Widgets Magazine
  • Plans revealed for new 10,000 seat arena at state fairgrounds

    The state fairgrounds board recently commissioned a study by consultants Populous to determine the feasibility of a new 10,000 seat multi-purpose facility on the site of the venerable Jim Norick Arena.

    Norick Arena seats 8,500 in its typical configuration but can accommodate up to 11,000. Originally named the State Fairgrounds Arena, it opened in 1965.

    The current arena received a renovation and slight expansion as part of the first MAPS initiative in the 1990's.

    The City of Oklahoma City has used Populous to assist in the site selection and design of the MAPS 3 Convention Center and also commissioned other studies from the Kansas City-based firm, which has had a hand in dozens of arenas, ballparks and stadiums around the world.

    As proposed, the new arena would sit slightly southeast of the present arena site and be completely new from the ground up. It would also be attached to the new livestock barns that were recently added as part of MAPS 2 and directly across from the under-construction Expo Building, which is nearing completion as part of MAPS 3.

    The preliminary plans also call for a small horse/livestock arena to be built between the existing barns and the new facility, along with more barn and multi-purpose space.

    Other features include two large plazas, suites, and retractable upper-level seating.

    A lounge and restaurants are also part of the proposal.

    Flexibility would allow for the easy configuration for equestrian/rodeo, basketball, circus, ice shows and concerts.

    Timeline for construction and costs are not known at this time.

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