OKC Prepares For International Spotlight Ahead Of NBA Finals - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

OKC Prepares For International Spotlight Ahead Of NBA Finals

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Downtown is about to look better than it ever has before. Downtown is about to look better than it ever has before.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Oklahoma City is preparing to roll out the red carpet as it enters an international spotlight for the NBA Finals. Some big changes are coming to downtown ahead of Tuesday's game one.

Downtown is about to look better than it ever has before. In five days, residents can expect to see more landscaping, additional lighting, cleaned up construction zones and lots of Thunder blue.

6/7/2012 Related Story: NBA Finals In OKC Lead To Road Closures Downtown

From the Western Conference win to the early morning excitement and sheer anticipation, just about everyone in Oklahoma City is full of joy. After all, the city has never had this kind of attention.

"[The Thunder] just brought so much excitement," Thunder fan Linda Shoals said. "We've enjoyed the whole year."

6/6/2012 Related Story: Thunder Rally To Down Spurs, Take Western Conference Title

Come Tuesday, more than 140 officers will be downtown in undercover capacities, on horseback and stationed in skywatch towers.

To accommodate media from around the world, Oklahoma City has closed Robinson on the west side of Chesapeake Energy Arena through June 27.

6/6/2012 Related Story: Fans Crowd OKC Stores For Thunder Championship Shirts

The closure affects Robinson from Reno to Southwest 3rd Street, and Southwest 2nd Street from Robinson to Harvey.

"I leave at 6 p.m. normally … on nights when we have 7:30 games … it's pretty nuts," downtown worker Heather Stovall said.

Other changes include the construction mess. It will be cleaned up as much as possible. If the rain holds off, expect to see some streets in the construction zones paved.

"It's important to show our team spirit throughout downtown, and I think everyone is willing to come together to do that," Oklahoma City spokesperson Kristy Yager said.

6/7/2012 Related Story: Oklahoma City Prepares For Place On World Stage

The city and chamber of commerce are working with Downtown OKC Inc. to add the extra lighting and landscaping.

"The stage kind of doubles with the NBA Finals compared to the Western Conference playoffs," Cynthia Reid with the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce said. "It doesn't get much better than this."

The city is also cracking down on people selling fake NBA merchandise without permits. Fans will no longer see the tents selling the fake Thunder gear near Thunder Alley.

Buildings across the city's skyline are planning to light up with Thunder pride. However, our tallest building, Devon Tower, will stay dark due to the ongoing construction.

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