Has The New OKC Thunder Arena Location Been Decided?

Oklahoma City officials confirmed that city councilors will be voting on the Cox Convention Center as the proposed location for the new OKC Thunder arena.

Friday, May 17th 2024, 3:19 pm



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Oklahoma City officials confirmed on Friday that city councilors will be voting on the Cox Convention Center as the proposed location for the new OKC Thunder arena.

The location would be between Sheridan Avenue and Reno Avenue, between Robinson Avenue and E.K. Gaylord Boulevard.

The item can be seen on the city council agenda, on the city council's website: https://www.okc.gov/departments/city-clerk/meetings/public-meetings

According to a press release, the Oklahoma City Council will be considering approval for the new OKC Thunder arena on May 21.

The release continues to say that the agreement will be made between the city and PBC Sports and Entertainment (the current owners of the Thunder and the OKC Blue).

Voters approved funding for the new arena back in December 2023, and this agreement will include several ‘elements of design and construction’, according to the city’s release.

The city included an overview of the agreement:

Funding
OKC agrees to spend a minimum of $900 million on the new arena. The new arena will be funded by (listed in order of how the money will be spent):
$78 million from MAPS 4.
$50 million from PBCS&E.
a minimum of $772 million, financed through the 72-month, one-cent special sales tax.
Any surplus revenue from the one-cent special sales tax after the arena's construction and repayment of financing costs will be allocated to capital improvements and maintenance of the new arena.
The agreement acknowledges that there are no other sources of revenue to fund the new arena, and so the agreement provides that if the costs appear to exceed available budgeted funds, the parties will work together to value engineer the project. PBCS&E can privately fund portions of the project to avoid removing them through value engineering.
Location
The agreement identifies the City-owned former site of the Cox Convention Center as the site of the new arena. The City will own and be responsible for maintaining and operating the new arena.
Approximately 1.4 acres of the site will be reserved for a potential future intercity transit hub.
PBCS&E can negotiate with the City for a ground lease to develop any unused property on the new arena site at market rate, with revenue from the lease to be used for the arena’s maintenance and improvements.
Construction
The agreement outlines a collaborative process between the City and PBCS&E in the planning and construction of the building.
The City and PBCS&E will work together to select the arena’s project consultant, engineer, architect, design and other aspects of construction.
The new arena will be at least 750,000 square feet.
The new arena will be built to:
Benefit the residents of Oklahoma City.
Meet NBA specifications and requirements.
Maximize team revenues, ensuring the sustainability of major league professional sports in Oklahoma City.
The project includes the construction of a new parking garage on the arena site with at least 650 spaces.
Timing
The Thunder will continue to play home games at the Paycom Center until the new arena opens.
The agreement maintains the completion date of 2029 as outlined in the letter of intent but provides a path to a target completion date of June 2028, with a contractual obligation to open the new arena by June 2030.
The Thunder’s 25-year commitment to remain in Oklahoma City begins when they move into the new arena.

Dan Mahoney with the Oklahoma City Thunder shared this statement in response:

“We fully support the selection of that site for the new arena and we look forward to what’s ahead for downtown Oklahoma City.”

This is a developing story. Refresh this page for updates.

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