BALTIMORE, MD (CelebrityAccess) — The Baltimore Development Corporation has struck a preliminary agreement to begin negotiating a lease and management agreement for the to-be-redeveloped facility known as the Baltimore Arena.
Under the proposal, OVG and their arena partners, Thirty Five Ventures, founded by Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman, will fully fund the cost of the renovation of the aged arena, with an estimated price tag of at least $150 million.
The goal of the project is to bring a state-of-the-art, modern arena in downtown Baltimore that will serve as a key anchor on the city’s West Side and spark further investment and development in the area.
“Today, I’m pleased to have given BDC the go ahead to enter into final and exclusive negotiations with OVG, which is an important key step toward realizing the long-awaited transformation of the iconic and historic Baltimore Arena into a world-class entertainment venue,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “The project will catalyze the reopening of Baltimore’s tourism and hospitality market and reposition Baltimore as a destination for top-tier national events and live entertainment. I look forward to being briefed on BDC ‘s final negotiations and deal terms.”
“We’re pleased to enter into exclusive negotiations with BDC to revitalize the Baltimore Arena,” said Tim Leiweke, CEO, Oak View Group. “Baltimore has such a rich music and sports history, and we look forward to working with the Mayor, BDC, and the community to elevate live entertainment in the city and make the Baltimore Arena a premier destination for the biggest artists and events in the world.”
According to the Baltimore Development Corporation, Oak View Group was one of three potential operators who responded to the request for proposals for the arena.
Originally opened in 1961, the 14,000-capacity arena, located at 201 W. Baltimore Street, is currently known as Royal Farms Arena and most recently served as home field for the Baltimore Brigade indoor football team, but the league ceased operating in 2019. The arena still regularly hosts concerts and live entertainment events.
The City of Baltimore began considering plans to replace the arena in 2004 but has since scaled back its ambitions with a renovation of the existing facility after proposals with several developers came unraveled over costs.