Wrangling for Upgrades: Oklahoma City Council Targets More State Fairgrounds Improvements

Article excerpt

City Council recently approved another $3 million of indebtedness for upgrades at the state fairgrounds that were not already covered by the $89 million raised by several other bond issues.

Fairgrounds construction has been ongoing since mid 2005, fueled by the proceeds of 2005, 2007 and 2011 bond issues approved by voters. About $89 million in projects have been completed, including the removal of the baseball park, addition of parking space, and improvements to the Norick Arena, Cox Pavilion, International Trade Center, the livestock feed and bedding building, and seven barns.

But fairgrounds officials have identified yet one more project, this one involving the outdoor practice arena on the west side of the fairgrounds, City Manager Jim Couch told council members in a memo.

"These improvements will assist the Oklahoma City Fairgrounds to continue attracting events to Oklahoma City," he said.

A city official said it involves enclosing the arena with a roof.

"They're continually looking at what they can do to improve the facilities out there to best serve their customers, show promoters and event organizers," City Finance Director Craig Freeman said. …