The Arena District
The spectacular BOK Center and the newly renovated Tulsa Convention Center anchor what has become known as the Arena District in downtown Tulsa. The state of the art sports and entertainment arena hosts major concerts, family shows and other world-class entertainment. The iconic and modern architecture of the new facility is the brain child of world famous architect, Cesar Pelli. The new arena and the renovated convention center were the primary focus of Tulsa’s Vision 2025 initiative, a broad-based effort to grow economic and community infrastructure for future generations.
The convention center also received major funding in the 2016 Vision Tulsa campaign and construction for new amenities will likely begin in 2018. The Cox Business Center and Arena District Master Plan – was approved for $55,000,000: To expand the current convention center, allowing Tulsa to remain competitive with other regional convention centers; creates a master plan for the redevelopment and economic growth of Tulsa’s Arena District – maximizing the potential of the BOK Center.
As districts go, the Arena District lacks the kind of village atmosphere that you find in the Blue Dome and Brady Districts, but we expect that to change as the area matures and promising new developments come along. The City of Tulsa has hired a consulting firm to assist in developing a far-ranging master development plan for the arena district. As it is, BOK and Convention Center visitors have a wide array of nearby restaurants and nightspots to choose from.
The BOK Center is the heart of the Arena District
Beginning in September 2010, a new tradition started when the BOK Center hosted the Rock `n Rib Festival, a one-of-a-kind festival featuring legendary cooking teams from across the country… showcasing their award-winning recipes. During the Rock `n Rib Festival, downtown streets are filled with the scent of barbecue sauce and the sound of live music.
And, in addition to hosting major concerts, family shows and other world-class entertainment, the BOK Center has created a new downtown Tulsa holiday tradition in the Annual Winterfest Celebration. Featuring ice skating, horse and carriage rides, delicious concessions and free holiday entertainment, it runs from late November through the New Year. The tradition has grown since its inception and hosted well over 100,000 visitors last year.