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News » Arena to be a lot glitzier

Arena to be a lot glitzier

Arena to be a lot glitzierA new scoreboard will be the primary attraction when the Ford Center reopens in two weeks.

But a key factor in team chairman Clay Bennett deciding to move the NBA team from Seattle last summer was additional revenue streams such as 48 loge boxes constructed during five months of renovation.

By adding 700 club level luxury seats, the Thunder has the capability to collect $3 million more a season in ticket revenue.

Include potential sales from suites and the Thundercan collect nearly $17 million more a season in ticket revenue compared to Seattle's KeyArena, according to research conducted by The Oklahoman.

"It was essential the Ford Center has these type of upgrades," said Tom Anderson, Oklahoma City's special projects manager. "Seattle is a larger market. A larger portion of revenue has to come from the arena, be it ticket revenue or sponsorship revenue."

Ford Center renovations went far beyond helping the Thunder's budget.

Every fan will experience something new.

Hundreds of fans in the lower bowl will have wider, leather seats. All suites have been remodeled. New restaurants have been built.

Loud City corridors underwent a major makeover that includes more than 30 televisions.

"It's amazing to see the changes in such a short period of time," said Ford Center general manager Gary Desjardins. "We're accomplishing what we set out to do."

A Kings of Leon concert Oct. 3 is the first event scheduled in the renovated Ford Center. The Thunder's first preseason game is Oct. 12.

Capacity for NBA games will decrease to 18,200, nearly 1,000 fewer seats than last year's 19,136-seat configuration.

"Even after this phase, we'll have one of the nicer buildings in the NBA," Desjardins said. "Next year, when the entire renovation is completed, it's going to be a very nice building for any event - Thunder games, a concert, a family show and hopefully a few playoff games."

The third and final phase of a $100 million renovation plan - a $53 million project - is scheduled next summer.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: September 23, 2009


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