How OKC Became A 'Big League City' - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

How OKC Became A 'Big League City'

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"The arrival of major league sports in Oklahoma City was the most significant positive development in the City's history since the Land Run of 1889." "The arrival of major league sports in Oklahoma City was the most significant positive development in the City's history since the Land Run of 1889."
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Some have made the argument that Wednesday night is the biggest night in Oklahoma sports history. But getting to this moment wasn't easy.

David Holt was Mayor Mick Cornett's chief of staff as the mayor was maneuvering to get the team here. Holt, wrote the book "Big League City".

"If we win tonight and go to the NBA finals, it will represent the culmination of what has been a quarter of a century renaissance." Holt said Wednesday morning.

It may be difficult to put that much emphasis on a basketball game.  But David Holt writes in his book:  "The arrival of major league sports in Oklahoma City was the most significant positive development in the City's history since the Land Run of 1889."

And the way Holt tells it, bringing the team here would take that same spirit.

"There are 50 different ways this could have gone wrong. There are 50 people who had to play the perfect role," he recalls.

The stage was set in 1993 when voters approved the first MAPS project.  Twelve years later Cornett would begin courting the NBA.

"The last thing that David Stern said to him: ‘I see an NHL team in your future.'  Which was his way of saying all the best, but don't come back," said Holt.

But that same year, Hurricane Katrina would force the Hornets out of New Orleans and into the arms of Oklahoma City. Into the arms of a community that Holt says knew their own tragedy in the Murrah Federal building bombing, were unified from it, and today deserve the biggest credit in this story.

"I think for a lot of people, when they reach the NBA finals, they will have that on their mind. Out of our darkest hour came this incredible renaissance and this amazing moment we are about to experience," Holt said.

If the Thunder is in the NBA finals, Holt says it will put Oklahoma City on the international radar to a degree it has never been before.

For more information about Holt's book including where you can buy it go to: http://www.bigleaguecitybook.com.

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