Paycom Center, home of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, is set for a $105m (£80m/€95m) renovation as part of plans outlined by the city council to enhance the guest experience at the arena.
The City of Oklahoma City, which owns the arena, has selected global architecture design firm Populous to develop a masterplan for renovations at Paycom Center.
Initial improvements will include replacing seats in the lower, middle and upper bowls of the arena, which opened in 2002. This initial phase of the project will cost $4m.
The new seats will range from 19-inch fabric seats to 21-inch faux-leather seats that offer taller backs and cup holders for a more comfortable guest experience. This project opened for construction bids yesterday (Wednesday), with a contract to be awarded in April.
Additional upgrades that will be made between now and 2028 include a new scoreboard, enhanced 300-level concession areas and a signature bar, and further technology and infrastructure improvements.
These upgrades will be completed through a multi-year approach to avoid disruption to major events and the NBA schedule. Paycom Center, which is operated by ASM Global, hosts a range of concerts throughout the year.
Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt said: “Investing in our downtown arena more than 20 years ago proved to be a game-changing decision for Oklahoma City. Paycom Center, home of the Oklahoma City Thunder, serves as an economic driver and a top destination for live sports and entertainment. Our continued investment will focus first on fan amenities, and we’re excited about the new features the facility will offer to residents, visitors and event organisers.”
The arena upgrades form part of the city’s latest MAPS (Metropolitan Area Projects) plan.
MAPS programme manager David Todd said: “We are able to make progress quickly on the MAPS 4 downtown arena project because it’s an existing, city-owned facility with an established and engaged operator. This is the 20th year of operation for Paycom Center, and guest amenities, like new seats, are the highest priority among all anticipated phases of work.”
Cloud-based financial software company Paycom acquired naming rights to the arena in July last year as part of a 15-year deal with the City Thunder. Paycom replaced Chesapeake Energy, which had sponsored the arena since 2011 before ending its deal early in April 2021.