Final renovations on the Ford Center will begin this fall and be completed in the summer of 2011.
City officials have earmarked nearly $40 million for the final phase — a grand entryway on the southwest corner near Robinson.
"This fall they're going to go in and start the exterior expansion while the NBA season is going on," said Tom Anderson, Oklahoma City executive manager of special projects. "Then after the season they'll close down the building next summer and do interior renovations."
Bids for the final phase will be taken this summer and excavation will begin this fall. As the 2010-11 NBA season plays out, drivers on I-40 will notice changes as they pass the Ford Center.
"It will be an iconic entrance to the arena," Anderson said. "It will have a major glass element but it won't look like an add-on. It will complement the existing building with some brick components."
Thunder team spokesman Dan Mahoney said: "Thanks to the support of Oklahoma City taxpayers, the future of the arena is bright... When renovations are complete Oklahoma City will feature one of the top facilities in the league which will allow us to continue to provide our fans an exciting NBA experience."