Graphic courtesy of Ozark Empire Fair

New Development at Ozark Empire Fair Grounds

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Thursday for the new arena and youth ag center at Ozark Empire Fairgrounds. 

The 99-thousand square foot arena will seat 66- hundred people, triple the capacity of the current facility. 

The lower level will have a 10-thousand square foot youth ag education center and a 10-thousand square foot trade show space. 

An official statement from the General Manager of the Fairgrounds, Aaron Owen, can be read below:

The new Arena and Youth Ag Education Center will serve the community as an entertainment venue, event site, and educational facility. The 99,000-square-foot arena will include seating for 6,600 visitors, which is triple the seating capacity of OEFEC’s former facility. The new arena will also feature a restaurant and a VIP room on the upper mezzanine. The lower-level will contain a 10,000-square-foot Youth Ag Education Center and a 10,000-square-foot trade show space.

The project comes to fruition due to the vision, fundraising, and dedication of OEFEC’s general manager, staff, board members, and supporters. “This new arena, coupled with other construction and improvements in recent years, will solidify our position as one of the finest entertainment venues in not only the Springfield area, but the entire Midwest,” OEFEC General Manager Aaron Owen, stated. “It will be perfect for fair use, rodeos, horse shows and junior national livestock expositions, tradeshows, motorsports, sporting events, and concerts.”

A variety of individuals and government entities pledged financial support for the construction of the project. Once completed, the Arena and Youth Ag Education Center will rise as one of the region’s top destinations and make a positive impact on the local economy.

OEFEC’s roots trace back to 1937 when a group of community leaders dreamed of developing 76 acres of rolling hills, nestled between Grant Avenue and Norton Road, into fairgrounds.

Through the years the fairgrounds has grown into a year-round entertainment, education, and event venue; hosting more than 600,000 visitors each year.

For more information contact: Aaron Owen, OEFEC General Manager, 417-833-2660.