Widgets Magazine
  • $135M improvements proposed for arena, Thunder

    In the third day of proposals for MAPS 4, officials made a pitch for up to $135 million in improvements to Chesapeake Arena and the Thunder practice facility.

    Completed in 2002 at a cost of $89.2 million, the arena was enhanced in 2008 with another $106 million in additional sales tax revenues that brought the facility up to NBA standards at that time.

    11 years of Thunder basketball later and having hosted nearly 18 million guests for concerts and events, upgrades are being sought to expand and modernize the arena for the third decade of use.

    In a presentation to city council on Wednesday, representatives claimed a $90 million annual direct spending impact to the local economy.

    The proposed budget includes $55 to $60 million for fan amenities, $30 to $33 million for other arena improvements, $12 to $15 million for practice facility enhancements and arena maintenance at $23 to $27 million.

    Presentations were also heard on transit, homelessness and a diversion hub.

    One more round of MAPS 4 proposals will be heard August 6th, then City Council will decide on the final slate of projects in September, followed by a city-wide vote in December.

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