Oklahoma City ‘thunder’ing Thunder home plans


Oklahoma City Thunder new arena progress Image: OKC Ford Center, Caleb Long, CC BY-SA 2.5

The Oklahoma City (US) Mayor David Holt says a brand-new National Basketball Association (NBA) arena could be in the City’s future.

‘koco.com’ stated that one of the key points Holt talked about recently during the State of the City address was the need for the community to invest in itself to have forward progression. And in doing so, they plan to propose a new arena later this Summer.

New York (US)-based the National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball league in North America composed of 30 teams. It is one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada and is considered the premier professional basketball league in the world.

Said Holt, “It’s time to plan for a new arena in 2023. This is the year we are making that happen.”

The Paycom Center in Oklahoma has housed the NBA team Oklahoma City Thunder, concert headliners, events, and more for the last 21 years. But if people want to see more development in the City, Holt says the time to update is now.

The 18,203-capacity Paycom Center is an arena located in Downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. It opened in 2002 and since 2008 has served as the home venue for the National Basketball Association’s (NBA’s) Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Oklahoma City Thunder is an American professional basketball team based in Oklahoma City (US). The Thunder competes in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league’s Western Conference Northwest Division. The team plays its home games at the Paycom Center.

Added Holt, “By NBA and national concert standards, our arena is too small. There’s too little investment in it, and it’s trending toward being too old. On top of that, we’re the third-smallest market, and there are 18 markets larger than ours that don’t have an NBA team.”

‘koco.com’ further stated that the Mayor argues that the Oklahoma City has brought in millions of dollars from events and noted the positives that have come from the Thunder’s philanthropic work. But by investing in a new arena, Holt said the City can secure a long-term partnership with the Thunder and continue financial progress.

He also said the money wouldn’t take a new tax. Voters could choose later this year whether to extend MAPS 4 beyond 2028 to pay for part of the arena.

The MAPS 4 is a debt-free public improvement program funded by a temporary penny sales tax that will raise a projected $1.1 billion over eight years. The MAPS 4 keeps Oklahoma City’s sales tax rate unchanged. The temporary penny sales tax funding MAPS 4 began on April 1st, 2020, and ends in 2028.

Holt further stated, “No tax raise will be necessary. The public funding necessary to build the arena will be supplemented by remaining dollars already kept for the arena. And for the first time in the City history, the public funding commitments will be joined by a significant contribution by the OKC Thunder.”

Holt added that they hope to have the plans for a new arena drafted and ready to go by the end of the Summer.

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