Proceeds from a one-cent sales tax to fund improvements to Ford Center, home of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, came in slightly under budget, leaving an oversight committee to scale back renovation plans for the facility.
The sales tax was expected to provide $121 million for renovations, but the sunsetted tax — which has ended — yielded only $103.6 million. There was an addition $8.4 million in city funds available, so the final amount spent on renovations will be $112.2 million — or about $9 million less than anticipated.
In theory, the board could go back to the city and ask for more money, but given the financial health of most municipalities, that doesn’t seem likely. Instead, the oversight board will live within its means,
The renovations and a new practice facility for the Thunder will be scaled back: the budget for the practice facility is now $14.4 million instead of $20 million, while the total cost of the Ford Center renovations will be capped at $91.9 million, instead of the budgeted $100 million. Renovation work will continue over the next two summers: this summer will see upgrades on the amenities side (concessions, restrooms), while next summer will see a new entrance added to the facility.