Our Newest Pro Sport - Tulsa 66ers Basketball
The newest addition to the Tulsa pro sports landscape is the "Tulsa 66ers" of the National Basketball Developmental League (NBDL).
The NBDL describes itself as a league that "offers players the opportunity to develop their talent in a highly competitive atmosphere under the NBA's umbrella" and that the NBDL serves as "a diverse human resources pool for the NBA and its teams by training employees in management, operations, public relations, sales and marketing positions." As stated, the NBDL is directly tied to the NBA, and in its four years of existence nearly 100 players and personnel have risen from it to the NBA ranks. Tulsa, Ft. Worth, Austin, Albuquerque and Little Rock all fielded new NBDL teams in 2005. League plans are to expand to a total of 15 teams in 2006, and to officially affiliate each NBDL team with two NBA teams.
Tulsa's team plays at the beautiful and historic Expo Square Pavillion near 15th & Yale. This is a great venue in which to watch basketball, with a terrific old-timey feel. Ticket prices are in a broad range from about $10.00 - $50.00. Ample parking is free.
The name "66ers" pays homage to Route 66, which runs directly through Tulsa about 0.5 miles north of the Pavillion. Route 66 is the famous American highway that once ran from Chicago to southern California and, prior to the advent of the modern Interstate Highway system, was the primary artery for automobile travelers heading west.
It's Officially "America's Favorite Zoo"!
In 2004, Microsoft, in a bid to promote its "Zoo-Tycoon 2" computer game, held a competiton via internet voting to select "America's Favorite Zoo." Thanks to visitors' deservedly high regard for the park (and not in small part to clever efforts by the Tulsa Zoo staff encouraging supporters to stuff the voting) the Tulsa Zoo took the top honors!
Tulsa calls its zoological park not only a "Zoo" but also a "Living Museum" and the designation is appropriate. The Tulsa Zoo has done a great job of combining naturalistic live animal habitats with archaeological and cultural art and artifacts that help visitors learn about the entirety of the earth's environments. For instance, North America is presented through four seperate buildings that showcase both animal species and human cultures unique to a region. In the "Arctic Tundra" building alone you can view a polar bear swimming inches from your face, enter a full-size reproduction of an Igloo furnished with tools of historic Eskimo life, and experience an earthquake.
The premier exhibit at the zoo has to be the "Tropical American Rain Forest." This massive building provides an immersion experience into a piece of Central American jungle. Towering trees, creeping vines, and mayan ruins; free-roaming marmosets (small monkeys), acouchis (looking like long-legged guinea pigs), lizards, frogs and various birds; and clever enclosures for more dangerous animals like jaguar, caiman and anaconda combine with the humidity to get you as close to the rainforest in Tulsa as you'll ever be without a long plane ride.
The zoo's newest attractions are a terrific black-footed penguin colony and a full-scale recreation of a portion of an African Maasai village. Of special interest to parents and their little ones are a nice children's zoo with an interactive goat yard, a huge and imaginative playground, a miniature train, and the "Conservation Carousel" where you ride on unique hand-carved creatures such as a seahorse or shark.
Welcome to Tulsa - Now Please go Home
As a life long resident of this beatiful city, I would love for you to come visit and see the many amazing things we have to offer. However, due to the uncontrolled growth and resulting urban sprawl, it would be very nice if you don't decide to move here. The countryside is being destroyed on a daily basis by new construction, and traffic is constantly getting worse. Please come, have a nice stay, and have a safe trip home.