Why a New Arena?
From the famed All-College Basketball tournament at the Municipal Auditorium in the 1950s, the eclectic array of concerts at the Myriad in the 1970s, to the Ford Center (now Paycom Center) grand opening in the early 2000s, the construction of the past three arenas in downtown Oklahoma City has mirrored the growth of our city.
IT'S TIME FOR NUMBER FOUR.
A new arena will keep the Thunder in Oklahoma City for another generation, and beyond 2050—but it’s not just about basketball. A new arena will secure Oklahoma City’s status as a destination for premier concerts, national sporting events, and more—all things that drive economic growth and quality of life in our city and without raising taxes.
Let’s build on the progress we’ve made and Keep OKC Big League.
This proposal does not begin generating tax revenue until AFTER the current sales tax, commonly known as MAPS 4, expires. This proposal extends collection of that one-cent sales tax for 72 months. The tax rate will not increase.
Additionally, MAPS 4 funds originally approved to be spent on the current arena will instead be shifted to the new arena.
For the first time in city history, arena funding will come with a contribution of $50 million from the Thunder ownership group.
The NBA environment is competitive and without a new arena the ability for the Thunder to be financially sustainable in a smaller market like Oklahoma City would be difficult. The team is much less likely to sign a long-term lease unless a new arena is in the plans.
The Thunder came to Oklahoma City because a group of Oklahomans bought an existing NBA franchise that was for sale, in part, because the city of Seattle and state of Washington rejected calls from their local owner to invest in modernizing their arena.