SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER!

Our weekly “411 on the 405” email gives you all the OKC news you can use in an ultra-convenient digest format right in your inbox, no surfing required.

* indicates required
Email Format

View previous campaigns.

Sponsor

Sponsor

Tag Cloud

accolade
adult sports
Adventure District
aerospace
Arcadia
arts and culture
Asian District
attractions
Automobile Alley
aviation
ballet
bar
baseball
basketball
beer
Bethany
bioscience
bmx
Boathouse District
breweries
Bricktown
business
calendar
camping
camps
career tech
cars
Choctaw
Classen Curve
climate
college
community
concerts
cost of living
Crown Heights
cycling
Davis
day-trip
Deep Deuce
Deer Creek
Dodgers
downtown
Edmond
education
El Reno
election
employment
energy
entrepreneur
equine
family-friendly
farmers market
Farmers Market District
festivals
film
Film Row
fishing
fitness
food
football
free
gardening
golf
government
Guthrie
healthy living
Heritage Hills
Historic Capitol Hill
history
hockey
holiday
horse show
housing
Innovation District
internship
Jefferson Park
jobs
Jones
kid
kids
Kingfisher
Lake Aluma
Lake Hefner
library
live music
live sporting events
local farms
local goods
MAPS
Mesta Park
Midtown
Midwest City
military
Moore
mountain biking
movies
moving
museums
music
Mustang
Myriad Botanical Gardens
native american
networking
Nicoma Park
nightlife
nonprofit
Norman
OKC Energy
OKC National Memorial
Oklahoma
Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City history
Oklahoma River
outdoor recreation
parade
parks
Paseo District
Pauls Valley
pets
Piedmont
Plaza District
Prague
Project 180
public transportation
publication
racetrack
Rayo
religion
restaurants
retail
Route 66
running
school
shopping
soccer
social media
spring break
State Fair Park
Stillwater
Stockyards
streetcar
Sulphur
tech
theater
Thunder
Tinker
Tuttle
university
Uptown 23
velocity
Visit OKC
volunteer
water sports
weather
Western Avenue
western heritage
wine
youth sports
Yukon
zoo
 

Arena annals

Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 at 12:00:00 am
Aerial of arena construction

The Chesapeake Energy Arena, current home of the Oklahoma City Thunder, has a relatively short but interesting history. The seeds of the arena were first sown with the passage of the MAPS projects in December 1993. Construction commenced on May 11, 1999, with the design of the arena indicative of the minimum NBA and NHL standards of the time. Completed at a cost of only $89.2 million initially, the arena opened as the Ford Center on June 8, 2002 with a basketball seating capacity of 19,163. It hosted Britney Spears, the Rolling Stones, the Eagles, Paul McCartney and more over its first 12 months, in addition to the OKC Blazers hockey team.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina forced the New Orleans Hornets from their home and into the welcoming arms of OKC and the arena. For two seasons, Chris Paul, David West and coach Byron Scott led the “New Orleans / Oklahoma City Hornets” to newfound fan support and success on the court, unearthing the “Loud City” phenomenon and a strong demand for pro hoops in OKC at the same time.

In late 2007, relocation of the NBA franchise in Seattle to Oklahoma City became a legitimate possibility. The city council placed a temporary 1-cent sales tax on the ballot to begin at the conclusion of the “MAPS for Kids” program in order to fund upgrades intended to bring the arena up to current NBA standards (as well as construct a team practice facility) should the team indeed relocate. The measure was handily approved by the voters in March 2008, and the team was given the OK to relocate to OKC the next month.

Naming rights for the Oklahoma Ford Dealers expired in 2010, and the arena was known as “Oklahoma City Arena” until the next year, when it became known by its current moniker. Meanwhile, a multi-year renovation schedule had commenced. After the upgrades were complete, the basketball seating capacity stood at 18,203, but additional suites, restaurants, clubs, premium seating, lighting, sound, NBA-specific locker rooms and more were added, in addition to concourse and other public area renovations, as well as a new “front door” for the arena that faces the future Oklahoma City Boulevard alignment to the south.

The future looks bright for Chesapeake Energy Arena outside, inside, and on the court. Thunder Up!

Comments

Leave a Comment