“I think it celebrates the success and rising of Oklahoma City,” Anderson said. “The team has brought so much positive attention to Oklahoma City and I don't think there is anything wrong with celebrating that overwhelming success.”
The street name change must first go through the city's Downtown Design Review Committee and Planning Commission before a final vote of approval by the City Council, said J.J. Chambless, Oklahoma City's zoning manager. He said the city would bear the cost for changing street signs on the block-long stretch of road.
Oklahoma City has adopted certain standards for renaming a street. According to the City Council's policy, major traffic arteries may not be renamed and that name change “must reflect some special public interest, place, historic event, or to honor a nationally recognized person or group ...”
The stretch of road that the team wants to rename is mostly fronted by a vacant building and a parking lot. The largest property owners abutting the stretch of road are Oklahoma City, the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority and Oklahoma Transportation. All of the property owners have already signed off on the proposed name change.
The street has carried the name Robinson since at least 1894, according to a historical map included with the Thunder's application.
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Thunder Drive has a good ring to it — and obviously drive has a basketball connotation, too. We went through several different ideas and it kind of stuck.”