We asked readers to tell us what they thought about the changes to Thunder Alley — the pregame festivities will continue, but the watch parties will cease — and Thunder fans were not shy with their opinions.
Here's a look at some of what we heard via email and blog comments:
Rob Allen: “It's just such a shame that 5 percent of the occupants of Thunder Alley are causing the other 95 percent who generally can't afford tickets to miss out on the pageantry of the NBA Playoffs.”
Nikki Gibson: “They propose having Thunder Alley but end it at game time. Really? So fans can come out, then miss at least the first quarter in traffic since the family can't watch from the bars in Bricktown? We live 90 miles away and enjoy half-season tickets but can't always get playoff tickets. Thunder Alley was a way everyone could participate.”
Jim Moore: “My daughters and I had a great time at the watch party on Monday night. The crowd, though large, was not unruly or frightening in the least. We enjoyed the game with many people that we would never have met without a venue of this sort.”
Mike: “I would like to see the watch party continue but limit the attendance to something that is manageable by police and emergency services. Wrist bands could be offered on a first-come, first-served basis for access to a reserved watch party area complete with refreshments and toilet facilities and a fabric roof over the temporary bleachers. This could be an opportunity to improve the event rather than end it — but it does need to be a manageable size.”