“American Ninja Warrior” coming to Capitol

AmericanNingaWarriorSen. David Holt, the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau, Gov. Mary Fallin, Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, and House Speaker Jeff Hickman announced Friday that “American Ninja Warrior” is coming to Oklahoma for the first time and will shoot on the south plaza of the Oklahoma State Capitol.

The Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services approved a request by producers of the hit NBC television show to shoot at the Capitol from May 6 to 17.  The approval of the application represents the culmination of a months-long recruiting effort led by the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau, with critical support from Holt, Fallin, Bingman, Hickman, Lt. Governor Todd Lamb, the Film and Music Office, the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, and the Department of Public Safety.

“American Ninja Warrior” is an obstacle course competition show that is entering its eighth season on NBC with rebroadcasts on the Esquire Network.   It is one of the highest-rated family shows on television.   As part of its format, different cities each season serve as hosts for “city finals.”   Oklahoma has never been the site of a “city final.”   Serving as a host city leads to a direct economic impact from the influx of crew members, participants and fans.   It leads to an indirect economic impact through the positive exposure for the city and state throughout the “American Ninja Warrior” season.   In this unique instance, the shoot will also highlight Oklahoma’s State Capitol as it undergoes renovations and prepares for its centennial.

State Capitol Building in Oklahoma City

State Capitol Building in Oklahoma City

“It’s exciting that Oklahoma, and especially our state Capitol, will be showcased on ‘American Ninja Warrior,’” Fallin said.  “This will allow viewers to get a glimpse of all the impressive things that are going on in Oklahoma City.”

“I think this is great.  ’American Ninja Warrior’ is a popular, long-running prime-time show on a major network.  It’s fun to watch,” Bingman said.  “I think it’s very positive for Oklahoma and we’re looking forward to having the show here at the Capitol.”

OkCapitalCrumble1“We have been working to preserve our beautiful Capitol building which is a treasured gift from previous generation of Oklahomans,” Hickman said.  “This national focus on our state, our capital city and the Capitol building will introduce millions more Americans to this special place we call Oklahoma.”

“We are so excited and honored to be selected as an ‘American Ninja Warrior’ city for season eight,” said Sue Hollenbeck, Director of Sports Business for the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau.  “Having a national TV shoot in Oklahoma City is not only a significant economic impact, but this is a great opportunity to show off our amazing state and specifically, our beautiful Capitol building.  We are looking forward to working with the incredible production company and NBC to make this the best ‘American Ninja Warrior’ yet!”

“This past summer, my kids were obsessed with ‘American Ninja Warrior’, and I wondered at the time how we might someday get it to Oklahoma,” Holt said.   “Little did I know that the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau was already hard at work.   When they came to me last year seeking assistance at the Capitol, I was thrilled to help, and I commend all the state leaders and entities that also rose to the occasion.   The arrival of ‘American Ninja Warrior’ will present a fantastic opportunity to highlight our city, our state, and our Capitol.”