Oklahoma City officials are hoping voters make a statement to the NBA by passing next week's election on Ford Center improvements by an overwhelming margin.
"We don't want to just eke by,” said OKC Chamber of Commerce President Roy Williams. "We want to show the NBA that Oklahoma City really, really wants this and that the voters in Oklahoma City really support this. And so we want to send a strong message.”
Williams said if a large majority of Oklahoma City citizens approve the $121 million project, the NBA's owners will be more inclined to approve the relocation application of the Seattle SuperSonics than if the initiative barely passes.
"They have to be convinced that Oklahoma City wants this,” Williams said. "And if there's doubt in their minds then they won't approve the relocation of a franchise.”
Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett agreed.
"There's no doubt that getting 55 percent of the vote is better than getting 51 percent,” Cornett said. "That's part of the business model they're looking at. They're really trying to determine if this market is excited about having a team. And that's tough to gauge. But this is a pretty obvious opportunity for them to develop an opinion on that.”