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Cox Business Center receiving $55M of Vision Money for major renovations

There will be bigger events, more full hotel rooms and restaurants, and more neat things for Tulsans to check out at the center. (KTUL)

A lot has happened in the Cox Business Center arena. The Tulsa Roughnecks used to play there, and so did the Oilers. Concerts by Elvis, Louie Armstrong, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen and too many more to list were performed there.

Once upon a time, a young G.T. Bynum visited the arena for a wrestling match. He remembers the moment right after his dad went to grab a drink.

"Ted DiBiase jumps out of the ring, grabs my dad's metal chair, jumps in the ring and hits Killer Khan with it, and that was the most exciting part of my entire childhood, and it happened right here," said Bynum.

One of many memories no doubt from the old arena, but take a hard look, because this is the last time you'll see it intact.

"This arena, everything within the walls, will be torn out and demo'd, and then turned into a 40,000-square-foot exhibit/ballroom/event space," said Kerry Painter with the center.

The room will be divided into two separate floors, creating an additional 41,000-square-feet of event space.

"For the first time ever, a brand new entrance and point of arrival for our guests," said Cox Business Center General Manager Jeff Nickler.

That means no more guessing which entrance to go to.

All this is costing $55 million of Vision Money, AKA your tax dollars. So, what does that buy you?

"Quite honestly, right now, we don't have enough space to bid on some of the really huge national conference business. This will finally get us in the ballpark to attract new business, plus it will allow us to retain a lot of our existing clients who were outgrowing our building and could leave us," said Nickler.

There will be bigger events, more full hotel rooms and restaurants, and more neat things for Tulsans to check out at the center.

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