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Oklahoma City Thunder's D-League franchise moving to OKC from Tulsa

The Thunder is in talks with the city to have the 66ers play in the Cox Center next season
by Darnell Mayberry Published: July 18, 2014


photo - Tulsa's Mustafa Shakur (7) takes a shot during the NBA Developmental game between the Tulsa 66ers and the Iowa Energy at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Tulsa's Mustafa Shakur (7) takes a shot during the NBA Developmental game between the Tulsa 66ers and the Iowa Energy at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

The NBA Development League is coming to Oklahoma City.

The Thunder-owned Tulsa 66ers will relocate 100 miles southwest beginning with the 2014-15 season and join their parent club in the state’s capital.

It’s a move necessitated by the 66ers’ home arena, the 4,500-seat SpiritBank Event Center in Bixby, choosing to go in a different direction and cease booking major events. The venue decided it would no longer offer arena space lease the space to anyone, including the 66ers.

“Since we’re in the business of banking rather than event attractions, we’re focusing on (smaller events) as we get closer to finding the right buyer,” Joyce Madewell, a spokeswoman for Spirit Bank, told the Tulsa World in June.

The Thunder is now in negotiations with Oklahoma City officials to lease the Cox Convention Center for the 66ers’ 24-game regular season home schedule. Capacity inside the Cox Center for basketball events is listed as 13,846. The venue also hosts the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons.

No decision has been made whether the team will retain the 66ers nickname or rebrand the franchise.

“Our two seasons in Bixby were successful, and we were pleased to be there, but circumstance beyond our control made it necessary to look for a new home for our Development League team,” said Danny Barth, executive vice president and chief administrative office of the Thunder.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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