Hundreds Celebrate Tulsa BOK Center’s First Year

Saturday, September 19th 2009, 5:27 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Hundreds packed the BOK Center to celebrate the arena's first anniversary.

The BOK Center has surpassed expectations during its first year. Now officials say the trick will be keeping Tulsa fans happy, in the second year.

"Tulsa needed something like this," said Jim Studebaker of Tulsa.

Managers projected 550,000 first-year ticket buyers. They've had close to 800,000. The turnout helped the arena generate a million dollar profit.

"I'm always shocked at the amount of people that we get to come and the prices people are willing to pay to see anybody," said Kim Kirk of Bixby.

There have been more than 180 events so far, with concerts leading the way. There have also been family shows, entertainers and sports, including arena football, ice hockey and the NBA.

"I can't believe that they've been able to get these big groups here," said Kim Kirk of Bixby.

For its birthday bash, arena managers are giving back with plenty of food outside and challenging games inside. Some fans couldn't contain their excitement.

But Assistant General Manager Jerry Goldman says the honeymoon is over.

"We've had so many big name acts, we've enjoyed so much success, that trying to keep that success up, I guess, is really the biggest challenge," said Jerry Goldman, Assistant General Manager.

One change BOK Center attendee Jim Studebaker wants to see is how you get to the arena.

"More parking would be better. The parking garage, if you park in it, it's a little bit difficult to get out of it once the event's over," said Jim Studebaker of Tulsa.

But overall, fans say they are happy.

The BOK Center in July had its most successful month and the numbers for August, with a sold out Paul McCartney show, will be even stronger.

The final decision on the WNBA franchise will be made by the end of this month.

9/17/2009  Related Story: Rock N Rib Festival On At Tulsa's BOK Center