top of page

Economic Impact

The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber announced the results today of an economic impact study of Oklahoma City’s arena. The study finds an estimated annual impact of $590 million, supporting more than 3,000 jobs. The study also estimates the impact of construction of the new arena, which would generate more than $1.3 billion during the construction period and support more than 10,000 jobs.  

“This study, using real inputs from arena activity, makes it clear that the impact on our economy is significant,” said Christy Gillenwater, president, and CEO of the Chamber. “There is an important impact to the families dependent on the arena activity – those that work in the building, along with restaurants, hotels and companies that provide goods and services to the arena.”  

The study, conducted by Applied Economics of Phoenix, Arizona, also details the annual tax revenue impact of arena activity. Annual impact to the city of Oklahoma City is estimated at $9 million, Oklahoma County and school districts is $4 million and to the state of Oklahoma, $17 million. “The numbers are an important consideration,” explained Eric Long, the Chamber’s research economist. “These are dollars that support basic services for residents. Attracting visitors for these events supports local jobs and important government functions like improving our streets, our public safety and taking care of human needs.”  

Gillenwater said that the study underpins the argument for a new arena, providing conclusive information about the impact on everyday residents. “This arena matters for so many reasons – the image the NBA brings to our community, the world stage we are on because of what happens there, the joy and connection it brings to concertgoers and basketball fans – but a vitally important piece is the jobs it brings to families in our city.” 

A complete copy of the study can be found at

Quick Facts

  • The current arena provides an annual economic impact of $590 million and supports more than 3,000 jobs. 

  • The construction of a new arena will generate more than $1.3 billion in economic impact and support 10,000 jobs. 

  • Since becoming an NBA city, Oklahoma City’s population has grown from around 570,000 to close to 700,000.

  • According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Total Current-Dollar Gross Domestic Product for the Oklahoma City metro was $53.6 billion in 2007, the year before the Thunder arrived. Numbers from 2021 show OKC’s economic output at $86.6 billion, adding over $33 billion or a 61% increase.

bottom of page