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Oklahoma City Thunder investments pay off big

Oklahoma City Thunder: Best investment ever? Don Mecoy writes about it in his Trade Talk column.
by Don Mecoy Published: June 13, 2012
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I pondered buying Apple at less than $100 a share. I didn't, and that was about $500 ago.

I toyed with buying into Google's IPO, but never pulled the trigger. The stock is up more than $400.

Those are among many reasons why I never offer investment advice, despite regularly writing about finance and markets. But I know a good result when I see it.

Heavens to Presti, Oklahoma City, you've made some fine investments in the Thunder.

Setting the stage was the vision of then-Mayor Jim Norick and others to persuade voters to tax themselves to remake downtown, including building a sports arena with no tenant.

And recall that Chesapeake Energy Arena cost just $89 million, a bargain when compared to other NBA stadiums. Dallas, for instance, paid $420 million for the posh American Airlines Center, and the Heat's home cost $213 million.

Next, city and business leaders acted quickly to seize an opportunity to host the displaced Hornets, which offered a proving ground for our city and demonstrated the surprising local fan fervor.

Clay Bennett and his cohorts then swooped in to buy the Seattle SuperSonics (remember how some said they overpaid?) and bring the franchise to OKC. I'm sympathetic to mourning Sonics fans, but that transaction from beginning to end was one crafty business deal.

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by Don Mecoy
Business Editor
Business Editor Don Mecoy has covered business news for more than a decade after earlier working on The Oklahoman's city, state and metro news desks, including a stint as city editor. He has won state and regional journalism awards for business,...
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