The BOK Center, or Bank of Oklahoma Center, is a 19,100-seat multi-purpose arena and a primary indoor sports and event venue in Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States. Designed to accommodate arena football, hockey, basketball, concerts, and similar events, the facility was built at a cost of $178 million in public funds and an additional $18 million in privately-funded upgrades. Ground was broken on August 31, 2005 and a ribbon-cutting ceremony involving Tulsa musicians Garth Brooks and Hanson took place on August 30, 2008.
The arena's schedule of concerts and other events began on August 31 with a community choir hosted by Sam Harris. Designed by César Pelli, the architect of the Petronas Towers in Malaysia, the BOK Center is the flagship project of Tulsa County's Vision 2025 long-range development initiative. Local firm, Matrix Architects Engineers Planners, Inc, is the architect and engineer of record.
The arena is managed and operated by SMG and named for the Bank of Oklahoma, which purchased naming rights for $11 million. Current permanent tenants are the Tulsa Oilers of the Central Hockey League and the Tulsa Shock of the Women's National Basketball Association. The facility will also host NBA preseason games and college basketball matchups on a regular basis and seek to attract national and regional sporting tournaments.
The BOK Center holds 37 public restrooms — 12 men’s restrooms, 16 women’s restrooms, and 9 family restrooms — with 300 toilets and urinals. Dressing rooms with wooden lockers, hydrotherapy and workout rooms, a players lounge, locker rooms for game officials, and office space for coaches, trainers, and equipment managers are also located within the building. The arena's hanging scoreboard, considered one of the most advanced in the country, is suspended above the arena floor and measures 50,000 pounds (23,000 kg) and 30 by 33 feet (9.1 × 10 m), making use of four 8 by 14 feet (2.4 × 4.3 m) HD screens, four 8 by 8 feet (2.4 × 2.4 m) HD screens, a wrap-around 9-foot (2.7 m) HD screen, and another 3-foot (0.91 m) wrap-around HD screen. Designed by Forty Forty Agency and manufactured by Daktronics, it was built with $3.6 million in private donations, with some funds going toward an advanced video recording system.
There are 14 concession outlets, seven of which belong to Tulsa-area restaurants that supplement typical arena food. As of June 2008, partial restaurant branches within the building are In the Raw (sushi), Billy's On the Square (American fast-casual), Oklahoma Style BBQ, Ike's Chili BBQ, Rubicon Restaurant (baked potato specialty), Mazzio's Italian Eatery, and Borden Dairy (milkshakes, ice cream). General concessions serve Mexican food, chicken tender baskets, philly cheesesteaks, hot dogs, corn dogs, chili cheese fries, bratwurst, Panini sandwiches, and dessert items.
Nearly $1.5 million was allocated to artwork within the building in light of a city ordinance mandating that at least one percent of construction costs for any municipal project be used for public art. Tulsa's Arts Commission selected five artists out of nearly 300 applicants to decorate the interior of the building with the intention of capturing the spirit of the city and state. Of their pieces, the largest is a cloud-like cloth sculpture designed by Kendell Buster that weighs 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) and hangs above the main concourse.
Four 22-foot (6.7 m) Native American medallions designed by Bill and Demos Glass decorate the main concourse floor, along with a series of 25 paintings of tallgrass prairie landscapes created by Mark Lewis that adorn a wall on the main lobby's third level. A 9 by 24 feet (2.7 × 7.3 m) black-and-white painting of rearing horses created by Joe Andoe hangs on a wall near a concession stand on the north side of the building, and a light display created by Jenny Holzer is also within the arena.