The NBA season doesn’t start for six weeks but Ford Center in Oklahoma City is already hopping.
If Ford Center is this busy now, just imagine what it might be like when the NBA season actually starts.
The Oklahoma City Council approved a series of moves designed to get things moving at the NBA’s newest home. The city will pay $1 million to temporarily relocate the Interstate 40 and Robinson Avenue ramp during construction at the arena. The work is scheduled to start in October and should be completed by March.
The council also approved a $3.7 million contract for the first phase of improvements at the arena and set a final vote on whether to charge a use tax to go with the voter-approved sales tax that will pay for renovations. Wynn Construction, a local company, won the contract to upgrade all rest rooms in the building and add an Irish-style pub on the arena’s lower level. That is expected to be complete by the end of January.
Other work is scheduled at Ford after the season and is expected to go into 2010. The construction is expected to onyl be a minor inconvenience while games are being played.
The main beneficiary of this work — the Oklahoma City Thunder — announced it had sold out all its season tickets for the 2008-09 season. It took just five days to sell 13,000 tickets. The team said it held out roughly 4,000 tickets for single game sales.
The Thunder, which relocated from Seattle, open their regular season at home against Milwaukee October 29. The first preseason home game is October 14. The Central Hockey League Blazers play their first game at Ford October 17. The af2 Yard Dawgz, which plays in the spring and summer, also calls Ford home.