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$8.5 million tune-up for Will Rogers Memorial Center

See what’s planned for the event center in the Cultural District.

FTW-Will Rogers

The WRMC Coliseum hosts 30+ equestrian events a year, bringing ~$74 million in economic impact to the city annually.

Photo by @photogkeith

Table of Contents

Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum will undergo $8.5 million in renovations this year. Back in February, City Council approved capital funds from the American Rescue Plan Act + today, we’re breaking down what’s planned for the Art Deco Coliseum.

Originally opened in 1937, the 120-acre entertainment complex was designed by Wyatt Hedrick of Herman Koeppe and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Public areas

Renovations estimated at $7.1 million will be made to the Grand Lobby and the 27,608-sqft oval concourse surrounding the Coliseum, which hasn’t been upgraded since the 1970s. Improvements include:

  • Air handler replacement
  • Flooring
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Lighting
  • Restroom fixtures
  • Signage
  • Decorative upgrades

The Backstage Club

The 5,203-sqft VIP area overlooks the arena and is used as a restaurant during the Stock Show and Rodeo. An estimated $1.3 million remodel, the space will be reconfigured for flexibility during different events.


The city is currently reviewing design proposals. The renovations will take place in phases around the concourse and construction is expected to begin within a year.

According to Andra Bennett from the city’s Public Events Department, the center “will remain operational during construction and will be in close communication with clients and attendees about adjustments to traffic flow within the building.”