OKC Arena Completes Construction

Arena By Night

(from Venues Today, November 7, 2012)  The three year construction project for the Chesapeake Energy Arena is finally complete. The arena, located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, made improvements to put the arena up to NBA standards. The improvements include a new broadcast system, video board, new terrace seating, and entrance. The improvements were paid for by a voter approved tax increase.

The renovations allow the Chesapeake Energy Arena to hold 18,203 fans for basketball games. The buildings new 46,000-pound scoreboard was installed last summer along with renovations to the locker rooms.

Recently, a grand entrance was added to the southwest corner of the building that offers fans a spacious hang out before and after games. The entrance includes a full service restaurant that is open before all events. The renovations to the entrance also include a kid’s zone for children to play games when they visit the arena.

While most of the renovations are complete, Gary Desjardins, Facility General Manager, says they are still working on a team office space.

The facility has been closed the last three summers and most of the improvements were made during this time to not interrupt the events. The arena was not originally built to house an NBA team, so the renovations were necessary to maintain the NBA experience. The arena was originally home to the New Orleans Hornets during Hurricane Katrina, and created an interest for Oklahoma City to become the permanent home of an NBA franchise. Oklahoma City’s wish came true when the Seattle Sonics moved to Oklahoma.

Since bringing in a franchise, the city has voted on a tax that would raise funds for the previously mentioned improvements and would build a practice facility.

Overall local government and the citizens of Oklahoma City are thrilled with improvements and hope the renovations will help create more excitement around the team and downtown area.