Ford Center’s Modified Upgrades

The plan to upgrade the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, Okla., home to the NBA’s Oklahoma Thunder, was revised May 25 by the oversight panel in charge of keeping the project within its budget but the cuts reportedly won’t affect the final result.

The city board shaved $9 million off the original $121 million price tag to upgrade the 19,711-capacity arena and build a practice facility for the Thunder after a voter-approved, one-cent sales tax launched in 2009 and ended March 31 didn’t raise as much as expected.

The estimated budget for the center upgrades is now at $91.7 million, down from around $100 million. The practice facility is down to a $14.4 million estimate instead of $20 million.

The practice facility is scheduled for completion by mid-September.

The arena renovation will continue this summer and construction on the final phase, which includes a grand entrance, will begin next year. That work is expected to be completed before the Thunder’s 2011-2012 season.