Tuesday October 3, 2023

Durant-Backed Baltimore Arena Prepares to Reopen With New Name

  • A Baltimore arena will reopen in 2023 after a $200 million renovation.
  • Oak View Group and Thirty-Five Ventures funded the construction.
CFG Bank Arena
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October 3, 2023 | Podcast
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Kevin Durant, Ray Lewis, and Pharrell Williams are part of a group teaming up to revitalize a Baltimore arena that has hosted everyone from NBA teams to the Beatles.

CFG Bank Arena — originally the Baltimore Civic Center and most recently Royal Farms Arena — received its new name Tuesday at a ceremony featuring Williams and Lewis as it prepares to reopen next year. 

The 61-year-old arena is one of the country’s oldest.

  • The arena closed in May to undergo around $200 million in renovations. The revamped arena will hold 15,000 people and have upgraded concession stands, self-service food purchasing, and a new facade.
  • The cash came from Durant’s Thirty-Five Ventures and developer Oak View Group.
  • The arena hosted NBA teams the Baltimore Bullets and Washington Bullets, as well as teams from the American Hockey League, World Hockey Association, and others. Its most recent client was the Arena Football League’s Baltimore Brigade.
  • The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association will play its basketball tournaments there in February.

Oak View’s Perspective

As part of the investment deal, Oak View will lease the arena from the city of Baltimore for 30 years at an annual rate of $1.75 million. The rate will rise with inflation, but the city will refund any taxes paid above that amount.

The company developed the Seattle Kraken’s $1.15 billion Climate Pledge Arena and built the New York Islanders’ $1.1 billion UBS Arena. Both hockey teams have invested in Oak View.

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