Global architectural design firm Populous has been picked by the City of Oklahoma to develop a master plan for the renovations at ASM Global-managed Paycom Center. 

New amenities and improvements are designed to enhance the guest experience at Oklahoma City Thunder NBA games and live entertainment events.

Construction on several initial projects is scheduled to start this year with new 300-level seats and elevators. 

Further upgrades scheduled for 2023 include new seating, a new scoreboard, enhanced 300-level concession areas and signature bar, and further technology and infrastructure improvements. 

To avoid disruptions to major events and the NBA schedule, additional upgrades will be completed through a multi-year approach, with renovations anticipated through 2028.

Renovation plans are part of voter-approved Oklahoma City’s MAPS 4, a debt-free public improvement program funded by a temporary sales tax. The funding includes $105 million for Paycom Center enhancements and renovations. 

Populous previously designed and delivered the state-of-the-art MAPS 3 Oklahoma City Convention Center, a $288 million project also funded by the MAPS program that opened January 2021.

Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt said:

Investing in our downtown arena more than 20 years ago proved to be a game-changing decision for Oklahoma City. Paycom Center, home of the Oklahoma City Thunder, serves as an economic driver and a top destination for live sports and entertainment. Our continued investment will focus first on fan amenities, and we’re excited about the new features the facility will offer to residents, visitors and event organisers.

Populous senior principal Brad Clark said:

The master plan will chart a path for reinvigorating Paycom Center through targeted improvements, providing an exceptional experience to all types of visitors. We are in the business of designing for unforgettable, meaningful moments, and we’re looking forward to continuing our work in Oklahoma City with this exciting project.

The downtown arena was built debt-free as part of the original MAPS program that was passed by Oklahoma City residents in 1993. The facility opened its doors in 2002. Welcoming more than one million guests each year, Paycom Center upgrades will provide transformative improvements that enable the city to continue to attract top -tier concerts, sporting events, and other entertainment offerings.