Cox signs letter of intent for Tulsa Convention Center naming rights
BY KEVIN CANFIELD World Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
9/26/12 at 8:17 AM
Cox Communications and the company that manages the Tulsa Convention Center have agreed to a letter of intent to rename the facility the Cox Business Center.
John Bowen, vice president of Cox Communications, said Tuesday that the agreement, once completed, would provide the Convention Center with more than just a new name.
"We are going to upgrade all of the infrastructure inside the Convention Center," he said. "The intent there is to bring it to a broadband capacity - that Cox has the ability to do - so that the chamber of commerce and convention people can go out and attract top-quality conventions here that expect a broadband infrastructure."
John Bolton, general manager of SMG Tulsa, which operates the BOK Center and Tulsa Convention Center, said he could not provide details on the naming-rights agreement because it has not been completed.
But he described it as a win-win for everyone involved.
"Of course, we have a great relationship with Cox, and they have been a great partner with us at the BOK Center," Bolton said. "We want to try to extend that to the Convention Center ... but also help the bottom line."
The city Board of Adjustment approved variances to the zoning code Tuesday that will allow Cox to place three "Cox Business Center" signs on the Convention Center roof.
The polished aluminum signs - two of which will be 8 feet by 187.8 feet and the other 5.4 feet by 125.2 feet - will be backlit with low-voltage LED lights.
The larger signs will be placed on the roof on the east side of the Convention Center and on the top of the north side of the facility's parking garage. The smaller sign will be placed on the roof of the west side of the venue.
After meeting with neighborhood residents who were concerned about the illumination of the sign proposed for the east end of the Convention Center, Cox agreed to dim the sign by 50 percent from 2 a.m. to dawn.
"When they (concerned neighbors) found it was basically just silver letters and at night it just illuminates the letters, it became a nonevent for them," Bowen said. "In the daytime, you are looking at a silver letter, so in the nighttime the silver letter is just illuminated."
Bowen said that as a founding partner in the BOK Center, it makes sense for Cox to continue its work downtown.
"We have already done it with the BOK Center," he said. "We serve all the businesses down there ... (and) we were looking for, honestly, what is left to do downtown to really make it spectacular, and that corner for us is just something we wanted to do for the city."
Bowen said he expects a final agreement with the city in the next month.
"It will take us into the first of the year before you see anything (on the Convention Center) done," he said.
Original Print Headline: Cox set to get venue naming rights
Kevin Canfield 918-581-8313
John Bolton: SMG Tulsa's general manager said the Convention Center upgrades will benefit downtown Tulsa.
This photo illustration is based on an aerial picture of the Tulsa Convention Center taken during remodeling of the facility. It shows where Cox Communications plans to put three "Cox Business Center" signs as part of its naming rights agreement with SMG, the company that operates the Convention Center. TOM GILBERT / DAVID HOUSH / Tulsa World
Cox Communications and SMG, the company that operates the Tulsa Convention Center, as well as the BOK Center, are working on a naming-rights agreement for the Convention Center. Tulsa World file