Thursday, 21 February 2008
The BOK Center announced today, country music star Kenny Chesney and LeAnn Rimes in their “Poets & Pirates Tour” will add to the opening of Tulsa’s fabulous new entertainment showcase September 10th, 2008.
Kenny Chesney is country music’s biggest drawing card selling over 1 million tickets per year for the last 6 years. Chesney is the Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year for 3 years running, and current Country of Music Association Entertainer of The Year. To order tickets click here or call toll free (877) TULSA-CC.
LeAnn Rimes won her first talent contest at age five and at age seven she had recorded her first album. Rimes has won two Grammy Awards, including the first Best New Artist accolade ever won by a country artist. She has sold more than 37 million records, won three Academy of Country Music honors and 12 Billboard Awards.
The entire 2008 tour will only play a total of 13 arena shows, with Tulsa being one of the chosen few.
Chesney is the second major music star announced to perform at the BOK Center. Celine Dion was the first concert announced at the BOK Center and is scheduled for this November. Her Tulsa performance is the only stop in Oklahoma for her “Taking Chances” tour.
Dion started her world tour this year at a Valentine’s Day performance in Johannesburg, South Africa after a long running regular engagement in Las Vegas. Dion’s show, "A New Day” played at Casars Palace and grossed more than $400 million and was seen by nearly 3 million fans. Dion said one fan had seen her Las Vegas show more than 100 times. Tickets for the final show sold on EBay for as much as $1,899.
Just before closing at Casars Palace, Dion released "Taking Chances" her first English-language album in four years, and she sang the title song on the album during the extra-long finale. The album was most recently the 12th best-selling in the U.S., according to Billboard magazine.
Many Tulsans are still rooting for Eric Clapton and JJ Cale to open the BOK Center, and that dream concert could still happen. Clapton has a long history of affiliations with Tulsa native sons such as famous rock baseman Carl Radle. Cale is a native Tulsan and best exemplifies what many professional musicians call the “Tulsa Sound” and by most accounts began that style.
Clapton and Cale’s most recent collaboration is the “Road to Escondido” which received a Grammy this month winning, “Best Contemporary Blues Album (vocal or instrumental).
Clapton toured to promote the album and insiders tell Tulsa Today he wanted Cale to tour with him. Cale refused saying, “Hell I gave him nine songs, what more does he want.”
Local gadflies still berating the success of Vision 2025 have hung their marginal credibility on questioning the BOK Center. They have made so many statements now proven factually incorrect that we can not list them all here, but for the record, the arena is on time and on budget.
Significant private donations and sponsorships have added funds to enhance the facility which some claim is the best designed arena in America. The Oklahoma Ford Dealers announced a 15-year Founders Partnership, which includes a 15-year commitment for two Founder’s Suites at Tulsa’s BOK Center, and other support totaling $4.875 million.
The announcement follows one earlier of $4.84 million in sponsorships and naming rights, and brings the total private investment at the center to $36 million. Funds will help provide additional enhancements for the BOK Center. Ford will be the official vehicle of the BOK Center. The Oklahoma Ford Dealers presented the facility with three Ford vehicles for use by its management team.
Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor made the first BOK Center Founders announcement last August, which included Founding Sponsorships from ONEOK, the Williams Companies and Dollar-Thrifty Automotive Group – representing approximately $15.95 million in partnerships. The Cherokee Nation Enterprises and Cox Communications signed on in mid-November.
The BOK Center is certainly architecturally striking and is promised to be functionally fabulous. It has changed the skyline and on almost any sunny day, people can be seen photographing the building as it grows.
Voters approved the Vision 2025 sales tax in September 2003 that has allowed the BOK Center to be constructed in Tulsa. Along with the public funds from Vision 2025, these private partnerships at the BOK Center are significantly enhancing public features and increasing Tulsa’s ability to attract excellent events.
Tulsa Today offices are one city block from the BOK Center and our staff often chats with construction workers on site. The site is now open twenty hours per day working two shifts and the total number of workers is soon expected to swell to 600 within weeks.
Many construction workers have asked their companies to transfer them to the site from other projects. It is a point of personal pride knowing that they will be able to tell their children and grandchildren they built this new Tulsa icon.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 March 2008 )