State fair officials asking to use MAPS 4 to replace Jim Norick Arena

OKLAHOMA CITY – Officials at the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds are asking council members to use MAPS 4 to replace an outdated arena.

On Thursday, organizers went before the Oklahoma City Council with a presentation about the need to replace the Jim Norick Arena.

“The Jim Norick Arena is the heart of the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds. From state championships and youth livestock shows to concerts and nonprofit events, it is busy all year. But this aging facility can no longer handle our community’s needs. It’s time to invest in a state-of-the art coliseum for the future,” said Oklahoma State Fair, Inc. President & CEO Tim O’Toole.

Officials say that while ‘The Big House’ has served the city for more than 50 years, it is rapidly approaching the end of its useful life. They argue that it is a critical part of statewide sports, local events and tourism efforts, which means the city should build a state-of-the-art coliseum.

“The building that bears my father’s name has been an important gathering place for our community for more than 50 years, but it has reached the end of its useful life. If we want to continue to create memories of championships, graduations and other events for future generations, we need a modern facility. Building a new coliseum is a perfect example of investing in the quality of life for our citizens and visitors alike,” said former Oklahoma City Mayor Ron Norick.

Organizers say a new arena would generate $230 million a year in direct spending, and $400 million in total economic impacts. It would likely cost about $95 million.

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