Oklahoma's New Big House

Oklahoma State Fair Arena

  • Oklahoma City
  • Upcoming

CHALLENGE. Oklahoma State Fair Inc. commissioned Populous to study the replacement of the existing main event arena on the fairgrounds. The study included a planning exercise to review multiple site locations on the fairgrounds campus and evaluate them based on criteria identified by the client, including among others:

  • Functionality
  • Operations
  • Cost
  • Impact to existing business
  • Construction time
  • Infrastructure

The second objective of the study was to develop a conceptual design for the arena that was responsive to the site and provides flexible seating, flexible exhibition space, premium experience seating and event areas, and generally sets a new industry standard for multi-purpose equestrian event arenas.

INNOVATION. Populous looked at five different sites before making a final recommendation that allows the existing arena to remain functional during construction and reduces impact and spending on existing infrastructure.

The project team also designed an innovative upper level concourse that can be configured to provide seating via 2,600 retractable seats (complementing 4,720 fixed seats), sponsor activation zones, vendor space, or any combination of these elements. Other premium amenities include an open concourse populated with suites and grills, loge seating options and club opportunities.

The 140 feet by 270 feet event floor size is driven by equestrian events and suitable to host all existing multi-purpose events such as the state basketball and wrestling finals, Disney on Ice, concerts, rodeo and much more. A return alley and accommodations for temporary penning under the seating bowl will maximize opportunities to produce world class rodeo and other cattle events such as roping and cutting competitions.

IMPACT. An open multi-story entry vestibule provides guests with a stunning first impression of the venue and frames a view of the Oklahoma City skyline from the concourse level. The arena will feature the most advanced technology with LED ribbons and screens providing guests with amazing event experiences and maximizing opportunity for sponsorship revenue.