Cox Business Center
|Former names||Tulsa Assembly Center
Tulsa Convention Center
|Location||100 Civic Center
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74103
|Owner||City of Tulsa|
|Capacity||8,900 (Large Arena)|
|Tulsa Oilers (CPHL/CHL) (1964–1983)
Tulsa Golden Hurricane (NCAA) (1964–1998)
Tulsa Roughnecks (NASL) (1978)
Tulsa Oilers (CHL) (1992–2008)
Tulsa Talons (AF2) (2000–2008)
Tulsa 66ers (NBA D-League) (2009–2012)
Oklahoma Defenders (APFL/CPIFL) (2012–2014)
Tulsa Revolution (MASL) (2013–2014)
Cox Business Center (originally Tulsa Assembly Center and formerly Tulsa Convention Center) is a 8,900-seat multi-purpose arena located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The civic arena was constructed in 1964 and named for Tulsa Mayor James L. Maxwell who was the driving force behind the planning and start of the venue. With a 102,600-square-foot (9,530 m2) exhibit hall, 23 meeting rooms, an 8,900-seat arena and an executive conference room, the Tulsa Convention Center contains a total of 227,000 square feet (21,100 m2) of meeting space all under one roof.
In November 2013, the Tulsa Revolution of the Professional Arena Soccer League began play with the Cox Business Center as their home arena. The team relocated to the Expo Square Pavilion in January 2015. The original Tulsa Roughnecks used the building for indoor soccer in 1978.
It was home to the Central Hockey League Tulsa Oilers ice hockey team and to the Tulsa Talons, an af2 arena football team prior to the opening of the new BOK Center in 2008. It was a regular stop for Bill Watts' Mid-South Wrestling and its successor, the Universal Wrestling Federation, until shortly after the UWF's purchase by Jim Crockett Promotions in 1987. It hosted the Missouri Valley Conference men's basketball tournament title game in 1982 and 1984-87. It was also the home to the Tulsa Golden Hurricane basketball team until the program moved to the Reynolds Center in 1998.
The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) hosted a Built Ford Tough Series event at the Convention Center each year between 2005 and 2008; for 2009 and beyond, the event was moved to the BOK Center. Beginning in 2009, the Convention Center was the home arena for the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League until 2012, when the team returned to the SpiritBank Event Center in nearby Bixby. In March 2012, the Oklahoma Defenders of the American Professional Football League played their first game at the arena. The team folded in August 2014.
Some Tulsans involved with the city's travel and tourism have been voicing concerns that Cox Center needs modernization to prevent losing convention business to other cities with more modern facilities. Michelle Hartman, board president of the Metro Tulsa Hotel & Lodging Association, has been quoted as saying that, "Tulsa lost more than 20 events (over the period of 2013 to 2015) because of a lack of convention space, resulting in a loss of more than $109 million, more than 56,000 hotel room nights and more than 48,500 visitors." The assistant general manager of the center, Kerry Painter, has claimed that what the center needs now is, "...more space to hold exhibits, conferences and meetings." She feels that much of this space could be provided by removing the existing arena, which can seat 6,752 people. She believes that this arena is no longer needed, since the opening of the very successful BOK Center nearby.
Another necessary improvement, according to Cox Center management, is a new entrance on the east side of the building. Ms. Painter said that this feature is cited in the 2020 Vision Master Plan.
- "Tulsa Convention Center gets new name". KRMG. June 25, 2013.
- "Tulsa improved for return clash with Rowdies." St. Petersburg Times. February 14, 1978 Accessed November 11, 2016.
- "Tulsa 66ers Returning To Bixby's SpiritBank Event Center." News on 6. May 14, 2012. Accessed November 11, 2016.
- Ryburn, Stacy. "Vision Tulsa improvements for Cox Business Center to keep up with growing downtown." Tulsa World. April 4, 2016. Accessed November 11, 2016