Let’s Duet

Let’s Duet
(Jason Salsman/Multimedia Producer) Downtown Tulsa’s BOK Center and River Spirit Resort Casino have entered into a ten-year agreement on a cross promotional partnership.

Jason Salsman/Multimedia Producer

River Spirit, BOK Center enter 10 year agreement

TULSA, Oklahoma — Two of Tulsa’s premier entertainment destinations have joined forces, forming the hottest new duo in town.

Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s River Spirit Resort Casino and the BOK Center have reached a deal on a ten-year agreement as official partners.

“We felt they were the top entertainment venue and they felt we were the top casino resort in the area,” MCN Casinos CEO Pat Crofts said. “So River Spirit Resort Casino is now the exclusive resort casino partner with the BOK Center.”

Crofts said that the partnership would involve the resort’s inclusion in BOK Center advertising, a separate entrance at the venue for the casino’s top tier customers, and a new suite for River Spirit’s VIP members.

There will also be a River Spirit-themed bar and lounge on the main concourse level, as well as branded material on all BOK ticket sales and website advertisement.

Crofts admitted that closing the deal was a nice win for the MCN’s top gaming facility. With the BOK Center’s most recent agreement having just ended, competition for a new deal was intense.

“It wasn’t easy, the people that had the previous agreement wanted it, there’s another casino locally that calls themselves the downtown casino and they wanted it,” Crofts said. “But we were successful in reaching the agreement.”

Crofts noted the national success and global acclaim that the BOK Center has generated in it’s first ten years was a paramount reason for wanting to be linked for the next ten and possibly beyond.

In April 2018 Pollstar released the 2018 First Quarter Top 100 Arena Venues based on ticket sales and the BOK Center finished #7 in the U.S. and #24 in the world.

That placed the Tulsa arena just behind Madison Square Garden, while selling more concert tickets than several arenas in larger markets including Dallas, Brooklyn, Las Vegas and Chicago.

The BOK Center was also the highest ranked arena in North America managed by SMG, the Philadelphia-based venue operator that manages over 230 facilities, nearly 70 arenas, and over 1.75 million seats worldwide.

“Last year it was the venue of the year by the International Talent Buyers Association,” Crofts said. “They’re reaching a million customers a year in attendance, so being in partnership with something like that really is a big deal.”

Crofts mentioned the synergy of the partnership with both facilities sharing customers and being regionally centered.

“I think as I recall around 30-35% of attendance is from out of the Tulsa area, which is good,” Crofts said. “We’re a regional destination resort, so that was part of the demographics and metrics of why we went after it and why they liked us also.”

While the BOK Center has certainly had its share of success in getting people to attend the facility, River Spirit Casino Resort also possesses the credentials to make this quite the formidable duo.

In 2017, RSRC was listed in USA Today as Oklahoma’s most popular Uber destination.

“They came right out and told us, we consider you top-end right now and you’ve got the nicest, newest facility,” Crofts said. “It was very mutual, they felt it was just as beneficial to them as it was to us.”

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  • Aaron Griffith
    February 15, 2019, 5:37 pm

    This is great, but what will become of Tvlse’s first Courthouse, just a block or two away?

    Between 1870 and 1889, 15–20 people were executed under Creek law at the so-called “hanging tree.” A lugubrious lower limb of the burr oak was 12 feet from the ground—an ideal height for public executions. Three cattle rustlers were hanged there simultaneously, according to local historian Terri French. “In the 1920s, as the land was being developed, workers digging for sewer lines unearthed many human remains at the base of the hanging tree,” French wrote in “Tulsa’s Haunted Memories.”

    In 1989, the land around the tree almost became a criminal justice center, but Tulsans successfully protested the location out of fear the historic tree would be removed.

    The hanging tree still stands at 3 N. Lawton Ave., between the northwest bend of the IDL and the BOK Center, behind a barbed wire fence that guards Linde Oktoberfest’s bleachers and festival equipment. Now a dozen feet up the trunk is a stub, scarred—some phantom limb. Scientists speculate the 200-year-old oak’s uncommon size and longevity was made possible by an underground spring. Today its trunk is six feet in diameter.

    Isn’t it about time this justice tree got the recognition it deserves with a park like Tvlse’s first City Hall has with Council Oak Park?