Oklahoma State Fair Planning New Coliseum To Replace Jim Norick Arena

Wednesday, September 16th 2020, 5:28 pm
By: News 9

The Oklahoma State Fair is planning now for one of the biggest improvements on property in its history.

For 55 years, Jim Norick Arena, the Big House, has been an iconic part of the state fairgrounds, hosting everything from basketball tournaments, to rodeos to concerts.

But the coliseum in nearing its final act. 

“We knew due to the design of the building that it needed to be replaced,” said Tim O'Toole, President and CEO of the Oklahoma State Fair.

The planned new $63 million coliseum is a MAPS 4 project. It can seat up to 8,000 people depending on the event. 

The large floor will be about the same size as the current area. A wide concourse will offer unobstructed views and the building will connect to all the barns and preserve the Gateway of Champions.

O'Toole said all the major groups who are annual visitors to the coliseum have been involved in the design.

“That helps us have a facility that they’re excited about that is also very usable for us from a user standpoint,” he said.

O'Toole said they are hoping to start construction in the next couple years.

Making sure not to disrupt any of the events that have been so vital to the city's economy while building toward tomorrow.

“We’re excited, we’re looking forward to the future,” he said.