The Cesar Pelli-designed BOK Center has revitalized downtown Tulsa, Okla. (Courtesy BOK Center)

BOK Center, Tulsa, Okla., is the “perfect example of what an arena is supposed to do in a community,” says Jeff Nickler, general manager there for SMG. The 19,000-seat, $189 million arena which opened in 2008 has literally transformed downtown Tulsa to an arts and entertainment mecca.

Nickler, who was assistant general manager there when the venue opened and became GM in 2014, s...

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