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 ASM Global. ASM Global was formed in October 2019 from the merger of AEG Facilities, the global innovator in live entertainment venues, and SMG, the gold standard in event management. ASM Global is a venue management powerhouse that spans five continents, 14 countries and more than 300 of the world’s most prestigious arenas, stadiums, convention and exhibit centers, and performing arts venues. As the world’s most trusted venue manager, ASM Global provides venue strategy and management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services. Among the venues in our portfolio are landmark facilities such as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, the Los Angeles Convention Center, Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans and the Shenzhen World Exhibition and Conference Centre in Shenzhen, China. ASM Global also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering companies.
Since opening its doors, Chesapeake Energy Arena has hosted more than 1,200 events and over 10 million fans. Home to the Oklahoma City Thunder (beginning with the 2008-09 NBA season), the arena has also served as home to the Oklahoma City Blazers (Central Hockey League), Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz (arenafootball2), and the New Orleans Hornets (during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 NBA Seasons). The facility also plays host to major concerts, sporting events, family shows and world-class entertainment.