The Thunder celebrates 10 years of NBA in OKC

Published Tuesday, October 16, 2018
by Kaylee Terracina

October 2018 marks 10 years since the Oklahoma City Thunder played its first game in Oklahoma City, the beginning of Oklahoma City’s status as a big-league city. But bringing the NBA to Oklahoma City is a story that started much earlier than the Thunder’s first game.

Oklahoma City’s serious aspirations to attract a major sporting franchise began in earnest with the passage of the Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS) in 1993. One of the MAPS program’s capstone projects was the construction of an arena built to meet NBA and NHL specifications. Construction on that arena began in 1999, and the facility opened on June 8, 2002. In 2005, Oklahoma City had an opportunity to host a professional sports team when the New Orleans Hornets temporarily relocated to Oklahoma City following Hurricane Katrina. From 2005-2007, the Hornets played two seasons in Oklahoma City, enjoying its sell-out crowds and supportive fan base. The excitement in Oklahoma City provided overwhelming evidence to the NBA that a team could be successful here.

Fans were just as eager to see Oklahoma City have a team of their own. In March 2008, Oklahoma City residents approved a penny sales tax to further propel Oklahoma City to the big leagues. The temporary sales tax raised $121 million to pay for needed improvements to the arena and to construct a practice facility.

Read the full article on VeloCity.

Visit our affiliate sites

Shop Oklahoma City Will Rogers World Airport is soaring to new heights every day! For the second year in a row, OKC's Will Rogers World Airport hosted a record breaking number of passengers. ✈️
Shop Oklahoma City Higher broadband internet speeds (up to a gigabit!) are coming to OKC! Story via #VeloCityOKC
Shop Oklahoma City The craft brew scene in OKC is going under an amazing transformation right now, and breweries like Anthem Brewing Company, LLC are leading the way. Oh, the benefits of living in a craft beer town 🍻 Article via #VeloCityOKC
@okcretail ICYMI unemployment in OKC in October remained at 2.8%. This isn't just the lowest unemployment rate in Oklahoma (but unemployment is down statewide in all 77 counties!), but the lowest it's been since 2001.
@okcretail Already the OKC Streetcars are delivering heaps of success across the city. There's more money flowing in, a more navigable downtown area and a better sense of community, to name only a few of the immediate benefits.
@okcretail A big part of keeping a park beautiful is keeping its trees healthy--that's why OKC is investing $600,000 in keeping its trees healthy and beautiful.
Welcome to OKC | Property Search | Success Stories | Districts - Regional | Districts - Neighborhood | News
maps | about us | contact us | sitemap