Tulsa Expo Center
|Tulsa Expo Center|
|Former names||IPE Building
|Town or city||Tulsa, Oklahoma|
|Structural system||Steel beam|
|Size||446,400 square feet (41,470 m2)|
The Tulsa Expo Center, from 2007 to 2012 also called the QuikTrip Center, is the center of the Tulsa State Fair and one of the largest clearspan buildings in the world. The Expo Center provides 354,000 square feet (32,900 m2) of column-free space under a cable-suspended roof. The building spans 448,400 total square feet on two levels, connected by side ramps and stairs, allowing for a variety of show floor plans.
The Expo Center, originally called the International Petroleum Exposition Center (and often called the IPE Building), was funded by a $3.5 million bond issue in 1966, and upon completion became home to the International Petroleum Exposition. At the time of its completion, it was the world's largest building under a single roof. Standing in front of the Expo Center is the Golden Driller which was added as a symbol of the International Petroleum Exposition in 1966. Weighing 43,500 pounds and standing 76 feet (23 m) tall, the Golden Driller has become the symbol of Expo Square and a Tulsa landmark.
In November 2012 it was reported that the Muscogee (Creek) Nation had agreed to buy the naming rights for the building commencing in 2013, as part of a deal that would have also seen the end of horse racing at Expo Square's Fair Meadows Race Track. Several weeks later, however, the Fair Board voted to reconsider the decision and reinstate racing, which also had the effect of putting the new naming deal on hold.
The building hosts many events throughout the year such as the Tulsa boat show, the Wanenmacher gun show (the largest gun show in the world), and Daryl Starbird's custom car show. During the Tulsa State Fair the largest facility is the Expo Center where vendors and exhibit booths line the entire floor, providing both educational and commercial services. The Chili Bowl midget car race is held each January in a clay track inside the center. The event attracts NASCAR and USAC drivers from around the country. Since 1998, the building has hosted the American Bicycle Association's annual Grand National Championships, a major event for BMX bikers.
- "History". Expo Square. Archived from the original on December 22, 2007. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
- "Tulsa State Fair". Oklahoma Historical Society. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
- Canfield, Kevin (July 27, 2007). "QuikTrip gives $2.6 million to rename building at fairgrounds". Tulsa World. Retrieved 2010-01-18.
- "Fair Board Reconsidering Deal To Rename Expo Square, Live Racing Back On". KOTV-DT. December 12, 2012. Retrieved 2013-04-05.
- "Tulsa Arms Show". Tulsa Arms Show. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
- Klein, John (January 18, 2010). "Chili Bowl a big boon for Tulsa". Tulsa World. Retrieved 2010-01-18.
- Overall, Michael (November 24, 2006). "BMX Grand Nationals begin today; Tulsa's contract expiring". Tulsa World. Retrieved 2010-11-30.
- Canfield, Kevin (November 27, 2010). "BMX racers converge on Tulsa for Grand National Championships". Tulsa World. Retrieved 2010-11-30.