View Full Version : Major League! whoo hoo!

09-20-2005, 05:04 PM
From Channel 5: :woowoo:

It might only be for one season, but Oklahoma City is finally a major-league sports city. As long as the city council approves the contract, a news conference will happen at noon to announce the arrival of the New Orleans Hornets.


09-20-2005, 05:19 PM
Is anyone planning on going to the councils meeting tomorrow morning?

09-20-2005, 05:44 PM
Here is a video clip describing what the Hornets had to have in order to come to Ford - I didn't know the locker rooms had x-ray machines! wow

And, I don't even know why I'm so excited - I've never even been to a pro basketball game! But I think this will be a great chance for OKC so I'm thrilled we can step up to the plate, help out the team and hopefully, shine!

You have to click on the specific video on the right

09-20-2005, 10:15 PM
guess what...this became final today...and today is my birthday...good luck hornets on your upcoming season in OKLAHOMA CITY!!!!

09-20-2005, 10:18 PM
This is great news. I'll be at the first game.

09-21-2005, 12:04 AM
K, when is the first game? My wife and I move to Texas on December 28. I hope to be able to go see a game.

09-21-2005, 12:25 AM
The first game is November 1.

09-21-2005, 06:24 AM
Today is when we should find out ALL the information.

I checked last season's ticket prices for the New Orleans Hornets and individual tickets ranged in price from $9 (yes, $9) to $216 depending on where you sit in the arena. I assume the tickets will be priced in much the same way except the high ticket may be a little less.

09-21-2005, 06:42 AM
More coverage:

09-21-2005, 06:53 AM
The media is reporting the team will be known as the New Orleans-Oklahoma City Hornets.

The team is under contract to return to New Orleans within two years, which is something I did not know. However, it is always possible that if the team kills and we have a huge attendance, Oklahoma City could negotiate to buy the contract from New Orleans.

In any event, this is the biggest day in Oklahoma sports history. Should we be successful, I bet we get the next available team. Be it the Hornets or be it expansion. The league may even plan a special expansion just for us. After all, they did it for Charlotte, why not Oklahoma City. It would give the league balance in the number of teams.

09-21-2005, 07:04 AM
The team is under contract to return to New Orleans within two years, which is something I did not know.
From another thread...

The city of Oklahoma City is paying the relocation expenses and some related items for the relocation of the Hornets. As a business savy person, I do not see why they would go to that expense if something was not brewing long term. It makes no sense to me why they would spend all that money for a team that only had short term plans.

The city of Oklahoma City is not a small business. They would be similar to a large business. The Mayor and City Council as the board of directors, the citizens as the stockholders and the employees... Well, all 4,000 plus are just that. Staff. A large business does not spend money for nothing. Granted. There will be immediate gain, however, I know enough about large business (I was raised around it and politics) to know something HAS to be brewing. No one will convince me otherwise.
Are you convinced yet?

09-21-2005, 07:06 AM
From another thread...

Are you convinced yet?

Nope. As I said. The city could buy the contract from New Orleans. I will not be convinced until (if at all) we hear the team is going back to New Orleans.

I guess some people just do not know me. I do not give up easily.

09-21-2005, 07:10 AM
Some people aren't swayed by facts and evidence.

09-21-2005, 10:35 AM
I assume the tickets will be priced in much the same way except the high ticket may be a little less.

I heard on the radio this morning that 7500 tickets will be priced below $20 for each game. That's more sub-$20 tickets than anywhere else in the NBA. I think they said a large chunk of those will be at or below $10.

It sounds like the public and private subsidies kick in if we don't average above 10,000 a game. Seriously, at those prices, it should be a slam dunk (pun entirely intended).

What I found interesting is that the incentives kick in if they do not meet their projected $40 million revenue. However, in another article it was stated that the Hornets have a $50 million dollar pay roll. Maybe that $40 million is structured so that it doesn't include some revenues, but in any event it sounds like the Hornets are planning a loss this year.

Basically, I'm saying that, if there is a projected loss and with cheap tickets, the bar has not been set that high.

09-21-2005, 10:38 AM
Well, given the fact that their city was just decimated by a hurricane, any bar at all is better than none!

They are thinking long term here - generate excitement and support for the team and possibly take a loss this year - as things improve, who knows - this might be the silver lining in the clouds ...

I'm going for sure. And I have never even been to a game!

09-21-2005, 10:44 AM
I think you're right, Karried. Any revenue this year really is a blessing for them, considering the situation. I just meant to point out that, as a test for OKC, we should be able to meet expectations and hopefully exceed them.

09-21-2005, 11:06 AM
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Hornets to call Oklahoma City, Baton Rouge 'home'
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- news services

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma City officials approved a lease Wednesday that will bring the NBA's New Orleans Hornets to the Ford Center to play most of their home schedule.

The Hornets will play 35 of their 41 home games in Oklahoma City, with the other six games to be played at LSU in Baton Rouge, La. The New Orleans Arena, where the Hornets normally play, was damaged by Hurricane Katrina and could take months to repair.

The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported that three of the Baton Rouge games scheduled in March could be moved to the New Orleans Arena if repairs can be made.

Playoffs games are also to be played in Oklahoma City and the Hornets will also have the option to play in Oklahoma City next year if they so choose.

City Council members unanimously approved a lease that would provide financial support for the Hornets should their revenue drop in the temporary venue. If the team does not earn 5 percent more in local revenue than it made in New Orleans last season, Oklahoma City, the state and local businessmen would be required to pay up to $10 million to the Hornets.

If the team exceeds last season's revenues by more than 5 percent, Oklahoma City would receive 80 percent of the proceeds to cover its expenses. If all the city's costs are covered, the team and the city would split the remaining profits in half.

City and state officials also expect to gain sales and income tax revenue from the temporary relocation and a chance to showcase the city to a national and international audience.

"Very few businesses offer that type of exposure," Mayor Mick Cornett said at the council meeting.

In addition to using of the 19,675-seat Ford Center, the city will make provisions for the Hornets to have a practice facility, downtown office space and housing for the upcoming season.

"We have a minimum amount of risk for a really substantial reward," Councilman Patrick Ryan said.

City manager Jim Couch said the city would have about $2 million in expenses to recover, including about $1 million in game-day expenses, $500,000 in relocation costs including housing, $300,000 for office space and $200,000 for improvements to the arena.

The city already has a Triple-A baseball team, the Oklahoma RedHawks, an arena football team and a minor-league hockey team, but it has never had a major league team.

After the New Orleans Arena was damaged by the Aug. 29 hurricane, Mayor Mick Cornett offered the Ford Center as a temporary home for the Hornets. Numerous other cities -- including San Diego, Las Vegas, Nashville, Tenn., and Kansas City, Mo. -- also made offers to host the team for the upcoming season, but Oklahoma City won out. It had what few others could offer -- a top-quality arena with few scheduling conflicts.

Offering the Hornets temporary refuge will have a minimal impact at the Ford Center, home to the Central Hockey League's Oklahoma City Blazers and the arena football 2 Yard Dawgz, who are in their offseason during NBA play. The Blazers will shift about eight games across the street to the Cox Convention Center, formerly known as the Myriad, to accommodate the Hornets.

Logistics aside, the move also makes geographic sense. While Oklahoma City is more than 700 miles away from New Orleans, the Hornets' Southwest Division foes in Dallas, San Antonio and Houston won't have to trek far to play games here.

It will be the first time a regular season NBA game has been played at the Ford Center, which opened in June 2002.

Since it was built as part of an initiative to revitalize downtown, the Ford Center has emerged as a top concert venue and has hosted the McDonald's All-American high school all-star game, an NCAA men's basketball regional and a Billy Graham mission. The NCAA wrestling championships will be held at the arena in March.

Basketball already has a strong following in Oklahoma. Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma ranked in the top 25 in attendance for men's basketball games last season, with each school drawing more than 11,000 fans per game. Enid, in northern Oklahoma, is home to a USBL team, and Tulsa was awarded an NBDL franchise earlier this year.

Oklahoma City will be the Hornets' third home in five seasons. The team moved from Charlotte, N.C., to New Orleans in 2002. The Hornets ranked last in the league in attendance last season with an average of 14,221.

09-21-2005, 11:08 AM
Guys now we just need to get out there and support the Hornets.

And I don't want any more talk that Cornett is a weak mayor! He He!

09-21-2005, 12:03 PM
I really liked this line from that article:

Playoffs games are also to be played in Oklahoma City and the Hornets will also have the option to play in Oklahoma City next year if they so choose.

09-21-2005, 12:27 PM
And I don't want any more talk that Cornett is a weak mayor! He He!

Please accept my apologies !!!!! :)


GO OKC, and the NO/OKC Hornets!!!!

09-21-2005, 12:29 PM
A very professional, solid, and profitable contract/proposal indeed.

OKC surely looked major league, hopefully this will become permanent - if not the relocated Hornets then an expansion.

What a great day and a CLASS ACT "Major League" City you are!!!! Finally, the world knows.

09-21-2005, 12:36 PM
At least it's an opportunity to see if we can support a major league team. If we can support it, awesome. If not, they go back to New Orleans, and end of discussion.

09-21-2005, 02:17 PM
I'm not sure if any else of you made it to the Press Conference. It was very exciting and I wish I could of seen more leaders from our state present. Mayor Norick and Humphreys were in attendance along with David Boren , Fred Jones Hall, and Dave Lopez and myself, hehehe. Thats about all the local leaders I truly saw or spoke with. Anyhow it was a very exciting and defining moment for our city that will be looked back upon years to come from now. I'm not a big sports fan but you can definetely catch me supporting the city and team!!

09-21-2005, 02:22 PM
I'll be there for a couple games!

09-21-2005, 02:30 PM
I am trying to plan two group visits. One at work, one here. Plus I want to take a date or two. So, even if it is solo, I am in for a couple (at least).

09-21-2005, 03:15 PM
Put my season ticket deposit down this morning!

09-21-2005, 03:43 PM
downtownguy was at the conference as well.

09-22-2005, 07:49 PM
Speaking of major league (or "big league"), from

Oklahoma City gets its big-league audition
Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Full of hopes, dreams and potential, Oklahoma City built a 20,000-seat arena without a major-league team to call its own.

It wasn't quite "Field of Dreams." No cornfield was cleared to make way for the Ford Center in June 2002. But there was no sign of the NBA or the NHL, either.

Three years later, the gamble paid off. The city now has its first chance in its 116-year history to host a major sports franchise. The $89 million arena will host 35 home games for the New Orleans Hornets, who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

For Oklahoma City, the NBA's temporary visit provides a long-desired chance to prove it's ready for the big time.

"This is going to be the biggest thing that's come into town for a long time, I promise," Oklahoma City resident Greg Mullin said Thursday after visiting the box office at the Ford Center to inquire about Hornets tickets.

There's no question that Oklahoma supports its college teams. More than 80,000 fans pile into Memorial Stadium to watch the Sooners play football, and Oklahoma State's Gallagher-Iba Arena is so packed when the Cowboys play that the arena shakes from the noise produced by the 13,611 rowdy basketball fans inside.

Oklahoma City has already proven it can handle the minor leagues, too. The Blazers have led the Central Hockey League in attendance each of the last 13 seasons and have been the top drawing minor-league hockey team in North America three of those years. The Oklahoma RedHawks, the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, set an attendance record this season.

And if nothing else, there are plenty of sports fans to go around.

According to this year's Scarborough Adult Study, a higher percentage of adults read the sports section in Oklahoma City (48) than in New Orleans (47), Salt Lake City (45), Sacramento (44), San Antonio (43), Portland (42) or Memphis (41). Oklahoma City also ranks higher than all those NBA markets in the percentage of adults who go online to read about sports, according to the study.

At Wednesday's announcement, NBA lawyer Joel Litvin said Oklahoma City fits a mold that has been successful around the league: a mid-sized city with no other major sports franchises. The league has placed teams in Western cities, including San Antonio, Salt Lake City and Sacramento, and all have thrived.

Even the Hornets' original home suggests Oklahoma City could have success. Charlotte also had a metropolitan population of about 1 million when the Hornets came to town in 1988 and still led the league in attendance the team's first eight seasons. Through continued growth, the city eventually earned an NFL franchise, the Carolina Panthers.

Oklahoma City businessman Clayton Bennett, who leads a group of investors who have agreed to split a $10 million revenue guarantee if the Hornets fall short of their goals, said citizens realize that this is a golden opportunity for the city and take it seriously.

"To be recognized in the same category as these other great American cities that are also major-league instantly identifies our market and gives credibility to our market," said Bennett, chairman of Dorchester Capital.

Image is an important piece of the puzzle for Oklahoma City. A few years back, a research study showed that outsiders view the state as a sparsely populated area where little happens. Before approving the deal with the Hornets, city councilors noted that it will show the world there's more to Oklahoma than "The Grapes of Wrath" and the 1995 bombing that killed 168.

Bennett said he believes the NBA will help change Oklahoma City's image and show the world that the city is a vibrant, growing community and an important marketplace.

"It says, even to those not interested in sports, we are on another platform," Bennett said. "We are on a recognized national platform in terms of the notion that to be selected by the league -- a very sophisticated and smart business operation -- as a market that can support a franchise, it says a lot about who we are."

Should Oklahoma City show that it truly is a big-league city, it's still unclear how it might be rewarded. Litvin said there aren't any NBA teams that are looking to relocate and the league isn't considering expansion.

The Hornets have an option to play a second season in Oklahoma City if it's not possible or not financially viable to go back to New Orleans. But eventually, the plan calls for a return to New Orleans. Oklahoma City is guaranteed only a 35-game audition.

09-22-2005, 08:49 PM
There are a lot of us in Stillwater that are buying tickets.

09-24-2005, 04:48 PM
I'm from Stillwater too... i guess i need to jump on the bandwagon! I would like to see Joey or tony Allen play again, they were fun to watch no matter which side you were rooting for.

09-24-2005, 06:06 PM
I saw that article. It is very positive, and that's some interesting research they've done about the interest in sports here.