OGE defends contribution for renaming of State Fair Coliseum


Oklahoma Gas and Electric responded Friday to a Corporation Commissioner’s critical questioning of a confidential donation that led to the naming of the OGE Coliseum under construction at the Oklahoma State Fair grounds.

Corporation Commissioner Kim David questioned the contribution as OG&E is in the midst of seeking approval for a proposed $332 million rate hike that would boost residential ratepayers bills by 13%. She vowed to make sure consumers or ratepayers would not make up the difference for the donation that led to final financing of the coliseum to replace the Jim Norick Arena.

“We appreciate Commissioner David recognizing that contributions to nonprofit organizations like the Oklahoma State Fair from the OGE Energy Corp. Foundation are shareholder-funded to improve the lives of hardworking Oklahomans and would never be requested from OG&E as part of a rate review,” stated the utility in a response provided to OK Energy Today.

“Customers regularly tell us that they expect us to financially support organizations that make Oklahoma a better place to live, work and play. The Oklahoma State Fair creates life-changing experiences for people all across the state, and in every county OG&E serves. We look forward to being part of the next generations of youth livestock expos, state basketball tournaments, and so much more. Our Foundation allows us to create lasting change that improves communities and our customers’ lives.”

OG&E used proceeds from the sale of its interest in Enable Midstream,” to make the contribution. The amount was not disclosed under the terms of the contribution.

AARP Oklahoma also questioned the contribution that came while OG&E is seeking a rate h ike.

“I don’t know if it’s just a, you know, lack of awareness or tone deafness,” said Sean Voskhul with AARP Oklahoma. “It’s a head scratcher for a lot of people. Like, we’re struggling right now and you’re going to spend millions of dollars on a naming rights situation.”

He told KFOR TV News he doesn’t understand why that money couldn’t have gone back to OG&E customers—the same customers he says OG&E is asking the state to impose a rate hike on.

“They’ve been very, very profitable,” he said. “And so those revenues could be invested back in their customers.”



Monique Warfield 

Communications Specialist