The September 2007 meeting was a tour of the new BOK Center. The tour was hosted by IFMA Tulsa member, Kelli Bailey, with Matrix Architects, Engineers and Planners. Matrix is the architectural firm for the new arena. Rick Cole, job superintendent for the project, gave a brief presentation on the project before taking everyone on the tour.
The attendees split into two groups with one group visiting the job site while the second group visited a mock-up of the suites being offered.
A little bit about the new arena:
- The BOK Center is an 180-million dollar entertainment venue scheduled to open in the Fall of 2008. Vision 2025 was a proposition to increase Tulsa County?s sales tax rate in order to fund capital improvements, such as the BOK Center. On September 9, 2003 voters in Tulsa County approved a 13 year one cent increase in the sales tax rate.
- Corporate sponsorships and private donations also helped fund the BOK Center. A total of $15.95 million in sponsorships and donations for the BOK Center were provided by ONEOK, Williams Cos., Dollar Thrifty, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, SemGroup, Nadel and Gussman Energy, Samson, Oracle Packaging and F.W. Murphy.
- The BOK Center was designed by Cesar Pelli, a noted Argentine architect known for designing some of the world's tallest buildings and other major urban landmarks. He is known for his extensive use of curved facades and metallic elements in his designs. Perhaps his most famous work are the Petronas Twin Towers, which were for a time the world's tallest buildings.
After the tour, everyone met back at Pomodories' for hors d'oeuvres and drinks. Thanks again to Kelli Bailey for setting up this tour.