Bennett Event Center opens at State Fair Park
By Journal Record Staff
The Journal Record
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City civic leaders cut the ribbon Thursday at the MAPS 3 Bennett Event Center, formally opening the new 279,000-square-foot expo building at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City.
“Promoters of big events have bypassed Oklahoma City for years because we lacked the necessary space under one roof – but not anymore,” Mayor Mick Cornett said. “We expect the total annual economic impact of all our exhibition buildings at State Fair Park to reach $136 million this year with the addition of this building.”
Among those joining Cornett at the ribbon-cutting were Ward 6 Councilwoman Meg Salyer, MAPS 3 Citizens Advisory Board Chairman Tom McDaniel, Gov. Mary Fallin and Clay Bennett, for whom the building is named.
Bennett has served on the Oklahoma State Fair board of directors for more than 30 years, including 14 years as chairman. Bennett is chairman of Professional Basketball Club LLC, the ownership group of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Bennett Event Center, 3101 Gordon Cooper Blvd., is the cornerstone of the MAPS 3 Oklahoma State Fairgrounds Improvements project. The $58.7 million building is on the site of the former Travel and Transportation Building on the east side of State Fair Park.
The building has more than 6 acres of contiguous space under its roof and can host large exhibitions and private events, including banquet space for up to 2,500 people.
The first event scheduled for the building is the Home and Garden Show, Jan. 20-22.
The architect is FSB and the construction general contractor is Atlas.