Arena Information

What makes the BOK Center unique?

The BOK Center is Tulsa’s state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue that opened in fall 2008. The 19,199-seat venue is home to the WNBA Tulsa Shock, and the CHL Tulsa Oilers. The BOK Center was designed to host major concerts, family shows, ice shows, and other world class entertainment.

Located off Interstate 244 in downtown Tulsa, the BOK Center is diagonal from the Tulsa Convention Center which completed renovations in January 2010, making it an entertainment and business complex.

Owned by the City Of Tulsa, and Tulsa Public Facilities Authority, the BOK Center is part of Vision 2025, a project to grow economic and community infrastructure for future generations. The City hired SMG, a world leader in venue management, marketing and development, to manage the facility.

In 2011, the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) awarded BOK Center the Venue Excellence Award. This prestigious award is given annually to only one arena in the world and recognizes the best arena based on four criteria used to demonstrate the ways in which the venue has excelled in the management and operation of a public assembly venue. The criteria for the award includes: Operational Excellence, Teambuilding/Professional Development, Safety and Security, and Service to the Community.

Overall Design

The building has 565,000 square feet. The building contains 350,000 square feet of exterior metal panels, 75,000 square feet of glass, 30,000 cubic yards of concrete and 4,000 tons of structural steel. On the interior, from the event floor to the highest point is 120 feet. On the exterior, the arena is 134 feet tall from the ground to its highest point. The BOK Center’s outer layer is made up of 33,000 5-by-2 foot stainless steel panels applied in a shingle pattern and 1,600 glass panels that vary in size due to the curvature of the wall. The arena has two 9-foot-tall exterior signs affixed to the building, one to the east and one to the west. They light up at night, with the logo glowing red and the letters white. But during the day, the letters appear black because they are covered with perforated vinyl.

Inside the BOK Center the main concourse has more than 130,000 square feet of 70 percent mother-of-pearl aggregate terrazzo flooring featuring four Native American medallion floor inlays measuring 22-foot each. Suspended from the ceiling in the grand lobby is a 5,000 pound cloud-like cloth structure. Both the floor medallions and cloud structure were designed by Tulsa area artist. Inside the arena there are 37 suites, each with 12 to 15 seats. The arena also features a state-of-the-art house reduction curtain system allowing for a fully customizable arena space with a more intimate setting.

Icon Wall

Constructed by American Glass & Metal of Tulsa

Stretching 600 feet in length and reaching 103 feet from the ground at its peak, the icon wall weighs 912,000 pounds and has about 1,600 glass panels each weighing 350 pounds. The wall features 66 metal halide lamps that can display 1,000 different colors.

Scoreboard

Made by Daktronics of Brookings, S.D.

Costing $3.6 million and weighing 50,000 pounds the 30 foot high and 33 foot wide Williams scoreboard has a total of 10 LED screens to display high-resolution live video, instant replays, statistics, graphics, animations and advertisements. The scoreboard is suspended by steel cables about 25 feet off the floor for hockey and basketball games, 40 feet off the floor for arena football games and can be tucked away in the ceiling during concerts using a hoisting system.

LED Ribbon Display

Made by Daktronics of Brookings, S.D.

Encircling the interior of the arena is a 360-degree LED ribbon for advertising and messages. It is 930-foot long and has about 300,000 individual LEDs on 650 individual panels.

Funding

The $178 million venue’s construction is publicly funded through the Vision 2025 sales-tax program. The true cost of the BOK Center is about $196 million.

Sponsors

The biggest sponsor is Bank of Oklahoma, which has an $11 million, 20-year agreement for the naming rights to the new facility.

Other sponsors include Oneok, Williams Companies, United States Beef Corporation, Oklahoma Ford Dealers, Chrokee Nation Enterprises, Cox Communications, Pepsi Bottling Group, T.D. Williamson, The George Kaiser Family Foundation, Nadel and Gussman Energy and Samson, and F.W. Murphy Manufacturing which all have provided enhancements to the building including premium seating level, scoreboard, exterior landscaping, and interior lighting and elevator upgrades.

Artwork

The arena’s $1.4 million art budget was provided through a local ordinance that sets aside 1 percent of a municipal building’s construction dollars to beautify public space.

Joe Andoe

The Tulsa native and part Cherokee has created a black-and-white painting that shows two horses rearing up on a landscape as if it were the climax of an old Western movie at a drive-in theater.

The 9-by-24-foot piece was inspired by Andoe’s frequent visits to the Admiral Twin Drive-In while growing up. The painting is located next to a concession area on the north side of the building.

Kendall Buster

Buster, a Virginia resident, has created one of her signature sculptures made of steel framing and durable, translucent cloth.

The cloud-like form, suspended in the air with cables, is roughly 20 feet high, 30 feet long and 30 feet deep, and it weighs more than 5,000 pounds.

Bill and Demos Glass

The Glasses, father-and-son Cherokees from Locust Grove, have created four medallions with American Indian designs that are embedded in the arena’s main concourse floor.

Each medallion is 22 feet in diameter, made with terrazzo, enhanced with aggregates and framed in metal.

Mark Lewis

Lewis, an assistant professor at the University of Tulsa, has created a series of 25 paintings featuring scenes from Oklahoma’s Tallgrass Prairie Preserve to be displayed in the arena.

The paintings, which are located on the upper level, are on aluminum panels and hung in five lines of five, creating overall dimensions of 16 1/2 feet by 21 feet.

C├ęsar Pelli

César Pelli is an Argentine-American architect known for designing some of the world's tallest buildings and other major urban landmarks. His designs are known for their curved facades and metallic elements. He was chosen by the Vision 2025 committee to design Tulsa’s new arena.

Perhaps his most famous work are the Petronas Twin Towers, in Maylasia, which were the world's tallest buildings at that time. He also designed the World Financial Center complex in downtown Manhattan, which surround the now-fallen World Trade Center.

In 1991, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) listed Pelli among the ten most influential living American architects. Cesar Pelli has received more than 100 architecture awards. Some highlights:

  • 1995: AIA (American Institute of Architects) Gold Medal, which recognizes a lifetime of distinguished achievement and outstanding contributions.
  • 2004: The Aga Khan Award for the design of the Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Pelli’s design of the BOK Center reflects his desire create a bold and unique architectural image for Tulsa. Large, sweeping glass and stainless steel walls spiral around the arena, dynamically tilting in elevation and section. The architectural language resonates with Tulsa’s Native American past, but the modern materials and scale look to the future. The large expanses of glass will allow the building to be light-filled during the day, and a glowing beacon at night—the exterior lighting changes colors.

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