The changes were part of a years-long, $75 million project that entailed tearing down old All Sports Stadium, renovating all livestock buildings, constructing new barns and show arenas within the barn complex and providing a warm-up arena adjacent to show facilities.
“It's a lot nicer,” Kevin Andersen said. “It's a lot better.”
With the additional space and fans, the barn feels cleaner and cooler, he said.
Timothy O'Toole, president and CEO of the Oklahoma State Fair, noted the weather was mostly cooperative this year, though some rain seemed to have kept some away opening weekend.
Despite that challenge, “we've had very good crowds,” he said.
This year marked two of the most successful indoor concerts ever, with performances from country music stars Jake Owen and Gary Allan, O'Toole said.
Their well-attended and sold-out shows Friday and Saturday followed the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Xtreme Bulls Tour at the state fair.
Soon it will be time to pick next year's acts, O'Toole said. The booking begins in late fall at a conference for the International Association of Fairs and Expositions.
The next big event in store for State Fair Park is Oct. 6, when the Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show arrives.