New Bill Would Pay Major League Teams, Like OKC Thunder, To Be In Oklahoma

Lawmakers say the Thunder has been such a great economic driver for both the city and the state, and they want to incentivize staying in Oklahoma.

Wednesday, May 8th 2024, 4:48 pm



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Oklahoma lawmakers are working to keep the Thunder in Oklahoma City.

Lawmakers say the Thunder has been such a great economic driver for both the city and the state, and they want to incentivize staying in Oklahoma.

The legislation, written by leadership in both the House and Senate, is being called the Major Sports Leagues Rebate Program Act. It would allow Oklahoma teams in one of the major five sports leagues that have at least $10 million on their payroll to receive payments from the state. 

Using the visions of the Oklahoma Quality Jobs Program Act, those payments would be capped at $10 million. Right now, this only applies to the Thunder, but lawmakers are hoping this could bring in additional teams from one of the other four major sports leagues. 

There is no end date on this legislation, so as long as the thunder stays here in Oklahoma, they continue getting that paycheck from the state. 

The bill passed out of the House Tuesday with the vote of 54 to 27. It's now headed to the governor's desk.

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