Beginning August 10 and declared as a security policy protecting customers and employees, Tulsa’s publicly owned event venue, the BOK Center, will be discontinuing the use of the exterior smoking terrace and guests will no longer be permitted to leave the building and re-enter in order to vapor or smoke.
This is not a health initiative. Management claims they worked with security professionals and “constantly look for ways to enhance security” at the venue. They do not identify any specific report or consultant that suggested this change.
This new policy will go into effect for every event at the venue without exception.
“Our primary objective as the management company of this venue is to protect our guests and employees and we have identified this area as an opportunity to enhance security. While we understand that this is an inconvenience for some, we are confident that all of our fans can agree that safety comes first,” stated Jeff Nicker, BOK Center General Manager.
The new rule will be strictly enforced and also prohibits the use of electronic “e-cigarettes” anywhere inside the facility.
With this new policy, BOK Center joins other major concert and sports venues across the nation in becoming a smoke-free campus including Madison Square Garden in New York City, Philips Arena in Atlanta, Spectrum Center in Charlotte, AT&T Center in San Antonio and Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.
Pollstar announced in July their 2017 Mid-Year Top 200 Arena Venues based on ticket sales and BOK Center finished #17 in the United States and #40 in the world. BOK Center was also the highest ranked arena in North America managed by SMG, the Philadelphia-based venue operator that manages over 230 facilities, nearly 70 arenas, and over 1.75 million seats worldwide.
Taxpayers built the BOK Center from Tulsa County’s Vision 2025 funds approved in 2003.
SMG’s is contracted by city and their contract is subject to approval and/or change by city officials. Citizens objecting to this or any policy are welcome to call their city councilor or the mayor’s office.