THUNDER: Countdown to tip-off

Tuesday, October 28th 2008, 5:35 pm
By: News 9

By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma City Thunder will play their season opener Wednesday, and the day is dedicated to the team.

For all the details on opening day, click on's special Thunder page.

Mayor Mick Cornett, declared October 29, 2008 as the Day of Thunder in Oklahoma City.

"We want to acknowledge how important this is in our city's history," Cornett said. "The NBA is here on a permanent basis."

One thousand free parking spaces will be offered to the Thunder fans.

"If you're a family of four and you don't mind walking a few blocks...that's right up your alley," said Jim Cowan of the Bricktown Association.

The dedicated fans have long been awaiting Wednesday's season opener.

"Tomorrow's an opportunity for everyone here to start cheering for your team," Presti said.

General Manager Sam Presti and owner Clay Bennett previewed the season at a luncheon, and were also excited about the beginning of the team's season and legacy in Oklahoma City.

"We want to build a team and a franchise that runs parallel to many and almost all of the characteristics I have personally experienced in Oklahoma City," Presti said.

The characteristics include consistency, persistence, hard work and selflessness and the players have also taken note to Oklahoma's hospitality.

"The players have finally said they're got to find a way to tell neighbors not to bring cookies and brownies to the house anymore," Bennett said.

The team and its owners asked the community to support them on their opening night.

"We're going to need you to be loud, really loud," Presti said.

There will be 200 tickets available for Wednesday's game. Lines can begin forming at 2 p.m. at the box office and tickets will go on sale at 5 p.m.

View free parking locations below.