. That is what I like to do. You could have covered a lot of ground in any direction in OKC and found a lot of fine eating establishments.

 

St. Louis is the best location by far. I live in OKC and have a love/hate relationship with hosting it. I love that my city is hosting my favorite sporting event (CWS is a lot of fun also), but I hate that I am not the "tourist".

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I guess none of the businesses remember 2006. No memory of the large crowds, rumors of bars & restaurants running out of beer (local papers ran articles stating that, distributors making emergency deliveries & worrying they'd run out of beer especially because it was St Patrick's Day - the wrestling fans were drinking up the extra stock!).

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Cattlemen's is not a chsin restaurant in Oklahoma. It has been in business at the same location for about 90 years. Still it is not my favorite steakhouse in OKC.

 

I don't know where Ryan is from but there is a Cattlemen's chain in California, perhaps that's his confusion. But I do agree with him if he's mistakenly thinking of the California Cattlemen's in the Sacramento and Bay Areas.

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Really though, how could you prepare for an influx of 15,000 people all at the same time? OKC is not NYC. The NCAA wrestling tournament is unlike any other event in college sports. The vast majority of those 15,000 people are staying in hotels, and are there for a "tourist" trip. I have been to CWS, NC football games, and March Madness games. The football rivals the influx, but football games are a 3 hour event, not a 4 1/2 day marathon. CWS has a lot of local fans, and people are in and out all day, and basketball is the same...these other events do not have the rushes that wrestling does. So when a city that hosts it for the first time in almost a decade, (it is an almost completely different downtown since then) they are not familiar with how the wrestling tournament works, and can be surprised that wrestling has that many "fans".

 

Travel outside of the downtown areas if you want quicker dining experiences. Get away from the atmosphere for a little bit. That is what I like to do. You could have covered a lot of ground in any direction in OKC and found a lot of fine eating establishments.

 

St. Louis is the best location by far. I live in OKC and have a love/hate relationship with hosting it. I love that my city is hosting my favorite sporting event (CWS is a lot of fun also), but I hate that I am not the "tourist".

 

/\ This /\

 

Downtown OKC isn't used to having 15,000 people for 4 1/2 days...the largest crowds they have is once a year IF the Thunder make the playoffs. Most of their restaurants are only open during the week for business employees (the residential population is growing, but still not very big downtown), so bricktown is your only option if you don't want to drive away from downtown. Did you really expect to be seated right away and get your food quickly with a huge crowd of people rushing 10-15 restaurants?? Naive.

 

Anyway, this is the problem with smaller cities hosting such a large event. If the city actually gets involved with the event and the businesses to prepare for it (which should be a requirement before the NCAA agrees to host in that city), then I have no problem with it being in a smaller city. As Big Apple states, if the city officials are made aware of the revenue brought to the city by this tournament, perhaps they'll step up their game, otherwise they don't deserve to host again.

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Cattlemen's is not a chsin restaurant in Oklahoma. It has been in business at the same location for about 90 years. Still it is not my favorite steakhouse in OKC.

 

I don't know where Ryan is from but there is a Cattlemen's chain in California, perhaps that's his confusion. But I do agree with him if he's mistakenly thinking of the California Cattlemen's in the Sacramento and Bay Areas.

 

My bad. I checked and it is only out here.

 

Overall, I did think OKC was adequate. I've only gone to the last 5 and St Louis does really stand out. That said, I don't drink so I don't hang out at the drinking establishments.

 

As for food, I do like the greasy Waffle House. :-)

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Iowa population slightly over 3,000,0000 – Oklahoma slightly under 4,000,000

Ok. Area is also about 25-30% greater than Iowa.

 

Iowa has about 280 HS with wrestling, so one assumes that Oklahoma has about 330 HS wrestling teams. It has 110. ¾ of Iowa HSs (with sports) have wrestling. 1/3 of Oklahoma schools have wrestling (by comparison Pa is 2/3). In 1983+85 there seemed to be more local TV coverage of the event than this year. I suspect that a small percentage of the population is really aware of Oklahoma wrestling, and this explains why, after 5 tries in 32 years OKCity still didn’t get it right.

 

Hopefully (with the next 4 years schedule) NCAA has finally realized it should be one year in the Midwest then one year in the East. In that case, I would think Minneapolis and Kansas City each deserves, if they want it, a shot before the next OKCity hosting. (Des Moines just too small an arena, and Omaha almost as small with now no wrestling by either city college, should not be considered).

------

The Arena Was OK. Except the male announcers (but not Sandy) never came thru clearly thru in the part of the 300 level where I was. It looked like the building was built to have about 20 more luxury boxes at the very top, but they were never completed???

 

Of course the worst thing about the arena is the name on it. A company that is just robbing Northeast landowners blind.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... iches.html

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Really though, how could you prepare for an influx of 15,000 people all at the same time? OKC is not NYC. The NCAA wrestling tournament is unlike any other event in college sports. The vast majority of those 15,000 people are staying in hotels, and are there for a "tourist" trip. I have been to CWS, NC football games, and March Madness games. The football rivals the influx, but football games are a 3 hour event, not a 4 1/2 day marathon. CWS has a lot of local fans, and people are in and out all day, and basketball is the same...these other events do not have the rushes that wrestling does. So when a city that hosts it for the first time in almost a decade, (it is an almost completely different downtown since then) they are not familiar with how the wrestling tournament works, and can be surprised that wrestling has that many "fans".

 

Travel outside of the downtown areas if you want quicker dining experiences. Get away from the atmosphere for a little bit. That is what I like to do. You could have covered a lot of ground in any direction in OKC and found a lot of fine eating establishments.

 

St. Louis is the best location by far. I live in OKC and have a love/hate relationship with hosting it. I love that my city is hosting my favorite sporting event (CWS is a lot of fun also), but I hate that I am not the "tourist".

 

/\ This /\

 

Downtown OKC isn't used to having 15,000 people for 4 1/2 days...the largest crowds they have is once a year IF the Thunder make the playoffs. Most of their restaurants are only open during the week for business employees (the residential population is growing, but still not very big downtown), so bricktown is your only option if you don't want to drive away from downtown. Did you really expect to be seated right away and get your food quickly with a huge crowd of people rushing 10-15 restaurants?? Naive.

 

Anyway, this is the problem with smaller cities hosting such a large event. If the city actually gets involved with the event and the businesses to prepare for it (which should be a requirement before the NCAA agrees to host in that city), then I have no problem with it being in a smaller city. As Big Apple states, if the city officials are made aware of the revenue brought to the city by this tournament, perhaps they'll step up their game, otherwise they don't deserve to host again.

 

Des Moines is significantly smaller than Oklahoma city and they are no more used to having 15,000 people for 4 1/2 days than is Oklahoma City. On top of that Des Moines doesn't have a professional sports team like the Thunder either.

 

Did I really expect to be seated right away and get my food quickly with a huge crowd of people rushing 10-15 restaurants? No, I didn't but I also didn't expect to go into restaurants and see 5-10 open tables that were not being served because they were under staffed either. I didn't expect to see places where one waitress was having to run her little a$$ off because her boss wasn't expecting that many people, and let a few others go home when he should've kept them on to help.

 

Bottom line is Oklahoma City was not prepared for the championships and Des Moines was. Who to point the finger at, I dont' know and I don't say. However, at a population of about 1/2 million people Des Moines did just fine for a small city in hosting the 2013 NCAA championships. Oklahoma City at 1.2 million, could've done a better job.

 

With that said, I'll once again repeat myself that Oklahoma City is a beautiful city in many ways, very friendly people and a place I like to visit.

 

They just were NOT prepared for the championships.....

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I ate twice in Bricktown/downtown OKC. I did not see the empty tables that you guys are speaking of. Not saying it wasn't true, but the two times I ate downtown it was pretty much what I expected it to be. Crowded and a wait.

 

Des Moines may have been more prepared, but I would not rank it above OKC as a host city. My downtown eating experiences have not been any better in St. Louis, Des Moines, or Omaha which is why I go a little off of the beaten path. Des Moines is better than Detroit, but far below St. Louis and Omaha. Oklahoma City may have 1.2 million people, but it is spread out across the 2nd largest city land area wise in the country. The downtown area is not exactly a hub for activity except for Thunder games.

 

If you had trouble parking, you did not try hard enough. The lot by the U-Haul building was not full at anytime, and is about a block away from the arena. I even saw some tailgating going on over by the railroad tracks. There were some Ohio fans getting after it for 3 days.

 

An effort needs to be made to give yourself a pleasurable experience at these events. The only time I can drink and be in one spot between sessions is when I am at a craps table, so that may be why I prefer Omaha and St. Louis.

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i think OKC COULD have been prepared for the NCAAs, but that's easier said than done.

 

San Diego is a little bigger than OKC but still not a huge city and they annually host Comic-Con, which gets like 200,000 visitors and exhibitors for a whole week. but since it happens ever year, the entire downtown is prepared. it still runs into difficulties but they get to asses each year and plan on improvements for next year.

 

i can see where folks would get frustrated by a seemingly unprepared businesses but i can also see where it would be tough to convince businesses to commit to spending money to be prepared. if the NCAAs came to town every 3 years i can bet you things would improve every year.

 

interesting thoughts by a lot of posters though. i watched from home and appreciate the insights.

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Des Moines is significantly smaller than Oklahoma city and they are no more used to having 15,000 people for 4 1/2 days than is Oklahoma City. On top of that Des Moines doesn't have a professional sports team like the Thunder either.

 

Did I really expect to be seated right away and get my food quickly with a huge crowd of people rushing 10-15 restaurants? No, I didn't but I also didn't expect to go into restaurants and see 5-10 open tables that were not being served because they were under staffed either. I didn't expect to see places where one waitress was having to run her little a$$ off because her boss wasn't expecting that many people, and let a few others go home when he should've kept them on to help.

 

Bottom line is Oklahoma City was not prepared for the championships and Des Moines was. Who to point the finger at, I dont' know and I don't say. However, at a population of about 1/2 million people Des Moines did just fine for a small city in hosting the 2013 NCAA championships. Oklahoma City at 1.2 million, could've done a better job.

 

With that said, I'll once again repeat myself that Oklahoma City is a beautiful city in many ways, very friendly people and a place I like to visit.

 

They just were NOT prepared for the championships.....

 

Right, but Des Moines obviously prepared better for this than OKC did, hence my comments about it being a requirement that city officials be involved/make some kind of a commitment if a city is to be chosen to host this event.

 

My guess is that the restaurant you had the issue with had no idea that there was a huge event in town. They have no reason to staff a large number of employees and should cut them if business warrants...they can't predict that a crowd will rush in shortly after they send employees home.

 

This all goes back to your comment earlier in this topic...why is wrestling so much more important or known in some states (Iowa) than it is in others (Oklahoma). What's interesting to me is that Oklahoma has always sort of been known as a big wrestling state with Tulsa Nationals, etc., as has Iowa. Up until the Thunder came, Oklahoma didn't have any professional sports teams, so maybe that's why. I grew up in Moore, my entire family went to OU and what's even more interesting is, I thought wrestling was the WWF until I moved to Missouri and met friends that wrestled. But honestly, I'm not sure that I would have even known about wrestling if I didn't meet specific people that were involved with wrestling.

 

When my wife and I were on our honeymoon in 2012, we met a couple that was from Nebraska. Within the first 5 minutes of talking to them, the guy mentioned that he grew up in Iowa...I asked him if he wrestled, and within minutes we were talking about the Brands brothers, Iowa's lineup, etc.

 

Just amazing the difference in culture in Iowa vs. other states, even those states that you thought were big wrestling states like Oklahoma. If you grow up there, you have no option but to know about wrestling. If you grow up anywhere else, good luck with knowing anything about it. You have to wonder how that mentality got started and what can be done to get that started in other states...

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Iowa population slightly over 3,000,0000 – Oklahoma slightly under 4,000,000

Ok. Area is also about 25-30% greater than Iowa.

Iowa has about 280 HS with wrestling, so one assumes that Oklahoma has about 330 HS wrestling teams. It has 110. ¾ of Iowa HSs (with sports) have wrestling. 1/3 of Oklahoma schools have wrestling (by comparison Pa is 2/3). In 1983+85 there seemed to be more TV coverage of the event than this year. I suspect that a small percentage of the population is really aware of Oklahoma wrestling, and this explains why, after 5 tries in 32 years OKCity still didn’t get it right.

Hopefully (with the next 4 years schedule) NCAA has finally realized it should be one year in the Midwest then one year in the East. In that case, I would think Minneapolis and Kansas City each deserves, if they want it, a shot before the next OKCity hosting. (Des Moines just too small an arena, and Omaha almost as small with now no wrestling by either city college, should not be considered).

------

The Arena Was OK. Except the male announcers (but not Sandy) never came thru clearly thru in the part of the 300 level where I was. It looked like the building was built to have about 20 more luxury boxes at the very top, but they were never completed???

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JohnnyThompsonnum1 wrote:

I was told by and events coordinator that Oklahoma State often does not sell out their home dual meets. That small of an arena, for that good of a team should be selling out their arenas.

 

It is true that OSU has not sold out their home duals since Gallagher-Iba arena was expanded in 2001. It used to hold ~6,300 and now holds 13,600. http://www.okstate.com/facilities/gallagher-iba.html

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I think St. Louis is the best. I like OKC however. Honestly i havent really had a host site i didnt like other than Albany.

Loved having it in Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa City and Des Moines last year. Just not a place that comes close to loving wrestling as much as Iowa. Only place in the US where wrestling is legitmately a culture. I thought Des Moines was the best as well. Lots of nice people.

 

I am biased because the midwest is closer; but i like the tourney in the midwest better than the east coast.the smaller cities, and the nice people and the cost being less( not just because of travel) is what i like.

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