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Thunder Alley: Could the watch parties be saved?

A look at possible options for the Thunder Alley watch parties along with the pros and the cons.
by Jenni Carlson Published: May 27, 2012
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A look at possible options for the Thunder Alley watch parties along with the pros and the cons:

BUSINESS AS USUAL

Pros: The watch parties in Thunder Alley were fast becoming a grand tradition and part of Thunder lore in Oklahoma City. For a vast majority of the people who watched games there during the first two rounds of the playoffs, they had no problems.

Cons: The crowd size had continued to grow and was only bound to get bigger. The security simply isn't available to handle those ballooning crowds, especially in such a confined space. That is the biggest difference between Thunder Alley and Opening Night on New Year's Eve or the Festival of the Arts; the entire crowd is packed into less than one city block instead of being spread out over a much larger area.

LIMIT THE CROWD

Pros: Setting up a perimeter would allow security personnel to control the number of fans inside Thunder Alley. That would make policing the crowd a more manageable task. It would also allow people to move more freely around Reno Avenue; navigating the crowd was becoming a problem for fans trying to get to the arena.

Cons: Even if a block-long barrier were set up, the giant screen on the northwest side of The Peake is visible far beyond that. Thousands of people would likely spill into Myriad Gardens and other neighboring areas. Since those spaces would be largely unpoliced, security could become a serious issue.

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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