At the star of the 2011 season, fans were welcomed by a remodeled concourse, new food and drink options, and several new high tech video boards. In the lower bowl, fans also now have retractable seating and winder, more comfpotable leather seats. A new grand entrance at the SW corner is also underway.
Among the new food and drink options found inside are Taco Mayo (sec 120), The Burger Zone (Sec 117) and Backyard BBQ (Sec 114) which serves up some great St Louis-style pork ribs and smoked turkey sandwiches. Blue Harbor is a new concession stand on the upper concourse and serves up several seafood options like crab cake sandwiches and shrimp po'boys. On the lower level, the remodeled Old No. 7 Club recently opened near Sections 114-115 and offers and full bar and appetizers.
For healthier items, stop by Red River Bistro (Sec 110) where you can find garden salads, veggie wraps, and fresh fruit and vegetable sticks.
For an upscale sit down meal inside the arena, check out Center Court Carvery, available to all ticketholders and open one and half hours prior to tip off.
Be sure to check out our stadium map for exact locations of these and other concessions.
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The Arena and Neighborhood:
Chesapeake Energy Arena (previously Oklahoma City Arena and Ford Center) actually hosted NBA games prior to the 2008-2009 season when the Seattle Supersonics relocated and became the Thunder. It served as the temporary home to the New Orleans Hornets after Hurricane Katrina. It also housed CHL's Blazers as well as the city's arena football team. Open since 2002, the arena underwent some renovations starting in 2008. With the arrival of the Thunder and the implementation of the city's Capital Improvement Program, known as Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS), Oklahoma City went from being second-class city to having a permanent NBA franchise and a burgeoning downtown.
The arena is located just off I-40 in downtown Oklahoma City - jsut west of a neighborhood known as Bricktown. It sits across the street from Cox Convention Center and is also just down the street from the Redhawks' (AAA Affiliate of the Houston Astros) Bricktown Ballpark. Before the fairly recent renaissance of the area, it was a rather run-down warehouse district. Today, the area surrounding the arena is bustling with restaurants, clubs, music venues, shops, and offices. Be sure to check out our "Before & After the Game" map for some pre or post game suggestions.
In addition, The Bricktown Canal is nearby, where you can take a round trip water taxi trip - you'll find the dock located below Mickey Mantle Blvd across from the 3rd base entrance of AT&T Bricktown Ballpark.
Some directions have recently changed with the opening of the new I-40 Crosstown. From I 40 W or 1-35 you can exit to I-235 N and then exit Sheridan.
Limited parking is available in the lots on the south side of the arena, but more than 900 parking spaces are available at the neighboring Cox Convention Center in the underground parking garage, which is usually around $6.
For events, parking at Broadway/Kerr and at 2 Santa Fe Plaza usually costs just $5. (Costs are sometimes less for games whose attendance is under 10,000.)
For exact locations of these and other available lots, check out our "Before & After the Game" map or you can also visithttp://www.parkingokc.com/
Oklahoma Spirit Trolleys stop at Chesapeake Energy Arena every 10 to 15 minutes, including evenings and weekends, and offer transportation to off-site parking and numerous other destinations. The 15, 20, and 84 bus lines run right by the arena as well, and is usally $1.50 each way. For more info on the city's public transportation visit http://www.gometro.org
Also, be sure to read our Fanzooloo Faves in our "During the Game" section for some tips on what's going on inside the arena.
Heat-Spurs NBA Finals Game 6: 5 big questions (Ball Don't Lie)
The San Antonio Spurs are 48 minutes away from the fifth NBA championship of the Gregg Popovich-Tim Duncan era. The Miami Heat are 48 minutes away from either hosting a Game 7 for back-to-back titles on their home court or facing an offseason of blistering criticism for what will be perceived as its Big Three once again shrinking on the grandest possible stage. The stakes of an NBA game don't get much higher than this.
Tuesday's Game 6 is going to answer a lot of questions — here are five that've been rattling around my head for the past two days. Feel free to weigh in on them or share your own big questions in the comments below.
1. Will LeBron James silence his critics?
That'll never happen. Never. Ever. Not in a million years. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever. And definitely not after they caught wind of those sneakers .
Even if James shows out and the Heat come back from a 3-2 deficit to win this title, and another, and another, and another, it still won't be enough. It'll never be enough until he has more rings than Jordan — just ask Kobe — and even if he someday gets there, it'll never be enough because he didn't do it the same way, with all that passing and deferring. And while I enjoyed reading Will Leitch's suggestion that a loss could prove liberating for LeBron, that's a pipe dream, a fantasy, an impossibility. As neat a thought experiment as it is, another Finals loss will not spare James from the Jordan comparisons and let us just appreciate him for him; it will just put more oxygen in the lungs of those determined to shout about how invincible James isn't. The outcome of Game 6 can't silence anything. It can only turn up the volume.
Still, it'd be cool for Heat fans if LeBron played real well.
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