- Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Address: 100 West Reno, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73102
- Capacity: 21,000
- Parking: Parking is available for purchase
- Year Opened: 2002
- Rules: Re-entry is strictly prohibited. Outside food, drinks, cans, signs, large bags, and noisemakers are also not allowed.
- Previous Names: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Ford Center, Oklahoma City Arena
- Occupants: Oklahoma City Thunder
The Paycom Center began its life as the Ford Center and was originally built to attract an NBA or NHL team to the sports-crazed city. After the devastation following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, the New Orleans Hornets played an entire season in Oklahoma City. After seeing the overwhelming response from fans, the Seattle Supersonics were convinced that it was the right choice and moved to OKC in 2008 and became the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Paycom Center can hold close to 20,000 people and is located on the south side of downtown Oklahoma City. The arena is adjacent to many restaurants, shops, and hotels, and it is also very close to "Bricktown, " a growing segment of Oklahoma City that has seen a revitalization of old warehouses into nightclubs, retail stores, and patio cafes. There is even a small canal that runs through this neighborhood with water taxis and paddle boats that offer rides to visitors!
The Oklahoma City Thunder were greeted with great fanfare when they arrived in 2008, and they came with one of the NBA's bright young stars, Kevin Durant. After a lackluster first season, the team began to play its own brand of team basketball and made the playoffs with a 50-32 record. The Thunder would become the big story of the 2009-10 NBA season when they put a huge scare in the powerhouse Los Angeles Lakers. The Thunder would win their first-ever playoff game at the venue but were knocked off after a hard-fought six games. The Thunder are one of the most dangerous teams in the Western Conference, with a roster packed with young talent that is expected to make noise in the NBA playoffs for the foreseeable future.
The Paycom Center has garnered a reputation for versatility, and it has hosted large events such as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Cirque du Soleil, Monster Jam, Sesame Street Live and the Harlem Globetrotters. The venue has also made a name for itself by attracting top tier musical performances, such as Miranda Lambert's Roadside Bars and Pink Guitars Tour, The Flaming Lips' Embryonic Tour, Elton John and Billy Joel's Face to Face Tour and Bon Jovi's Lost Highway Tour.
The rise of the Thunder and the Paycom Center are just two major developments that signal Oklahoma City's rise as one of the next big cities in America.