The city manager's office has said each home game has an estimated $1.28 million direct economic impact on the city. If all 41 home games were wiped out, that would total more than $51.5 million just for the regular season.
The city also would be hurt by losing the Thunder's enormous promotional value. The team's playoff run sparked interest in the city, nationally and internationally. Aerial shots of the new Devon tower and the arena on network telecasts projected an image of a prosperous city. Kevin Durant, among the NBA's most popular stars, has become an ambassador for the city after signing a long-term contract with the Thunder.
But that's beside the point. Lost games would mean fans will lose one of their favorite pastimes: following the Thunder. One can hardly wait to see Durant swish a 3-point shot or Russell Westbrook spin through the lane for a layup. Here's hoping it gets settled soon. We're ready to “Thunder Up!” for another NBA season.