The Oklahoma City Council voted on and approved the preliminary report for the new $288 million downtown Oklahoma City Convention Center. Since 2010, The City of Oklahoma City and Populous have been working together to build a new convention center through the Metropolitan Area Projects 3 (MAPS 3), a one-cent, self-funded sales tax initiative passed in 2009 by Oklahoma City voters.
Opening in 2020, the Oklahoma City Convention Center will be located on the south end of Oklahoma City’s downtown district directly adjacent to the Chesapeake Energy Arena and the 70-acre downtown park currently under construction. The SMG managed convention center will offer a 30,000-plus-square-foot ballroom, 200,000 square feet of exhibit space and 45,000 square feet of meeting space with 27 unique meeting rooms in the three-level facility. Each meeting room will offer informational meeting spaces in the adjacent pre-function space outside for attendees to maximize their time in the center.
On the first level, 18 loading docks and two drive-in ramps will provide load-in access to exhibit halls.
The interior view will offer an earth tone palette that will carry through the exterior, utilizing Oklahoma’s terracotta color on the outside with landscaping surrounding. Interactive wayfinding will be located throughout the convention center to allow attendees to easily find all of the available assets.
“The approval of the preliminary report gets Oklahoma City closer to attracting new meetings and conventions to Oklahoma City,” said Oklahoma City CVB President, Mike Carrier. “This is a convention center the city can be proud of, because they have invested in it and their community.”
MAPS 3 is a $777 million capital improvement program to improve the quality of life in Oklahoma City. It is funded by a one-cent sales tax initiative that began in April 2010 and ends December 2017.
All MAPS projects are paid in full before a project is started. Other MAPS 3 projects coming to Oklahoma City include a modern streetcar system which will link important districts in and around downtown, including drop off and pick up points at the new convention center and a 70-acre Downtown Public Park, which will be directly west of the convention center offering walking trails, a tranquil lake and a café.