Today: March 04, 2024
Today: March 04, 2024

Oklahoma City voters approve sales tax for $900 million arena to keep NBA’s Thunder through 2050

Share This
Oklahoma City voters approve sales tax for $900 million arena to keep NBA’s Thunder through 2050
December 13, 2023

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma City voters on Tuesday approved a 1% sales tax for six years to help fund a new downtown arena for the NBA’s Thunder that is expected to cost at least $900 million.

The Oklahoma State Election Board reported that 71% of the city's voters approved the plan.

The vote is an example of the connection between the team, fans and the community, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

“We are grateful to the people of Oklahoma City for the confidence they have shown in both the Thunder and the NBA as we embark on a new era of global sports and entertainment,” Silver said.

Under the deal, the Thunder agree to stay in Oklahoma City through at least 2050.

The Thunder’s ownership group will contribute $50 million toward construction of the new arena. The deal also calls for $70 million in funding from a sales tax approved by voters in 2019 for upgrades to the existing Paycom arena.

The proposal was strongly endorsed by Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt and officials from the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, who argued that keeping the Thunder is an integral part of the city's growth and economic development.

“We told the nation, we told the world, that Oklahoma City is and shall remain a Big League City,” Holt said in a written statement following the vote.

The sales tax will begin April 1, 2028, when the current sales tax ends, so the city’s sales tax rate will remain unchanged. An exact location hasn't been determined, but the deal calls for the arena to open in time for the 2029-2030 NBA season.

The group Oklahoma Progress Now, which opposed the proposal, said the outcome “though not what we hoped for, reflects the democratic voice of Oklahoma City.”

Council members Nikki Nice and JoBeth Hamon also opposed both the proposed sales tax and the letter of intent with the Thunder owners.

“This deal was negotiated from a position of fear and scarcity, which benefits those who are wealthy, while the benefits never trickle down to regular folks,” Hamon wrote on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

A group of more than 25 local economists also urged a “no” vote on the arena, arguing that it came without price caps and would not have a meaningful impact on economic growth.

The NBA franchise — which used to be the Seattle SuperSonics — moved to Oklahoma City in 2008.


Associated Press sports writer Cliff Brunt and writer Ken Miller in Oklahoma City contributed to this report.


Brothers Travis and Jason Kelce honored with bobblehead giveaway at Cavs-Celtics game

Taylor Swift’s boyfriend has taken shaking it off to another level

Takeaways from Trump's Supreme Court win on procedural grounds: His legal peril is just starting

:Former President Donald Trump scored a clear win at the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, which unanimously ruled that states don’t have the ability to bar him — or any other federal candidates — from the ballot under a rarely-used constitutional provision that prohibits those who “engaged in insurrection” from holding office

Goldman, New York mayor make $50 million pledge on affordable housing

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs and the New York City Mayor's Office on Monday announced a $50 million initiative to support minority-owned affordable housing developers.

Netanyahu leaned on his top rival to help unify Israel. Now, Benny Gantz is more popular

Benny Gantz, who is in Washington this week for meetings with U.S. leaders, is a crucial member of Israel’s War Cabinet

'Uncommitted' protest aims at Minnesota over Biden's Israel support

By Nandita Bose MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) - The "uncommitted" movement to pressure U.S.

Yemen's Houthis say they targeted 'Israeli ship MSC SKY' in the Arabian Sea

CAIRO (Reuters) - Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Sarea said on Monday the Iran-aligned group had targeted the "Israeli ship MSC SKY" in the Arabian sea.


Nippon Steel exec to meet USW head to seek support for U.S. Steel deal

By Yuka Obayashi and Ritsuko Shimizu TOKYO (Reuters) - A senior Nippon Steel executive told Reuters he is set to meet the United Steelworkers (USW) union chief this month to seek support for acquiring

First over-the-counter birth control pill in US begins shipping to stores

The first over-the-counter birth control pill will be available in U.S. stores later this month

Ohio foundation begins process to distribute millions in opioid settlement money

Ohio is ready to begin doling out hundreds of millions of dollars in opioid settlement money to community and government organizations

American Airlines to buy 260 new planes from Airbus, Boeing and Embraer to meet growing demand

American Airlines is ordering 260 new planes to meet growing travel demand and increase the airline’s supply of premium seats

- Advertisement -
Advertisement: Limited Time Offer