“Even if it’s a weeknight — the playoffs are the playoffs,” he said.
Spreading the wealth
Beyond hotels and restaurants, local retailers and food wholesalers also get a boost from playoff games.
Oklahoma City food distributor Urban Agrarian provides locally grown produce, free-range chicken, grass-fed beef and other food to the team’s private chef to feed the Thunder players before and after home games. The business also supplies food for the team at its practice facility. Urban Agrarian began supplying locally grown produce and other Oklahoma products to Center Court Grill at Chesapeake Energy Arena last fall, which has provided a big boost in profits to the food distributor, said Shiloh Kile, sales manager for Urban Agrarian.
While she always has been a Thunder fan, Kile said she now has even more reason to cheer for the team.
“It’s pretty awesome now — the further they go, the more profitable it is for us,” Kile said, “With a few more home games this season and now the playoffs, our sales have almost doubled.”
More playoffs games mean more T-shirt sales for Plaza District retailer Tree and Leaf Clothing. Each year, Tree and Leaf partners with a local sports blog to design a limited-edition Thunder T-shirt for the NBA Playoffs for sale at its shop at 1705B NW 16.
The first few years the Thunder went into the playoffs, Tree and Leaf’s playoffs shirts sold well because of the novelty of Oklahoma City having its own NBA team, Tree and Leaf co-owner Dusty Gilpin said.
This season, Tree and Leaf expects every playoff game to help T-shirt sales a little more.
“Now our fans are a little more used to it, and the further the team goes in the playoffs, the more we sell,” Gilpin said.
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From top: Thunder flags hang from a building in Automobile Alley.