Oak View Group Begins Renovations to Transform Baltimore Arena

April 4, 2022

Baltimore Arena interior rendering

Baltimore, MD (April 4, 2022) – Oak View Group (OVG), the global venue development, advisory, and investment company for the sports and live entertainment industries, today announced it has officially started renovations to transform the 60-year-old city-owned Baltimore Arena. In partnership with The Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC) and Thirty Five Ventures, co-founded by Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman, once fully renovated, the state-of-the-art, modern arena will serve as a key anchor on downtown’s west side and help drive further investment and development in the area. As part of the planned renovations, OVG and Thirty Five Ventures will fully fund the cost of the Arena’s total reconstruction, which is estimated to cost at least $150 million.

Steve Collins, president, global venue development & special projects, Oak View Group, said, “We remain committed to working with strong minority and women-owned businesses to transform Baltimore’s iconic arena into one of the most premier world-class venues in the country. Not only will the arena attract larger national events and live entertainment, but it will radically change the energy and fabric of downtown Baltimore and boost the local economy in a major way.”

Added Durant, "As a Maryland native and now as an athlete and sports executive, the Baltimore Arena is an incredible project to be involved in. We're looking forward to this space becoming a premier, state-of-the-art venue that supports local business and the larger community."

Renovations to the arena include adding seats and suites, refurbishing concourses, upgrading concessions areas, and changing the building’s appearance. Additional upgrades to the facility will include focuses on sustainability such as using locally sourced materials, LED lighting, low flow and waterless fixtures, and more; world-class acoustics to amplify the audio experience; next-generation touchless and self-serve technologies for food & beverage and merchandise purchases to minimize transaction times; renovations to the venue’s back of house; structural, mechanical, electrical, lighting and fire protection upgrades; as well as construction encompassing, plumbing, electrical, fire protection, lighting; and updates to the Arena’s telecommunications infrastructure, wireless network, and video/network/security systems.

“We are excited to see this transformational project underway and commend the project team on their commitment to include minority and women-owned businesses,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “A new arena will reenergize our downtown sector, help attract even more events and visitors, and contribute to the city’s overall economy.”

“We are thrilled to partner with such an experienced team to transform the Baltimore Arena into a modern, world-class venue,” said Colin Tarbert, president and CEO of the Baltimore Development Corporation. “A new arena will help further revitalize the Bromo Arts & Entertainment District and attract additional investment to downtown.”

Clark Construction Group, one of the country’s most experienced sports and entertainment builders, is overseeing the renovation project. A local firm with a national presence, the company has provided construction services for the majority of the major sports team facilities within the Baltimore/Washington DC region including Oriole Park at Camden Yards, M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore Ravens), Capital One Arena (Washington Capitals and Wizards), Washington Nationals Park, and FedEx Field (Washington Commanders).

“For the over 45 years we've worked in Baltimore, we've been honored to have worked on over 70 projects that strengthen the City's infrastructure,” said Ryan McKenzie, Clark’s senior vice president in charge of the company’s Baltimore operations. “Clark is delighted to partner with OVG, BDC, and Thirty Five Ventures to bring to life their vision to transform this Arena into a world-class entertainment venue for the Baltimore community.”

The project will enable Baltimore to contend for more events, driving significant economic growth for the city. The project’s delivery will also serve as a boom to the local economy and is anticipated to create over 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. SCI architects is the lead designer on the project.

Located at 201 W. Baltimore Street, the Arena will host dozens of concerts; family shows; community, corporate, and private events; and sporting events such as UFC, tennis, boxing, NBA exhibition games, NCAA events, tournaments, and more. Once fully renovated, the Arena will accommodate 15,000 guests. Baltimore Arena is scheduled to open in 2023 in advance of the CIAA basketball tournament scheduled for February 20, 2023.