Hundreds of thousands being spent on Chesapeake Arena upgrades fans will likely never see

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Some improvements could be on the way for the Chesapeake Arena, although many of us probably won’t ever see them.

Tuesday the City Council voted to approve plans for some upgrades, specifically three new promoters’ offices, and a remodel and expansion of a lounge for family members of the Thunder basketball team.

The initial press release said these upgrades will be necessary to meet the latest NBA guidelines, but our investigation found that is not the case.  No such guidelines exist.

The City’s special projects manager, Tom Anderson, admitted the press release should not have mentioned NBA guidelines as the reason behind the new construction. Anderson did say the City still feels the upgrades need to be done.

Anderson said, “It’s part of our agreement with the Thunder to evaluate the facility and look at improvements that may be necessary, that enhances the fan experience or enhances basketball operations and that’s what this really does.”

The cost for the upgrades will amount to $600,000.  The money will come from a fund that the Thunder pays to the city on an annual basis.

He says better offices for promoters were needed and an improved family lounge is also important.

According to Anderson, almost every professional sports team has a family lounge.

Anderson said, “In this case basketball operations wants their players to focus solely on the game as much as possible without any big distractions.  A key issue [for the players] is are my family and loved ones safe? Are they near by and are they comfortable?”

They hope to have the project complete by October of this year.