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Cox Convention Center

Oklahoma City, OK

Home of the Oklahoma City Blue

2.6

N/A

Cox Convention Center (map it)
1 Myriad Gardens
Oklahoma City, OK 73102


Oklahoma City Blue website

Cox Convention Center website

Year Opened: 1972

Capacity: 13,846

There are no tickets available at this time.

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OKC Blue at the Cox Convention Center

The Cox Convention Center opened in Oklahoma City, OK in 1972 as the Myriad Convention Center. Currently, the arena has a maximum capacity of just under 14,000 for sporting events. It has played host to all kinds of pro sports teams including minor league hockey, arena football and now the NBA Developmental League in the Oklahoma City Blue.

Formerly known as the Tulsa 66ers, the Blue are the minor league affiliate of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who play their home games just across the street in the Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Blue started their history as the Asheville Altitude, a founding member of the NBDL and formerly an affiliate club of the New York Knicks. Thunder owner Clay Bennett purchased the team in 2008 and moved them to Oklahoma City in 2014.

2.6

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    3

The Cox Convention Center offers more food options than initially meets the eye. The regular concession stands (called Slap Shots since the arena has been primarily used for hockey in the past) have your typical foods with pretty typical prices. In fact, their selection is too typical. There is nothing unique that they provide. For that, you'll have to make your way around the concourse to one of the other stands.

The Pizza Hut stand sells personal pizzas and chocolate chip pizzas. There is also a stand at one of the arena called the Goal Line Grill that serves hamburgers, wings and beer, which is a solid bet for any fan looking for something a bit more unique and flavorful. There is also a bar area in the arena that is open for Blue games where mixed drinks are available.

The big downside in this area of critique is the number of stands that are empty. Stands selling frozen yogurt, draft beer, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, Backyard Barbecue are all closed during Oklahoma City Blue games. It's a shame, considering what a great variety that would add.

The food available is pretty good and decently priced, but a lack of variety really hurts the arena in this area.

Atmosphere    1

The atmosphere during a Blue game at the Cox Convention Center is not really bad so much as it is nonexistent. There's not much to get excited about, and most high school games have more energy. The fact that it had been primarily used as a hockey arena makes it a bit of an awkward basketball experience, though the atmosphere problems cannot be blamed entirely on that.

There are a few bright spots, the biggest being the men and women in Oklahoma City Thunder t-shirts and cargo pants that circulate around the arena attempting to pump up the crowd. Their efforts are successful sometimes, but not for prolonged periods of time. The PA announcer also does his best to get the crowd going and build some energy, but it doesn't really work. The arena does have a lovely jumbotron hanging above the court which is great for replays, but it doesn't show the score. You have to look to a small scoreboard on the side of the arena to find that.

Despite these efforts, the arena simply fails to build any kind of energy or tension about what's going on the court.

Neighborhood    5

The Cox Convention Center is right in the middle of Bricktown in downtown Oklahoma City. As a result, it is surrounded by all kinds of awesome restaurants and activities for tourists.

First and foremost in terms of attractions would be Chesapeake Energy Arena across the street where the OKC Thunder play. The National Cowboy and Western Museum, the Myriad Botanical Gardens, the Harkins Theatre and the Downtown Library are all interesting and fun places to visit. Great restaurants like The Melting Pot, the Bricktown Brewery and the Bourbon Street Café surround the area, and there are plenty of options for lodging as well like the Hampton Inn & Suites and the Renaissance Oklahoma City Convention Center.

However, the great neighborhood the arena is in also hurts it because it simply cannot measure up to anything around it. If you took the sign off the building, many fans probably would have a tough time telling what it was. Most tourists in the area will be drawn away from it because it has difficulty standing out and drawing attention when surrounded by so many fun places to go.

Fans    2

Less than half the arena is full on a typical game night for the Oklahoma City Blue, which probably goes back to the fact that it has so much competition within Bricktown. Most of the crowd consists of families who have brought their children to the game. The volume level of the applause or cheering is pretty medium to low, with the exception of when one of the cargo pants cheerleaders comes by. But that excitement only lasts for a minute or so. Even the nicer seating areas, like the courtside seats and first rows of chairbacks are pretty empty. There's not much else that can be said about the fans here. They are almost all families with children, and they fill up less than half of the arena.

Access    3

Depending on what's happening in town, it can be difficult to navigate downtown Oklahoma City traffic on one's way to the Cox Convention Center. This is particularly true if the Thunder are playing in Chesapeake Energy Arena the same night. Otherwise, getting to the arena is very easy. Parking options are extremely limited and cannot be found legally for free. The best bet for both cost and convenience is to park in the parking garage beneath the arena which costs $8.

Once inside the arena, it is important to remember that the Convention Center is huge and has other areas than just the arena, which could cause some fans to get lost momentarily. There is plenty of room to walk around and get to wherever you need to go. The concourse and aisles are pretty spacious, so that a fan shouldn't have trouble walking around even if there came a night where many more fans than normal showed up. The seating is fairly comfortable and accommodating, but it is old and could use an update. For example, seats do not have cup holders either on the arms of the chairs or on the backs of the seats in front of them.

Return on Investment    1

Honestly, if you are a family on a budget who wants to take the kids to a professional sports experience inexpensively, this is a good venue for you. Otherwise, save your money and walk across the street to see the Thunder. Tickets are relatively inexpensive and the concessions are averagely priced, but the experience simply isn't worth it for most people who can afford something better.

Extras    3

This arena gets one extra point for allowing a local high school band to play during breaks in the action.

Another extra point for having Spirit Stations around the concourse where kids could get their faces painted in Oklahoma City Blue colors.

One for extra point for the cargo pants cheerleaders performing some pretty impressive trampoline dunks at halftime.

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Local Food & Drink

The Melting Pot  (map it!)

4 E Sheridan Ave

Oklahoma City, OK 73104

(405) 235-1000

http://www.meltingpot.com/locations.aspx?z=&n=199825

Bricktown Brewery  (map it!)

1 N Oklahoma Ave

Oklahoma City, OK 73104

(405) 232-2739

http://www.bricktownbrewery.com/

Bourbon Street Cafe  (map it!)

100 E California Ave

Oklahoma City, OK 73104

(405) 232-6666

http://www.bourbonstreetcafe.com/

Local Entertainment

National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum  (map it!)

1700 NE 63rd St

Oklahoma City, OK 73111

(405) 478-2250

http://nationalcowboymuseum.org/

Myriad Botanical Gardens  (map it!)

301 W Reno Ave

Oklahoma City, OK 73102

(405) 445-7080

http://www.myriadgardens.org/

Bricktown 16 - Harkins Theatre  (map it!)

150 E Reno Ave

Oklahoma City, OK 73104

(405) 231-4747

http://www.harkinstheatres.com/theatreDetails.aspx?theatreId=9147

Downtown Library  (map it!)

300 Park Ave

Oklahoma City, OK 73102

(405) 231-8650

http://www.metrolibrary.org/downtown-library

Lodging

Hampton Inn & Suites - Oklahoma City - Bricktown  (map it!)

300 E Sheridan Ave

Oklahoma City, OK 73104

(405) 232-3600

http://hamptoninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/oklahoma/hampton-inn-and-suites-oklahoma-city-bricktown-OKCBTHX/index.html

Renaissance Oklahoma City Convention Center Hotel  (map it!)

10 N Broadway Ave

Oklahoma City, OK 73102

(405) 228-8000

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/okcbr-renaissance-oklahoma-city-convention-center-hotel/

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