The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

December 26, 2008

No sports at Mark Price Arena; Enid police deal with their fair share of issues

Editor’s note: For the next few days, the Enid News & Eagle staff will review the Top 10 news stories for 2008.

Mark Price Arena to no longer

host Enid basketball, other sports

By Cindy Allen

Managing Editor

In May 2008, Enid Public Schools officials announced Enid’s basketball games and other indoor sporting events would no longer be played at Enid’s Convention Hall/Mark Price Arena.

The decision has put the future of the historic building up for debate and is No. 10 on the list of Top 10 stories in Enid and northwest Oklahoma for 2008.

EPS Athletic Director Bill Mayberry and other school officials made the decision to move Enid home basketball games to the Mabee Center at Northern Oklahoma College Enid for the 2008-09 season. The decision to move sporting events out of Mark Price Arena posed a complicated question about the usage and value of the facility and what the city of Enid should do with it. Enid Public Schools was the top customer of Mark Price Arena.

One of the foremost problems with Mark Price Arena is getting the facility completely compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). The city has been in negotiations with people who filed a lasuit regarding ADA compliance.

City officials estimate renovations to the facility to meet ADA requirements could cost as much as $300,000 and would include installing an elevator and addressing other accessibility issues, such as restrooms, ramp access, refreshment counter changes and water fountains.

Another issue for the school district was the “pit” seating at Mark Price Arena. The Mabee Center at NOC allows for court-side seating, which more high school coaches like because of its college-like atmosphere.

City of Enid officials are looking into ways to improve downtown Enid, and Convention Hall/Mark Price Arena will be a big part of that puzzle. A feasibility study is ongoing to determine how Mark Price Arena can be better utilized.

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