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Historic Cox Business Center Going From Arena To State's Largest Ballroom

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

The historic Cox Business Center, a piece of Tulsa’s history since 1946, is getting a $55 million revamp thanks to Vision Tulsa money.

The space is transforming from an arena that seats thousands to the largest ballroom in the state.

"I love that when you tell someone where they are it just takes them back right away. They go back to, ‘Oh, that was when I went on that date,’ or, ‘We fell in love," General Manager Kerry Painter said. "It was "the" arena, it was "the" music place. All the iconic concerts were here."

Painter said the space, just like the city, has grown and transformed over the years.

The concert venue is still used by artists, but it also doubles as a space for other events now.

"What we really want is more conventions and conferences. That is what adds economic impact to the town. It fills hotels, it makes excitement in the restaurants, so we need new space to do that," Painter said.

So, the space is transforming into a 40,000-square foot, multi-purpose ballroom - the largest in Oklahoma.

"It will be beautiful finishes, much like a ballroom, but not so ballroom-like that we can't put exhibits in it, or gymnastics in it or something else if we need to. The versatility matters," Painter said.

She hopes the new area will be the place that Tulsans continue to make memories.

"It has been touched up, and spruced up and fixed up, but it's time to have a whole new look to it and move into the new age," Painter said.

The last concert in the arena will be the Avett Brothers Friday night.

Construction is supposed to start in July and last about two years.

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