BALTIMORE, MD (CelebrityAccess) – Oak View Group (OVG) officially kicked off the start of renovations during a special groundbreaking event to transform the 60-year-old city-owned Baltimore Arena into a new multi-purpose, state-of-the-art entertainment and sports venue on Thursday (June 9).
In partnership with The Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC), Fundamental Advisors, and Thirty Five Ventures (35V), co-founded by Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman, it was announced today that global superstar Pharrell Williams would also team up with OVG to transform the Baltimore Arena.
Once fully renovated, the arena will be a key anchor on downtown’s west side. As part of the planned renovations, OVG, Fundamental Advisors, and 35V will fully fund the arena’s total reconstruction cost through a combination of private debt and equity. In return, they will lease the building for the next 30 years through a Baltimore Arena Co entity.
“We are proud to be a part of the new story Mayor Scott is creating for Baltimore. The $200 million private investment we’re making in Baltimore Arena, which comes at no cost to taxpayers, will be a catalyst to rejuvenate downtown Baltimore with new life, jobs, and economic stimulus,” said Tim Leiweke, CEO, Oak View Group. “I started my career 40 years ago with the Baltimore Blast in this very arena and believe this transformation will create a world-class point of destination for live entertainment for all of Baltimore.”
“Baltimore is part of what we Virginians call the DMV, a region I am very committed to,” said Williams. “This city has so much to offer through its growing music scene, entertainment, and sports, and it’s clear the time is right for Baltimore Arena to breathe new life into the region. I believe in this region, this project, and I’m thrilled to invest in its future.”
Renovations to the arena include the removal of the permanent stage, adding seats and suites, upgrading concessions areas, and changing the building’s appearance. Additional upgrades will include sustainability, world-class acoustics to amplify the audio experience, touchless and self-serve technologies, and structural, mechanical, electrical, lighting, and fire protection upgrades.
The new arena will enable the Baltimore area to contend for more events, driving economic growth for the city. The new arena is anticipated to create approximately 500 construction jobs over the next 12 months. Committed to prioritizing participation from small, local, and diverse businesses throughout the construction process, the team has set a goal to award 27% and 10% of construction subcontracts to Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) and Women’s Business Enterprises (WBE), respectively.
The newly restored arena is OVG’s latest development project after recently opening the new Moody Center on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin, TX. In Maryland, OVG360, a division of Oak View Group, operates the Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena on the campus of UMBC in Baltimore, MD. Located at 201 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore Arena is scheduled to open in 2023 in advance of the CIAA basketball tournament scheduled for February 20, 2023.