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Group co-founded by NBA's Kevin Durant aims to help fully renovate Royal Farms Arena

Posted at 9:21 AM, Jun 23, 2021

BALTIMORE — The Royal Farms Arena may soon be undergoing major renovations.

On Wednesday, the Baltimore Development Corporation and Los Angeles based Oak View Group began negotiations on a lease and management agreement for the city-owned arena.

Under the proposal, Oak View would team with Thirty Five Ventures, founded by NBA star and Maryland Native Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman, who would fully fund the estimated $150 million in renovation costs.

"We're thrilled that the Baltimore Development Corporation has selected our partners at Oak View Group for this groundbreaking renovation," said Durant and Kleiman. "OVG has proven its reputation for innovation in the venue space, and we're looking forward to working with them to bring Baltimore Arena and a myriad sports and entertainment opportunities, to life in Baltimore."

Oak View was one of three bidders interested in the overhaul project.

Both groups said they would maintain 45 percent minority and women-owned business throughout the renovation process and reserve at least 25 percent of project investment for minorities.

The general contractor who will be handling the construction aspect says it will prioritize hiring city residents and providing different apprenticeship type programs.

“Today, I’m pleased to have given BDC the go ahead to enter into final and exclusive negotiations with OVG, which is an important key step toward realizing the long-awaited transformation of the iconic and historic Baltimore Arena into a world-class entertainment venue,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “The project will catalyze the reopening of Baltimore’s tourism and hospitality market and reposition Baltimore as a destination for top-tier national events and live entertainment. I look forward to being briefed on BDC ‘s final negotiations and deal terms.