Update on Tulsa's downtown arena design

Tuesday, August 2nd 2005, 10:28 am
By: News On 6

Architects have finished the design work for Tulsa's downtown arena. Blueprints should be done by December. It's a milestone for the project.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says the lead architect of Tulsa's arena, Cesar Pelli, pronounced the design finished. The milestone means the project has moved from ideas on paper to a final form ready for blueprints. Cesar Pelli: "Now we know that the arena will look like and feel like."

The architecture hasn't changed significantly from earlier models. It still has those soaring walls of glass and metal, with an oval bowl that can seat a maximum of 18,392 people. And the architect say they will be comfortable seats, not as narrow as the ones at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, but not as wide as people might wish. The architects have created large scale models of the arena, and planners are working out final details on things like the landscaping.

A groundbreaking is planned for late this month. One of the icons of the new arena will be this entrance that faces Denver Avenue. Local architects who have viewed the design seem most impressed with that lobby, which is big enough for car shows and adaptable enough to host a wedding.

With this new milestone achieved, project leaders say the arena is on track to open in late 2007.