Gauging Thunder's Financial Fitness

Tuesday, March 17th 2009, 6:12 pm
By: News 9

By Alex Cameron, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Thunder's win against the Spurs may have been the game of the year.

Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City came back from behind, holding on to their lead to defeat San Antonio before a sold-out crowd at the Ford Center.

From a performance standpoint, the team is clearly on the rise and although Thunder officials won't give specific numbers, the franchise continues to maintain financial fitness.

Monday's game was the Thunder's eleventh full house this season.

"Our fans have been tremendous," said Dan Mahoney. "There's not anything more we could ask of them. They're loud, they're supportive, they've been patient."

Averaging 18,615 attendees per game, Oklahoma City ranks twelfth in terms of pure attendance, tenth, in terms of percentage of arena capacity.

Thunder players are doing their part to support the local community, and said they genuinely appreciate the support the local community is giving them.

The Thunder Visits Integris
"The fans are really great to us," Center Nenad Krstic said. "You know, full arena, it's really great to play here."

Team officials hope it bodes well as they begin asking season ticket-holders to renew for next season.

"League-wide, anywhere from 70 to 80 percent is pretty normal," Mahoney said. "We just don't know where we'll be, but we think we've given fans a product they can root for, they can be proud of, and we hope they'll come back."

Economist Steve Agee said the bad news for the Thunder is that Oklahoma City is beginning to see signs of the recession, but the good news, he believes, is that the duration of the recession here should be shorter.

"I imagine ticket sales will still go well," Agee said. "As long as they have games that were as exciting as last night's game, then I think they'll do well."

Without being able to see their books, Agee said it's impossible to know how well the Thunder is doing this year, but he said being the only major league team in town, with a schedule that compliments football, and with the support the team's getting from the city and business community, there's little doubt the franchise is now well in the black.