Chesapeake Energy Arena Will Need Series Of Upgrades
Chesapeake Energy Arena is "running on outdated technology," and a series of upgrades proposed by Oklahoma City's Metropolitan Area Projects 4 program are "necessary for the arena to keep up with the times," according to Erik Horne of the OKLAHOMAN. The $115M project requested for the arena and the Thunder's practice facility is the "second largest of the MAPS 4 project budgets." Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt said that because Chesapeake Energy Arena is publicly owned, it is the "city's obligation to keep the arena up to national standards." It has been 11 years since the last initiative of $121.6M was "passed by citizens to upgrade" the arena and practice facility. The home of the Thunder was built in '02 for less than $90M, but it was "obsolete before it was completed." While the arena has "hosted major concert series" and the Thunder since '08, a "span of 17 years is a good life for most event venues." That is a "lifetime for one built with limited amenities from the onset because of cost concerns." The Thunder's lease runs through '23 and Holt said the city "shouldn't go to that negotiating table with an arena that is below national standards" (OKLAHOMAN, 11/17).
FIXER UPPER: In Oklahoma City, Ellis & Casteel noted the city and the Thunder have "proposed replacing all the seats" at the arena, "enlarging entrances, adding restaurants at the top and bottom levels, installing a new scoreboard, building necessary storage space and other improvements." However, none of those proposed upgrades were "sought by the NBA or have been promoted as necessary to keep the Thunder in Oklahoma City" (OKLAHOMAN, 11/17).