Iconic success

The Eagles Band opened Tulsa’s new BOK Center Saturday September 6 as rock star stallions should – technically excellent, personally engaging, and noticeably irreverent.  One of the best bands in history rocked the new house as cheers from the crowd shook the rafters.

“Hello Tulsa, it’s been a long time since we were in Oklahoma,” they said.  Truth be told, Tulsa never would have had a chance to book this quality of show without the new arena.

One vender from Dallas said, “There are 14,000 people in the house tonight and it takes that size of an audience to book the Eagles.”  He also complemented the facility’s functionality and design.  “This is a hall for fame.”


Guests from Oklahoma City had seen the Eagles perform five times over the years and said the Tulsa venue acoustics were the best.  Complements surged for the facility design and management.  The management company, SMG, brought in experienced leadership from other regional facilities to assist opening night.

Yes, there were some functionality issues, but none the public noticed.

Funny, but Tulsa may become known as the home of the “Boc Center” which natives pronounce using the acronym B.O.K.  Visitors or those just driving past could carry the different pronunciation as the Eagles noted from the stage.  Oh well, the bank paid for the naming rights and so speaks their logo.

As the closest media office to the new arena, Tulsa Today hosted friends and strangers in the neighborhood.  From our roof-top perspective, we could see two of the three parking buildings never filled the top three floors available.  

Pleasant surprise, Tulsans are not addicted to strip-malls with parking just outside the door.  They will walk a few blocks in downtown Tulsa just as is done in Chicago, Houston, New Orleans, etc.  

The Eagles are very particular in controlling media coverage.  There were different rules for video and still photography and media groups moved in and out of the venue under escort.  Still photographers were only allowed to shoot from the area of the sound booth during the first three songs then were escorted out of the building.  Thank goodness we didn’t have to hold hands.

Insiders report the Eagles performance contract required the venue to shut down all air-conditioning 24 hours in advance.  It’s part of the act and better for the band’s vocal cords to begin in a slightly warm room.  From the stage the band said, “Well, we finally got them to turn the air-conditioning on” as the crowd began to feel the breeze.

Delusional critics of the venue (the same fools that opposed Vision 2025 and said the arena would never be built) must feel exceptionally stupid.  We could list them by name, but it would be a short list of antagonistic ambition whores that have befouled local debate for far too long – blog as they will, Tulsans that attended the Eagles concert continue to rave on the music, facility, presentation, and the crowd days after the experience.

At Third and Cheyenne, Jared Jordan, General Manager of SoChey Jazz Café kept the kitchen open past 1:00 am as the crowd migrated around the neighborhood. 

"Business was great," he said.

It was past 2:00 am when Tulsa Today locked the office and turned out the lights.  We didn’t know how many friends we had until the BOK Center started booking stars, but we are glad to host in Tulsa’s growing downtown entertainment neighborhood.

World famous architect Cesar Pelli noted that it was unusual for a contract to specify “iconic design” as was the case for Tulsa’s arena, but in the opinion of the crowd attending the Eagles concert – Pelli accomplished the task and met that incredibly high standard.  The BOK Center is and will be a whole lot of fun in Tulsa for a long time thanks to the 60 percent of citizens who voted in support and the private donations that added art and other flourishes.