Oklahoma City Mayor Wants A New Arena In Town

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The Thunder ownership wants a new venue.

The National Basketball Association’s Oklahoma Thunder franchise ownership is of the opinion that it needs a new arena in order to be financially competitive in the mid-21st century league. Oklahoma City elected officials seem to think that the city needs a new basketball arena. With both sides in agreement that Oklahoma City needs a new arena, now comes the hard part. Figuring out how to pay for an arena that probably will cost around a billion dollars. “Our arena is too small,” Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt said. “It has too little investment in it, and it is trending towards being too old. We’re the NBA’s third smallest market. There are 18 U.S. markets larger than ours that don’t have an NBA team. In the long run, this is not a tenable situation. It is time to plan for a new arena and 2023 is the year to make that commitment. We are close to a jointly agreeable proposal that will construct a new downtown arena that meets the modern standards of the NBA and the concert industry. We believe we can and must present this agreement before the end of summer, with an election before the end of 2023.” Holt is confident that the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise ownership group will put up a sizable amount of money to help pay with the arena costs.

Holt said “cities who want to retain their status as top tier American cities have obligations. Love it or hate it, it’s reality. There’s no way around it, especially in a market our size. And as one of the three smallest markets in the league, we have to do more, not less, to hold our place.” Holt is the latest politician ready to give away the store for an NBA franchise.

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Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) defends against Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins (0) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, March 16, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/June Frantz Hunt)