OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The great state fair of Oklahoma gets underway Thursday, and a lot is going on at the fairgrounds that you will need to know about.

That includes the construction of the brand-new coliseum.

State fair coliseum construction. Image KFOR.
State fair coliseum construction. Image KFOR.

“We encourage people to allow for some extra time because it will not be as quick as it has traditionally been to get in from that south parking lot,” said fair spokesperson Scott Munz.

It’s construction that’s a bit of an obstruction. As workers continue to build the new and improved state fair coliseum, fair goers coming in from the south side of the grounds from Reno Avenue will have a little maneuvering of their own to do.

“You either need to go to the left and cut through the barns or you need to turn to the right and cut through the carnival lot to get to an entrance that’s on the east side of the Jim Norick. There’s also one on the west side,” Munz said.

But Munz and MAPS program manager David Todd say it’s all for the better.

“It’s a state-of-the-art facility,” Munz said.

“It’ll be modern concourses and concessions and all those things that you’re used to seeing,” Todd said. “Remember that because it’s a MAPS project it’s paid for as soon as it opens.”

Set to host concerts, basketball tournaments and horse shows, the coliseum is expected to create almost 400 jobs and over $400 million in economic impact. However, it won’t be done until early 2025. Until then, the Jim Norick Arena will remain open.

As for Tuesday at the fairgrounds, it was business as usual with workers as far as the eye can see getting everything ready.

“We’ve got stuff for people to do from one corner of the property to the other,” Munz said.

Of course, the first weekend is Disney on Ice with Frozen and Encanto. There will also be a new rodeo event on the last weekend called Hoofs and Horns spectacular, a laser light show, a rock and rolling piano, Paul Bunyan Lumberjack Show and more.

For more information on the new coliseum, events, parking, pricing and more visit the state fair website at okstatefair.com.