One of the big things that Tulsa was pushing for with its Vision 2025 was to build a new arena downtown to revitalize the area. The BOk Center was completed a couple of months ago, and Nicole and I got tickets to see the Tulsa Oilers (CHL) play their first game in the new arena.
The first thing that most people comment on when talking about the new arena is that the architecture looks cool. I have seen the outside of the arena many times but this was the first time that I was inside it. I was glad to see that they made the inside reflect the same kind of sweeping lines that the outside has. Inside each entrance the space is open to the top of the arena which looks pretty spiffy.
The arena consists of three levels, two for us mortals, and one level that is completely full of corporate boxes. I am glad to see that they put the effort into getting local companies to buy into the arena to help support it. I noticed that the big wig level had nice tv's, couches, and all the fixins that they like. I think that one of the keys to get teams to stay in a place is to have the backing of the local big businesses, if the money is always flowing in the team can withstand the ups and downs of the community support.
The part of the arena that the rest of us gets to enjoy was also nice. There is a fair variety of concessions -all at normal to low cost for arena food, depending on what you get. My favorite choice is In The Raw which is the local hot place for sushi. While I think that they charge way too much for sushi at their normal stores they kept the prices basically the same for the arena which means that sushi at a hockey game is one of the best options. That alone will get me to go to some games since having a solid food choice at the game will mean I have more options to go without having to think about the implications for my dinner.
For this game Nicole and I got close tickets just so we could be near the ice on the first night. They spared no expense where the action takes place because the ice looked good, the drop down scoreboard was impressive and there was plenty of (filled) seats. Nicole and I both thought that the arena was very similar to the St. Louis Blues arena, and we both liked Tulsa's better.
It is good to see something get planned out and pulled off so well. From the murmurs I heard in the crowd people were impressed with the arena and once construction gets done parking shouldn't be too much of a problem. Now if only the Oilers could play a little bit better. (They lost 5-1)