Oklahoma City Thunder Home Arena
Chesapeake Energy Arena
Oklahoma City, OK
Oklahoma City Thunder Basketball Tickets?
Opened: June 8, 2002
Capacity: 18,203 seats
Draft Beer: $
Hot Dog: $
Chesapeake Energy Arena
100 W Reno Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Arena Parking: $
NBA Basketball Arena Review - Chesapeake Energy Arena
The Chesapeake Energy Arena opened in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 2002. The Arena briefly played host to the New Orleans’ Hornets during the 2006 season. The Hornets briefly found themselves homeless after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The success of this experiment led to Oklahoma City getting a team to call their own. In 2008, the Seattle Supersonics became the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Oklahoma City basketball fans welcomed them with open arms.
The Chesapeake Energy Arena is located just south of downtown Oklahoma City. It is directly adjacent to the Cox Convention Center. During the weekends, parking on the street can be a chore, and many people are forced to pay to park in one of the many secure parking garages.
A few things the Chesapeake Energy Arena does exceptionally well are get people into the arena and to their seats. There are entrances all around the area, and it rarely takes longer than 5 minutes for fans to get through the gate. Once inside the arena, you are greeted with wide, well-lit concourse replete with murals depicting scenes from Oklahoma’s history. The upper deck is accessed by either the stairs or the escalator. The lower deck is either a turn to the immediate right or left.
The food is typical of that found in arenas across the country, but what sets the Energy Dome apart from other arenas is the speed of service. Lines move quickly. Even at halftime, fans will rarely spend more than ten minutes waiting for their burgers and fries. The stadium offers several restaurant-style concession areas that off a slightly better version of stadium fare. The arena also has 3 fine dining establishments where fans can sample food prepared by local professional chefs.
The seating bowl itself is divided into three sections: the lower deck, the upper deck, and the club level sandwiched between the two. Seats are spacious and easy to find. An LED board encircles the arena, and a 4-sided video scoreboard hangs from the center of the arena. Oklahoma City fans love their basketball and never stop cheering for their team, even when the Thunder is trailing. The Chesapeake Energy Arena can get quite loud. This is partly due to the flat construction of the arena roof that serves to reflect sound back down on the court rather than absorb it like a dome.
Oklahoma City is famous for its beef, and there are some great places to grab a steak before or after the game. The Signature Grill and Red Primesteak are two of the nation’s best steakhouses. The Library of Food & Spirits is a great little place downtown to grab a quick bite before the game and has a great selection of sandwiches and pizza. The Brix Sports Lounge is a casual eatery in nearby Bricktown. Sports fans will enjoy the 30+ flat screen TVs spread around the restaurant.
If you want to continue the party after the game, nearby Bricktown is the place to be. Pubs, clubs, and restaurants are everywhere in this historic district. There is something for everyone. America’s Pub, Biting Sow Blues, and Coyote Ugly are just a few popular nightspots.
Fans that arrive early or want to stay the entire weekend in Oklahoma City will want to get out and see what the city has to offer. Oklahoma City has several attractions that the sports fan on a road trip will want to check out.
Home to Oklahoma City’s AAA Minor League Baseball team, the Brick is a great ballpark. If you are traveling during the Spring or Summer, the Brick offers a great way to spend an afternoon in the sun watching the action of the diamond.
Bricktown has been mentioned, but it is worthy of multiple mentions within this review. This quaint little district is the hub of Oklahoma City and is a great place to walk around during the day. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops from which to choose. The best way to get around has to be taking a water taxi down the river that runs through Bricktown. There’s just something cool about pulling up at the dock rather than the front door.
OKC National Memorial
This is not a sports specific attraction, but it is one fans must visit if they are in Oklahoma City. In New York, tourists have to see Ground Zero. In D.C., a trip to the Vietnam Memorial is required. A visit to the memorial commemorating the lives lost in the Oklahoma City bombing should be on everyone’s list.
Oklahoma City is more than just another cow town. It is a vibrant, thriving metropolis. The OKC Thunder may be one of the NBA’s youngest teams, but don’t tell their fans that. They love their team and do not mind showing it. A trip to the Chesapeake Energy Arena is worth it just to interact with these great fans.