Major improvements are currently underway at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The $100 million expansion and renovation project is being funded by a 15-month sales tax that was overwhelmingly approved by Oklahoma City voters. Designed to elevate the experience of our audiences and increase the revenue generating potential of our clients, the final phase of improvements will be completed following the 2009-10 Thunder basketball season.
After breaking ground in the Spring of 1999, construction began on the new downtown arena funded by MAPS, Oklahoma City's visionary capital improvement program to finance new and upgraded sports, entertainment, cultural and convention facilities with a one-cent sales tax. The 581,000-square-foot facility was designed to meet National Hockey League requirements. The state-of-the art venue was completed at a cost of $89.2 million and opened its doors on June 8, 2002. The Grand Opening Celebration included a dedication ceremony led by former Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys, as well as a special "Open House" event for the entire community.
Chesapeake Energy Arena is owned by the City of Oklahoma City and managed by SMG, which since 1977 has provided management services to over 200 public assembly facilities including arenas, stadiums, theatres and performing arts centers, and convention, congress and exhibition centers. With facilities across the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Canada, Europe and the Middle East, SMG manages more than 11 million square feet (1.1 million square meters) of exhibition space. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides construction and design consulting, pre-opening services, venue management, sales, marketing, event booking, and programming. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through an in house catering company, Savor…Catering by SMG, currently servicing 65 accounts worldwide. In Oklahoma City, SMG not only manages Chesapeake Energy Arena, but the neighboring Cox Convention Center.