After years of discussion, Royal Farms Arena renovations underway

After years of talking about it, plans are now underway to renovate the Royal Farms Arena. Some big names are partnering with the developer, Oak View Group, to make it happen. And those names include Pharrell Williams and Kevin Durant.”Whether you call it the Civic Center, Baltimore Arena, First Mariner Arena, Royal Farms Arena — this has been a long time coming,” Mayor Brandon Scott said.The 60-year-old city-owned arena has been home to sports and entertainment in Baltimore for decades. It is now being transformed into a new multipurpose, state-of-the-art venue. Once fully renovated, it will serve as an anchor on downtown’s west side.”This will help us attract even more events and business to our great city, helping drive hospitality, revenue and expose more people to all the great restaurants, cultural venues that Baltimore has to offer,” Scott said.Scott said taxpayers will not pay a dime for the renovation. The Oak View Group and its partners will fully fund the cost of the renovation through a combination of private debt and equity, amounting to $200 million. In return, they will lease the building for the next 30 years through an entity called The Baltimore Arena. The use of diverse businesses to complete the project was front and center. “Part of how we traditionally think about that is just meeting a minority percent. We wanted to make sure that we have financing construction and vendors and every aspect of what’s happening with this project that it’s an intentionality around making sure that Black and brown businesses are included in the process,” Downtown Partnership President Shelonda Stokes said.The renovation will create construction jobs over 12 months.

After years of talking about it, plans are now underway to renovate the Royal Farms Arena.

Some big names are partnering with the developer, Oak View Group, to make it happen. And those names include Pharrell Williams and Kevin Durant.

“Whether you call it the Civic Center, Baltimore Arena, First Mariner Arena, Royal Farms Arena — this has been a long time coming,” Mayor Brandon Scott said.

The 60-year-old city-owned arena has been home to sports and entertainment in Baltimore for decades. It is now being transformed into a new multipurpose, state-of-the-art venue. Once fully renovated, it will serve as an anchor on downtown’s west side.

“This will help us attract even more events and business to our great city, helping drive hospitality, revenue and expose more people to all the great restaurants, cultural venues that Baltimore has to offer,” Scott said.

Scott said taxpayers will not pay a dime for the renovation. The Oak View Group and its partners will fully fund the cost of the renovation through a combination of private debt and equity, amounting to $200 million. In return, they will lease the building for the next 30 years through an entity called The Baltimore Arena. The use of diverse businesses to complete the project was front and center.

“Part of how we traditionally think about that is just meeting a minority percent. We wanted to make sure that we have financing construction and vendors and every aspect of what’s happening with this project that it’s an intentionality around making sure that Black and brown businesses are included in the process,” Downtown Partnership President Shelonda Stokes said.

The renovation will create construction jobs over 12 months.

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