- Illustration by John Eric Osborn
As Halloween approached, if you looked to the skyline in the city core, you could see an eerie green light emanating from downtown Oklahoma City. Concerned that the city might be ground zero for an alien invasion, concerned residents (or just one) raced towards the source of the light only to find that it’s only … the Paycom Center.
While the Ford Center may never have been missed as a name, OKC residents who have affectionately referred to the building when it was Chesapeake Arena can sleep well knowing that if they just add a little more southern twang when they speak. Move over, “The ‘Peake.” “The Payc’” is the new kid on the block.
I’m sure the Colcord Hotel is feeling a little jealous of the Omni now. After all, they only have The Oklahoman’s obnoxious wraparound screen to irritate its guests and now there’s a whole-ass aurora borealis lighting up the entire north side of the new hotel. Not to mention Scissortail Park can start hosting events that would normally be reserved for the daylight at night. Overcast or foggy nights used to make for some extremely dark downtown streets but that’s now a thing of the past as well, thanks to the new light pollution, but the jury is still out on how many curious drivers will be blinded while heading west on the crosstown.
On the bright side, pun intended, residents who live within a half-mile of the venue will save a bundle on lighting costs as their living rooms will now be a blinding shade of electric green after dusk. And while the aliens may not have landed in the heart of our city yet, the beacon will be lit for at least the next decade for whenever they do plan a visit.