Company looking for naming rights to downtown arena

Monday, February 11th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The company hired to operate the new downtown arena is looking for someone to name it.

The business that gets the privilege will have to hand over a big chunk of cash, officials said.

SMG, the company operating the arena, is hoping to announce a naming rights deal before the building opens this spring.

SMG, which also runs the Myriad Convention Center, announced a deal last week that renamed that building the Cox Business Services Convention Center. Cox is paying $1.7 million in cash, advertising and Internet improvements to get its name on the convention center, said SMG general manager Gary Desjardins.

The company that names the new arena likely will pay more in cash than the $270,000 Cox paid for the convention center, he said.

Construction of the $88.3 million arena remains on schedule, with substantial completion by the contractor, Flintco, scheduled for late April.

The arena is the most expensive of the city's Metropolitan Area Projects, or MAPS. The price includes $67.1 million for construction, $8.5 million for furniture, fixtures and equipment, $2.15 million for the plaza, $600,000 for locker rooms and $400,000 for parking.