Jim Norick Arena will continue to host events during Coliseum’s construction

City leaders broke ground today on the MAPS 3 and 4 OKC Fairgrounds Coliseum.

The 216,164-square-foot coliseum will be operated by Oklahoma State Fair, Inc. at the OKC Fairgrounds. Construction is scheduled to be complete in 2025. The Jim Norick Arena will continue to host events, just as it has since 1965, until the new coliseum opens.

“The Fairgrounds are a catalyst for Oklahoma City’s tourism industry,” MAPS 4 Program Manager David Todd said. “The 58-year-old Jim Norick Arena is home to numerous national and international horse shows along with the Cattlemen’s Congress which collectively generate in excess of $150 million annually. The new coliseum will allow Oklahoma City to remain dominant in the horse show world and continue to be an economic driver for tourism for the state of Oklahoma for the next 50 years.”

The MAPS 3 and 4 Fairgrounds Coliseum will feature seating for more than 7,000 people, a lounge, suites, a full-service restaurant and several upscale concession areas, an A/V suite and a sophisticated catwalk system. The new coliseum will be built to the south of the Jim Norick Arena and come all the way up to the footprint of the current arena. 

“The new OKC Fairgrounds Coliseum will be a very special venue and will put Oklahoma City in an advantageous position in the marketplace,” Oklahoma State Fair, Inc. President & CEO Kirk Slaughter said. “The Coliseum is designed to host the top equestrian and ag-related events in the world. The venue will be great for many sporting and entertainment events, including the productions held during the legendary Oklahoma State Fair. The Coliseum will be a game changer for Oklahoma City.”

The $126-million project is funded through MAPS 3, MAPS 4, hotel tax revenue and other funding sources.


History of Jim Norick Arena

State Fair Arena, as it was originally called, debuted in September 1965. Costing $2.4 million to build, the arena was financed in part by an OKC city bond with the remaining funds coming from the Oklahoma State Fair.

The arena was rechristened the Jim Norick Arena in 1971 to honor Oklahoma City’s elected mayor, who served from 1959-1963 and again from 1967-1971.

In 1974, legendary rodeo announcer Clem McSpadden arranged for an unknown singer named Reba McEntire from Chockie, Oklahoma, to sing the Star-Spangled Banner at the National Finals Rodeo (NFR). Little did they know her Oklahoma City performance would change Reba’s life forever and set her rise to superstardom in motion.

Over the years, in addition to the NFR, the Jim Norick Arena hosted a wide variety of sporting events, horse shows, circus performances and iconic concerts including Elvis Presley, Led Zeppelin, .38 Special and Chris LeDoux.

Learn more about the MAPS 3 and 4 Fairgrounds coliseum at okc.gov/government/maps-4/fairgrounds-coliseum.

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About MAPS 4  

MAPS 4 is a debt-free public improvement program funded by a temporary penny sales tax that will raise a projected $1.07 billion over eight years. Oklahoma City voters approved the sales tax to fund MAPS 4 in a special election on Dec. 10, 2019, moving forward with a unique and ambitious plan to transform our community. The temporary penny sales tax funding MAPS 4 began April 1, 2020, and ends in 2028. More than 70 percent of MAPS 4 funding is dedicated to neighborhood and human needs. The rest is for quality of life and job-creating initiatives. The MAPS 4 Citizens Advisory Board and its six subcommittees will guide MAPS 4 planning and implementation, making recommendations to the City Council. The Council has final authority on MAPS 4. The MAPS Investment and Operating Trust developed a strategic investment plan to support long-term sustainable funding for MAPS 4 projects' operational expenses and maintenance. Visit okc.gov/maps4 for more. 

About MAPS 3

MAPS 3 is a $777 million, voter-approved capital improvement program to improve the quality of life in Oklahoma City. It is funded by a temporary 1-cent sales tax that began in April 2010 and ended in December 2017. MAPS 3 funds eight projects: Downtown Convention CenterDowntown Public ParkModern Streetcar/TransitOklahoma River ImprovementsOklahoma State Fairgrounds ImprovementsSenior Health and Wellness CentersTrails and Sidewalks.

MAPS 3 was succeeded by the temporary sales tax portion of the Better Streets, Safer City program, which ended in 2020. Get details at okc.gov/BetterSafer.