|Updated: 10/22/2012 9:25 am
||Published: 10/19/2012 10:00 pm
Friday night, thousands of Oklahoma City fans screamed their lungs out as the Thunder took on the Phoenix Suns during a preseason match-up in Tulsa at the BOK Center.
BOK Center officials thought the match up had the chance to break the venue’s all time attendance record. That prediction has a lot to do with the Thunder having a very successful season in 2012, reaching the NBA Finals. Breaking the mark could signal that Tulsa has an appetite for big league competition.
“I’m excited for this game,” nine-year-old Will Hendricks told FOX23.
It was like a different world downtown Friday.
“(We bought) 41 tickets. We came from two hours away,” Mark Wright said.
It’s different because the Thunder, Oklahoma’s only big league team, was in town.
“It’s real cool that they’re up here in Tulsa. We’re just real pleased with that,” Norma Cannady told FOX23.
Norma loves basketball. She’s a Tulsa Shock season ticketholder.
“It would be great if we had a men’s basketball team up here. Oklahoma City’s supporting one, so I would think we’d be able to support one too,” she said.
Pastor Wright, from small town Quinton, believes in the future Tulsa will have a NHL or NBA team calling it home.
“The BOK Center is one of the most successful venues in the world right now, so yes I think we could probably support a team,” he said.
Even the youngest Thunder fans think a major league team in Tulsa would do a lot for civic pride.
“We need something to represent Tulsa more just a little league; we need something that will show all over the world,” one young fan said.
Tulsans said before the game that this kind of turn out for a preseason game should show we could support a franchise like the Thunder.
“If you asked people several years ago what were Oklahoma City’s chances, they would have said slim to none,” Duane Whitsett said.
While T-town waits for its major league moment, rooting for the Thunder isn’t too hard.
“Ultimately, we’re ok with sharing a team down the turnpike.”
People often ask why the Thunder don’t play more games in Tulsa. The team’s lease with the Chesapeake Energy Arena stipulates that team play all its regular season and playoff games at the facility.