BOK Center - Tulsa Oilers
Photos by Bradlee Ross, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.57
BOK Center 200 S Denver Ave Tulsa, OK 74103
Year Opened: 2008 Capacity: 17,096
The BOK Center Delivers in Tulsa
The BOK Center, home of the Tulsa Oilers, opened on August 30, 2008. It offers 19,199 seats for concerts, with 17,096 of that available for its hockey games. It is owned by the city of Tulsa itself and was designed by the famous architect Cesar Pelli. In addition to the Oilers, it also hosts the Tulsa Shock of the WNBA.
The Tulsa Oilers currently play in the ECHL and have played their home matches at the BOK since it opened in 2008. The current incarnation of the team was founded in 1992, though the first hockey team in Tulsa nicknamed the Oilers was established way back in 1928.
Food & Beverage 4
The quality and variety of concessions available at the BOK is top-notch. Regular concession stands sell some great items like burgers, chicken tenders, shrimp, and fish and chips. They also sell Pepsi products exclusively and have plenty of beers on tap. The prices at these regular stands are a bit high, but the quality makes it worth it for most items. It is important to note that not all of these stands have the same menu. Items like pizza and chips and dip vary.
But, for those fans who are looking for other things to snack on, there are plenty of options. This arena has a specialty popcorn stand, The Dog House which sells gourmet hot dogs and many other foods. Fans who are looking for adult beverages also won’t be disappointed. Stands selling beer, tequila, and frozen drinks are also easily found.
When it comes to atmosphere, fun is the most important thing. The BOK has nailed this aspect of the sports experience. A real effort is made to sell team merchandise and get fans involved in promotions with huge booths. They play music over the PA during breaks in the action, and not the old stale music you will often hear in arenas. There is also a great jumbotron hanging above the ice that makes it easy to follow the action.
There are quite a few promotional booths for area businesses that allow fans to get involved in promotions and contests and a first aid center, something all venues should have. Overall, the BOK has an energetic, lively air to it that makes it an enjoyable sports experience for all sports fans.
The BOK is located in downtown Tulsa and stands out as a beacon in the area. However, there are still some great things to do while in the area. The Brady Theatre, Cain’s Ballroom, and the Tulsa Performing Arts Center are the places to check out for performances musical or theatrical.
There are also plenty of hotels and restaurants to make use of. The Hyatt Regency and the Doubletree are very close to the arena. Boston Avenue Grill, Casa Laredo, and Caz’s Showhouse are just a few of the excellent restaurants that are nearby.
The Oilers draw a nice crowd, particularly in a city that is not traditionally all that crazy about hockey. It also strikes a good balance between young people looking to have a good time and families with children. The venue does a good job of catering to both.
The arena usually is at least half full, maybe a little less on a slow night. Fans are not super intense about the action on the ice, but they have fun and get involved at key moments.
The concourse and aisles are spacious enough to allow one to get around easily, even with a large crowd. The seating is comfortable and provides plenty of room for any fan. The bathrooms are too small for the size of the arena, but they are kept immaculately clean. Handicapped seating is also plentiful, and the entire arena is very handicapped-friendly.
Downtown Tulsa can be hard to navigate at times, depending heavily on the time of the day and construction (which seems to always be going on somewhere). There is a lot of parking around the arena, but it can be hard to find for free. However, after 5 pm, all metered parking is free.
Return on Investment 4
The BOK is a bit more expensive than other sports venues in the area. However, it is worth it given the rise in quality when compared to those other arenas. It truly is top-notch in almost every way possible. Its fun and festive atmosphere combined with great concessions and high-quality facilities make it worth the bump in price. Oklahoma isn’t known for its hockey, but the BOK makes hockey fun for anyone.
This venue receives one extra point for its promotion honoring survivors of breast cancer. Not only did they have promotional booths, but they also had many of their employees and the Oilers players wearing pink.
This venue BOK Center is more than just an ECHL venue. It is a place for entertainment from fan excitement and the action on the ice.