Oklahoma City Thunder fans search for that perfect spot

MIKE BALDWIN Published: June 13, 2009
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photo - Judie, left, and Thomas Hanes drove from Altus to upgrade their Thunder season tickets Friday. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
Judie, left, and Thomas Hanes drove from Altus to upgrade their Thunder season tickets Friday. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
Thomas and Judie Hanes of Altus experienced the good and bad of the Thunder’s random computer lottery system that determined who was at the front of the line for season tickets during the team’s inaugural season in Oklahoma City.

The Hanes felt fortunate to get season tickets last September. But by the time their number came up late in the week, all that was left were tickets in the upper deck, i.e. Loud City.

During a process that ended Friday at the Coca Cola Events Center, the Hanes represented many fans who upgraded their seats for the upcoming season.

"I got the bug,” Thomas said. "It feels great to be able to move closer to the floor. This is my release valve. It’s a two-and-a-half hour drive, but we’ll come to a lot more games this season.”

During the week-long season-ticket renewal process, team officials displayed video presentations and models of the new scoreboard and other renovations being made at the Ford Center.

"This was the reset year for all our season-ticket holders to recalibrate their account that best meets their expectations,” said senior vice president Brian Byrnes. "Some moved over a couple of seats or a row or two. Some changed sections. Some just wanted to sit closer to fans they know.”

Paul Whitmire, a missionary who works with inner city families near downtown Oklahoma City, was among fans whose club seats were eliminated for new terrace, i.e. loge, seating. He and his friend, Bobby Wester, purchased six season tickets in section 202.



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