The Oklahoma Future Farmers of America State Convention is moving from Oklahoma City to Tulsa for the next few years.
It's expected to bring about $9 million to the Tulsa area. The FFA State Convention kicks off a busy May here in Tulsa next year! Thousands of Oklahoma students from every county will be here and they say they’re excited for the venue change.
Excitement filled the room as FFA State President, Dalton Rogers, gave the final speech at their Alumni Leadership Camp this week. Rogers is one of 25,000 FFA members from 365 chapters across the state. He says with more than 10,000 of those members coming to the state convention, the atmosphere is incredible.
"It's a really big goal for most FFA members to cross the stage at the state convention, it's regarded as like a highlight reel moment,” said FFA State President Dalton Rogers.
After the Cox Center in Oklahoma City was purchased last year, FFA had to find a new home for their convention.
Rogers says even though Tulsa isn't as centrally located as OKC, the venue isn't what makes convention special.
"While we've been at the Cox Convention Center for a very long time and the Chesapeake last year, Tulsa is going to be our new home because we're not a building, we are an organization of people," said Rogers.
State FFA Executive Secretary Trevor Lucas says they're thankful they were able to use the Chesapeake Arena for Convention last year, but in a normal year, the timing just wouldn't work out with the NBA's Schedule.
"In a normal year with the NBA, the dates just don’t work, we couldn’t make it work there at the Chesapeake,” said State FFA Executive Secretary Trevor Lucas. “We love OKC! They've been so good to us for many years there, but we just couldn't make the dates work.”
Lucas says the FFA Calendar is pretty stacked and wanted to keep the dates similar as they were in years past.
“A massive date change for our biggest, most premier event of the year would be an issue,” said Lucas.
This year the convention will be held on May 3rd and 4th of 2022. Tulsa Regional Tourism President Ray Hoyt says they're excited to be able to use the newly remodeled Cox Convention Center here in Tulsa along with the BOK. He says they can't wait for FFA students to see everything Tulsa has to offer.
"As they grow up, Tulsa may be a place they want to live, work, and play so that to us is exciting to showcase our city to locals and Oklahomans that sometimes we don’t get to,” said Tulsa Regional Tourism President Ray Hoyt.
Hoyt says the FFA State Convention kicks off a busy month of May. He says the PGA Championships and Ironman will also be in town again next year. Hoyt believes convention weekend will bring about $8.9 Million to Tulsa next year.
“With several thousand of them here over the course of several nights, the room per night is several thousand so when you multiply that over the course of several days, it’s several thousand hotel room nights,” said Hoyt. “It also includes the ancillary things, like more food is bought, more Uber rides, more Lyft rides, all those ancillary things that kind of become part of the extended kind of ripple effect.”
Tulsa will be hosting the State FFA conference through at least 2026, but Hoyt hopes they can extend that contract for years to come.