Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Ford Center

For $89.9 mil dollars the City's crowning MAPS 1 project was the Ford Center, which has brought unbridled prosperity to OKC when it opened in 2002. It seats about 21,000 and has 586,000 SF. Not only is the Ford Center a top-grossing concert venue, but it also hosted the NBA's Hornets for 2 years, many trade shows, the CHL's OKC Blazers, the AFL's OKC Yard Dawgz, OKC's new permanent NBA team, and is in a rotation with KC for the Big XII Basketball Tourney.

When the Hornets came the the arena was 3 years old and the City was already prepared to invest a few million in technical improvements to bring it up to NBA minimum standards. The Ford Center exceeds both the NBA and NHL minimum standards. In 2008 voters improved $121.8 mil in improvements to make the Ford Center one of the NBA's best arenas, in order to make a more convincing case for the SuperSonics. The improvements include a 12,000 SF family center, a new concourse, a new entrance and main lobby, technical improvements, new scoreboard, new restaurants on every level, 2 new rooftop gardens with skyline views, NBA offices, locker rooms, etc.

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