Lacie Lowry, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- Saturday was the "Championship Cleanup" to keep Tulsa beautiful for the upcoming NCAA tournament at the BOK Center.
The city is expecting nearly 100,000 fans to flood Tulsa for that tournament in two weeks and they want to make a good impression.
Trash littering some highways and busy roads in Tulsa is not the type of welcome sign city leaders had in mind.
"This is unbelievable to me. I really didn't have any idea that it was like this," said Bill Christiansen, Tulsa City Councilor.
Mayor Dewey Bartlett led the trash pickup along Peoria and Pine. He says this is the first real public effort acknowledging the upcoming NCAA tournament.
"Tulsa has a reputation for being America's cleanest city and I think we need to really show that we are that," Mayor Dewey said.
The city is expecting 75,000 to 100,000 people and having a clean appearance is everything. Dewey wants Tulsa to put its best foot forward.
"They'll be driving around a lot and going to the museums and the restaurants and the bars, just driving around Tulsa seeing everything and we need to clean the town up," he said.
Councilor Bill Christiansen also volunteered. He wants to clear out the mess and make way for the $15 million windfall the tournament could mean for Tulsa.
"We've got a beautiful BOK Center; it's the greatest of the greatest. But when they are driving in or flying in and renting a car, we've got to make that good impression," Christiansen said.
"It's kinda fun. Get out a little bit, get a little exercise, doesn't hurt too bad," Dewey said.
The city also invited volunteers to cleanup around the fairgrounds, I-244 between Sheridan and 169, as well as the Highway 75 corridor.
The NCAA tournament in Tulsa is March 18th and 20th.