The Oklahoma City Council has taken a significant step in securing the future of the Oklahoma City Thunder by approving a letter of intent that could keep the NBA team in the city beyond 2050.
This decision also paves the way for a citywide election scheduled for December 12th, where voters will have the opportunity to support the construction of a new, publicly owned downtown arena, a condition vital to retaining the Thunder.
The proposed funding for the new arena includes a 72-month, one-cent sales tax, which will begin once the MAPS 4 tax concludes, ensuring that there will be no increase in the sales tax rate for residents
In a show of commitment to the city, the Thunder’s ownership group has agreed to contribute $50 million towards the construction costs of the new arena.
The new arena, if approved, will not only serve as the Thunder’s future home but also position Oklahoma City as a premier destination for concerts and similar events.
While the exact downtown location for the new arena has yet to be determined, its impact on the city’s cultural and economic landscape is expected to be substantial.
With $70 million in MAPS 4 funding and $50 million from the Thunder’s ownership group, the new arena’s budget is taking shape, securing the future of the NBA in Oklahoma City.
Until the new arena is ready, the Thunder will continue to play home games at the Paycom Center, with their 25-year commitment to the city set to begin when they move into the new facility.
The decision to pursue a new arena stems from the changing landscape of NBA arenas and the need for a modern facility to host NBA games, major concerts, family shows, and other events.