Oklahoma City’s Paycom Center now has a new look. The new logo is green, and the arena’s green lights illuminate the streets of Oklahoma City for miles around. These updates and changes come after the building received a complete renovation last year.
Paycom Center, previously known as Chesapeake Energy Arena, opened on June 8, 2002, three years after breaking ground in 1999. The original name given was Ford Center, which came from — you got it — a local car dealership in Oklahoma City. The name then changed to Oklahoma City Arena in 2010, before becoming Chesapeake Energy Arena in 2011. Today, those green lights serve as the beacon for Oklahoma City’s Paycom Center. The new name took effect in July 2021.
When it opened, the stadium was considered a state-of-the-art facility. However, with no major league tenants at the time, its specifications were minimal and it lacked many luxury amenities.
Paycom Center has undergone numerous improvements since its opening in 2002, including new restaurants, elevated security and upgraded video boards and sound equipment. Other additions included renovated suites, terrace lounges, a family fun zone, concession booths, a new grand entrance and updated locker rooms and team offices.
Oklahoma City Thunder History
Paycom Center has hosted more than 10 million fans and 1,200 events since its opening in 2002, including regular home games for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Oklahoma City Thunder NBA franchise launched when the Seattle SuperSonics dissolved in 2008. Howard Schultz, previous Seattle Sonics owner, sold the team in 2006 to Clay Bennett and several other Oklahoma City investors. The next year, Bennett announced that the franchise would move to Oklahoma City.
The newly formed team chose the name “Thunder” referencing Oklahoma’s location in Tornado Alley and Oklahoma City as the home of the U.S. Army’s 45th Infantry Division, known as “the Thunderbirds.”
Some interesting tidbits about the history of Paycom Center include:
- located in downtown Oklahoma City
- constructed in 1999 and opened in 2002
- home to the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA team
- housed on 586,000 square feet of land
- features more than 200 video monitors
If you’re in Oklahoma City and are looking for concerts, sporting events, and more, look no further than Paycom Center, the green beacon for world-class entertainment at the center of the metro.