Oklahoma City Breaks Ground on New Convention Center

June 21, 2018

Oklahoma City is gearing up to welcome a brand new convention center. On June 15, officials from the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau (OKC CVB), local civic leaders and other dignitaries gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking for the $288 million Oklahoma City Convention Center, which will open debt-free in 2020.

“This is a great day for Oklahoma City,” said Mike Carrier, OKC CVB president. “This totally new convention center marks a significant milestone in OKC’s commitment to the meetings and convention industry.”

Designed by the architecture and design firms of Populous and GSB, the new OCCC will include a 200,000 square foot exhibit hall, a 30,000 sq. ft. ballroom and 45,000 sq. ft. of additional meeting space, and will be adjacent to the upper section of the new 70-acre Scissortail Park, set to open in 2019. 

The convention center’s sleek and modern design will offer sweeping downtown views and use materials designed for energy efficiency and weather resiliency, while the gleaming, angular façade will feature towering glass walls to make maximum use of natural light and take its design cues from Oklahoma City’s sky, landscape and architectural character.

The 200,000 sq. ft. exhibit hall will dominate the ground floor and feature three operable walls, making it divisible into four flexible spaces. 

A total of 45,000 square feet of meeting spaces will be situated on all levels of the building, many with operable walls to make the spaces flexible and able to be configured to provide up to 27 individual meeting spaces. 

A 30,000 sq. ft. ballroom will constitute the main space on the fourth level, complemented by 10,000 sq. ft. of pre-function space and a 4,000 sq. ft. balcony. 

Informal meeting spaces, a kitchen, a potential café space, an expansive loading dock and administrative offices are also planned for the convention center.

Outside the facility, landscaping will use native plants and trees well-suited to the local climate with a focus on sustainability, comfort and beauty, while outdoor spaces will include a spacious central plaza.

Wayfinding stations inside and outside the convention center will be interactive.

A skywalk will connect the building to the future 605-room Omni Hotel & Resorts headquarter hotel, which is being developed to complement and support the convention center. Also expected to be finished in 2020, it will offer approximately 50,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. 

The park, convention center and headquarter hotel will all be linked to attractions, dining and nightlife in districts around downtown by the new six-mile OKC Streetcar system, which will be operational by December of this year.

“This is the only totally new build convention center underway in the United States,” said Carrier. “Once the new center, the Omni headquarter hotel the new Scissortail Park and the OKC Streetcar are all complete in 2020, Oklahoma City will be a completely new destination in the south-central U.S. for meetings of all sizes.”

The convention center is the largest single construction project in Oklahoma City’s history, as well as the largest of eight MAPS 3 capital improvement projects funded by a 1-cent sales tax.

“Meeting planners are going to be wowed by Oklahoma City’s new offerings,” said Dennis Johnston, OKC CVB vice president of sales. “And the fact that the center will open debt-free really sets Oklahoma City apart.”

In conjunction with the groundbreaking, the OKC CVB has launched MeetInOKC.com, designed to keep meeting planners and others up-to-date on all convention center news leading up to the opening, as well as act as a guide to Oklahoma City for planners and attendees. 


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Partner Voices
Overview: The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) goes the extra mile to make every day extraordinary by offering customer service excellence and industry-leading partnerships. From their dedicated in-house Rigging team to their robust Exhibitor Services, The Center of Hospitality brings your imagination to life by helping you host unforgettable meetings and events. With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, world-class services and a dream destination, we are committed to making even the most ambitious conventions a reality. In October 2023, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax funding for the $560 million Phase 5A completion of the OCCC. The Convention Way Grand Concourse project will include enhancements to the North-South Building, featuring an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space, an 80,000- square-foot ballroom and new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. “We are thrilled to begin work on completing our North-South Building which will allow us to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “As an economic driver for the community, this project will provide the Center with connectivity and meeting space to host more events and continue to infuse the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.” Amenities: The Center of Hospitality goes above and beyond by offering world-class customer service and industry-leading partnerships. From the largest convention center Wi-Fi network to custom LAN/WAN design, the Center takes pride in enhancing exhibitor and customer experience.  The OCCC is the exclusive provider of electricity (24-hour power at no additional cost), aerial rigging and lighting, water, natural gas and propane, compressed air, and cable TV services. Convenience The Center is at the epicenter of the destination, with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Pedestrian bridges connect both buildings to more than 5,200 rooms and is within a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport. The convenience of the location goes hand-in-hand with top notch service to help meet an event’s every need. Gold Key Members The OCCC’s Gold Key Members represent the best of the best when it comes to exceptional service and exclusive benefits for clients, exhibitors and guests. The Center’s Gold Key memberships with Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World greatly enhance meeting planner and attendee experiences offering world-renowned venues, immersive experiences and creative resources for their events. OCCC Events: This fiscal year, the OCCC is projected to host 168 events, 1.7 million attendees, and $2.9 billion in economic impact.  The Center’s top five events during their 2022-2023 fiscal year included:  AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships 2023 200,000 Attendees $257 Million in Economic Impact MEGACON 2023 160,000 Attendees $205 Million in Economic Impact Open Championship Series 2023 69,500 Attendees $89 Million in Economic Impact Sunshine Classic 2023 42,000 Attendees $54 Million in Economic Impact Premiere Orlando 2023 42,000 Attendees $108 Million in Economic Impact