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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

2018 All-College Basketball Classic

All College Basketball

Did you know the world’s oldest basketball event takes place right here in Oklahoma City? Well you do now. The first All-College Basketball Tournament was held in 1936 and continues to this day. The current format sees Oklahoma State and Oklahoma rotate years hosting a marquee opponent at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

This year Oklahoma will host the Wichita State Shockers Saturday, Dec. 8 at 11 a.m. You can get tickets here. Some of the greatest players in the history of basketball have participated in the All-College including Pete Maravich, Bob Kurland, Wayman Tisdale and Bill Russell.

live sporting events, basketball, college
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

The return of Loud City

OKC Thunder Fans

When it comes to sports in Oklahoma City, we can be a divided people. Sooners vs. Cowboys in some cases stretches back to birth. However, there is one thing everyone agrees on. The Chesapeake Energy Arena is the place to be in OKC when the Thunder are in the building.

As always, it was not a boring offseason for the home teams as superstar Paul George signed a new deal with the team. The announcement happened at a house party hosted by Russell Westbrook featuring a performance from hip-hop superstar Nas. You know … typical Oklahoma City stuff.

The Thunder tips-off the 2018-19 season with a preseason game at the ‘Peake this week. The real season tips-off October 16 with a short road trip out west, before the home opener against the Kings of Sacramento October 21. See a full schedule here and get your tickets today.

basketball, live sporting events, Thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Marquee games

Chesapeake Energy Arena

New to town? Maybe not real familiar with the NBA? Here are some games we have circled as "can’t miss":

  • Sacramento Kings- Oct. 21; Home openers are always great but this is extra special as the Kings are led by former University of Oklahoma superstar Buddy Hield.
  • Boston Celtics- Oct. 25; The Celtics look like the class of the Eastern Conference and feature former Oklahoma State star Marcus Smart.
  • Houston Rockets- Nov. 8; Harden vs. Russ, the return of Melo. The Rockets vs. Thunder never disappoint.
  • New York Knicks- Nov. 14; Enes Kanter might be the most beloved former Thunder player. Don’t expect many boos when Kanter’s Knicks come to town.
  • Atlanta Hawks- Nov. 30; Former OU star Trae Young makes his first trip to OKC as a pro.
  • Dallas Mavericks- Dec. 31; New Year’s Eve with Russ. What else do you need to know?
  • Los Angeles Lakers- Jan. 17; Lebron James’ first trip to OKC in the purple and gold.
  • Golden State Warriors- March 16; Bring ear plugs.
basketball, live sporting events, Thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Nothing but net

Women\'s Big 12 Championship

The Thunder aren’t the only ones who bring thrilling roundball to Chesapeake Energy Arena. This year you can catch the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship right here in Oklahoma City. This year’s championship will be held March 2 – 5 and tickets are on sale now.

This year marks the third straight year the Big 12 has hosted its championship at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. West Virginia upset top-seeded Baylor to win the title last season. This year Baylor and Texas have two of the top squads in the country, but the home teams of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State aren’t far behind. The championship game will be played Monday, March 5.

live sporting events, basketball, college
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Thunder in the New Year

OKC Thunder Drummers

Why not ring in the New Year with Russell Westbrook and 18,000 of your rowdiest friends as the Thunder take on the Dallas Mavericks on New Year’s Eve? Get your tickets here. Be sure to check out the menus at downtown restaurants as many will feature special New Year’s Eve menus.

What are you doing to usher in 2018? Don’t hesitate to hit us up on Facebook or Twitter with questions or ideas. All our posts are also tagged by topic so you can easily find past blogs for information, everything from attractions to downtown and much more.

basketball, Thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Three things to watch this upcoming season

OKC Thunder Fans

The start to the regular NBA season is nearly upon us, which means Thunder basketball is finally returning! Whether you’re a casual fan or claim to be the biggest, here are three things to look out for this upcoming season.

The first, and probably one of the most obvious, is to get to know the new big three in OKC; Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. It was an eventful offseason as the Thunder added George, a four-time all-star and Olympic gold medalist, and the 10-time all-star Anthony. Oh, and some Westbrook guy signed the biggest contract in NBA history to stay in Oklahoma City for six more seasons. With three superstars on the roster, the revamped Thunder are poised to make a run in the Western conference.

Second, be sure to pay close attention to the crazy clothing styles Westbrook will unleash this year. We know, this doesn’t have much to do with the actual game, but one of the reasons for the NBA’s strong rise in popularity has to do with the character and fun the individual players bring to the league. Besides, some of Westbrook’s pre-game style choices may also have a few subliminal messages that are really fun to tweet about if last season was any indication.

Lastly, be sure to buy a program to get to know the new faces. Besides George and Anthony, the Thunder also signed NBA veterans Raymond Felton and Patrick Patterson, as well as drafted Terrance Ferguson. Felton, a former top five pick, has been in the league for 13 seasons and will take over backup PG duties. Paterson is entering his 10th season in the NBA and is known for his defense and shooting ability. Ferguson was picked in the first round last June and is only 19 years old. Fun fact: Ferguson was born in Tulsa.  

The Thunder regular season begins Oct. 19 with a home game against the New York Knicks. You can check out the complete regular season schedule on the Thunder website.

basketball, live sporting events, Thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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A decade in OKC

OKC Thunder Fans

In case you didn’t already know this, Thunder fans are known for being some of the most passionate in the league, which didn’t just transpire by happenstance. In fact, OKC’s passion for basketball started even before the Thunder came to town with the New Orleans Hornets.

When the Hornets came to play temporarily in Oklahoma City due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina, the city embraced the idea of having an NBA team of their own. Thus, when the opportunity arose for a particular NBA team to relocate, OKC jumped on the opportunity and the Seattle SuperSonics became the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

After the move to OKC, the Thunder drafted key players in Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and James Harden, among others, in fostering their rise to NBA prominence. The Thunder made it to the NBA Finals for the first time in 2012. The Thunder have made the playoffs seven of their nine years in Oklahoma City and have had two players win the MVP award.

basketball, Thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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The G-League is back

With the start of Thunder basketball also comes the start of the regular season for the NBA G League (formerly known as the D League). In fact, one of the coolest things about the Thunder’s G League team, the Oklahoma City Blue, is the way in which they use it.

Brett Dawson from NewsOK highlight’s how the Thunder are adept at treating the OKC Blue as a Triple-A farm team in baseball and to a much greater extent than other NBA teams.

If you can’t make it to a Thunder game, an OKC Blue game is a great way to get in your basketball fix throughout the regular season. The OKC Blue kicks off the regular season with a home game against Rio Grande Valley on Friday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. Check out the full schedule here.

basketball, live sporting events, Thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Youíre fifteen, Chesapeake Energy Arena

Chesapeake Energy Arena

One of our best-known modern philosophers once admonished, “When you’re fifteen, and somebody tells you they love you, you’re gonna believe them.” In the case of the Chesapeake Arena, there’s no reason to doubt OKC’s genuineness. “Loud City,” the current home of the OKC Thunder and one of the centerpieces of the original set of MAPS projects, is also a great place to see a concert. We recommend taking a deep breath as you walk through the doors of the ‘Peake, because you’re sure to see some concerts that will leave you breathless. In fact, one of the senior boys winked at the arena right off the bat, with the legendary Paul McCartney playing one of the first shows back in 2002 and making our head spin around. The Chesapeake is ready to celebrate its 15th in style, with the former Beatle slated to return July 17, joining Kings of Leon, Lady Gaga, Linkin Park, Iron Maiden and more on the arena’s upcoming concert calendar. Check out more info here, and don’t mind us as we dance around the room when the night ends, when the night ends.

basketball, concerts, live music, MAPS
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

NCAA Tournament

NCAA Basketball

While the Thunder have helped put OKC on the international basketball map, the metro has been a hotbed of college basketball for decades. For the fifth time since 2008, Oklahoma City will be hosting an NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Regional from March 24-26. Four teams will compete, and one will advance in their quest to win a national title. Take part in the March Madness so you can witness who emerges victorious.

basketball
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Itís Thunder season

Russell Westbrook shoots against Cavs (cropped)

In Russ we trust! With some new faces like Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, Ersan Ilyasova and Alex Abrines joining our guys Westbrook, Adams, Kanter, Payne, Collison and the rest, OKC’s NBA hoopsters look to defend their Northwest Division title with the same old Thunder toughness and grit in head coach Billy Donovan’s second season. The Thunder tip off their 2016-17 campaign with preseason games across the pond (see below) and in Dallas and Tulsa, in addition to home games at Chesapeake Arena on Sunday, Oct. 16 vs. the Timberwolves and Tuesday, Oct. 18 vs the Nuggets. The regular season begins on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at Philadelphia, followed by the first home contest on Friday, Oct. 28 vs. Phoenix. After quite the tumultuous offseason, we’re just so glad actual basketball is finally back. Thunder Up!

Save

basketball, live sporting events, Thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Letís rally in Thunder Alley

One of the coolest parts of coming downtown before a Thunder game (even if you don’t have tickets!) is the Thunder Alley experience, especially if you’ve got your little hoopsters in tow. Shoot some free throws, hear some tunes, bounce in an inflatable house, cavort with Rumble, or try out a number of other family-friendly pregame activities which await you just outside Chesapeake Energy Arena along Reno Avenue. Check here for a list of games that will be preceded by Thunder Alley early this season. We’ll see you there opening night, Friday Oct. 28.

basketball, family-friendly, festivals, free, Thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Play basketball downtown

If all this basketball talk makes you remember the days when you were runnin’ and gunnin’, throwin’ down dunks and droppin’ sick dimes, you’re in luck. You can easily recapture the remembered form of your youth (OK, that’s absolutely not true, but you can still have fun, and isn’t that what it’s all about?) by playing some pickup ball down at the Downtown Community Basketball Court. The blacktop at the corner of Reno and Hudson is waiting to make those hoop dreams a reality, so put on your goofiest shorts, throw on a tie-dyed hat, and lace (and pump!) up those Air Command Force high-tops because it’s going down downtown, regardless of whether or not you can jump.

basketball, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Spring break camps cater to many interests and help with child care

If you have to work or want to stay closer to Oklahoma City, sign up your child for one of the area’s many spring break programs. Here are a few ideas, both for dropping off or participating with your children:

  • The Oklahoma City Zoo offers spring break day camps for children ages 4 to 11. You can go all week or select full days or half days (cost is $45 per day from 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. and $25 per day for 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.). Kids will make tasty treats and deliver them each day to the animals, and the zoo will offer other ways to connect them with nature.
  • Sign your child up for Spring Break Science Camp at Science Museum Oklahoma, located in the Adventure District next to the zoo. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, elementary school kids will make things that fly; get dirty with chemistry, bugs and slime; play with water and more on different adventures each day. Cost for the week is $225 for members and $250 for nonmembers, but spots fill up quickly and as of this post, first through third grade slots are already full. But check out other activities at the museum as well.
  • The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63, is offering spring break activities that include weaving, metalworking, water color and more from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 14-18. It is free with museum admission.
  • The Myriad Botanical Gardens in downtown Oklahoma City is offering Spring Break Pop-Ins from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays from March 8 through 17. They’ll feature walk-up activities that include garden crafts, planting seeds or going on a scavenger hunt. Cost is a suggested $2 donation per child.
  • Oklahoma Contemporary is offering Spring Arts Camps over two sessions, March 7-11 and March 14-18, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Tuition is $170 and $40 more if your child needs an extended time there. Depending on the age and session they choose, students will create sci-fi videos, create art projects based on a space theme, explore art and music, work with clay and more.
  • The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is offering spring break arts camps from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 15-18 (Tuesday through Friday). Some are sold out, but children ages 6- to 8 can work with color and abstraction, while 9- to 12-year-olds will be photographing downtown.
  • The Lyric Theatre Thelma Gaylord Academy is offering Spring Break Theatre Camps from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 14 to 18 for the second through eighth grades. Cost is $225.
  • In the Boathouse District, kids ages 8 to 15 can take part in its Spring Break Adventure Camps either at the Oklahoma River or at Lake Overholser. A half-day option is offered at the Oklahoma River, but full days are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Two of the city’s parks, Martin Park Nature Center and Will Rogers Gardens are offering a Natural Resources Camp on weekdays from March 7 to 18 for children ages 7 to 12. Cost is $275 for both sessions and $175 for a one-week session. Camp will run from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The first week will be at Will Rogers Gardens, 3400 NW 36; the second at Martin Park Nature Center, 5000 W Memorial Road.
  • Finally, look into the OKC Thunder Youth Basketball Camps, which is offering basketball workshops in different locations.

If you have a favorite local hangout for you and your children, check its website for spring break activities. Oklahoma City Public Schools are out for two weeks March 9-18, so some places offer two weeks of programs. Also, the local Metro Family Magazine has an even more comprehensive list of things to do throughout the metro. You can find all kinds of things to do each month at www.visitokc.com.

camps, downtown, kids, museums, spring break, theater, Thunder, Adventure District, western heritage, arts and culture, zoo, basketball, Boathouse District
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What are we thankful for? Sports

OKC Energy Player [Photo Credit: OKC Energy]

[Photo Credit: OKC Energy]

Crimson and Cream, Orange and Black, Blue and “Sunset” … no matter what color you pledge alliance to, it has been a year to be thankful for in the Sooner State (or Cowboy Nation). The football teams are making national waves, the Thunder just tipped off an exciting year and our local pro baseball and soccer teams got a taste of deep post-season runs. Check out some recent blog posts if you need a quick refresher on the joy (and sometimes agony) our local teams provide.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder- Injuries derailed an exciting Thunder team last season but a new coach and healthy team (knocking on all the wood in the world) has this looking like a year we won’t soon forget.
  • Oklahoma City Dodgers- The Dodgers wrapped up their inaugural season in OKC with a division title.
  • Oklahoma City Energy- In just two short years OKC’s soccer team has already developed a rabid fan base. The fan base was rewarded with a great season as the Energy advanced to the Western Conference finals.
  • Oklahoma City Blue- The Blue are starting their second season in Oklahoma City and the games are a great place to get a preview of future NBA talent.
  • Oklahoma Sooners- The Sooners have one of the most storied football programs in the country and are looking to add to their impressive trophy case this season. The basketball team is also nationally ranked to start the season.
  • Oklahoma State Cowboys- The Cowboys are in the winningest era in the program’s history. OSU will play OU this weekend with a potential conference championship on the line.
  • Small-College Football- The Sooners and Cowboys are not the only local colleges who play big-time football.
baseball, basketball, college, Dodgers, football, OKC Energy, soccer, Thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Forecast: You will be Thundering up

Kids cheering at the Thunder game

So, last year, eh? Remember that? Racked with injuries the Thunder fought tough to the bitter end and missed the playoffs by just one game. No one personified the fight of the team more than our man Russell Westbrook. Russ averaged 28.1 points, 8.6 assists, and 2.1 steals en route to winning the NBA scoring title, powering his way through an orbital fracture with his trademark toughness and competitive fire.

This year, however? Well, it’s a new year, baby. The team looks to be fully healthy and loaded to roll for the first time in what feels like a long time, while the overall talent level seems improved, top to bottom. The addition of scoring center Enes Kanter at the end of last season provided an instant spark on the offensive end and the team added former-4th overall pick Dion Waiters via trade mid-season, in addition to moves to obtain D.J. Augustin, Kyle Singler and Steve Novak. The questions in years past largely centered around where scoring outside of KD, Russ and Ibaka might come from. This year, the question is more of how the team will ultimately divide up shots, as overall scoring prowess has undoubtedly improved. How will all the new players mesh with a fully healthy Durant? Will defense take a hit with more Kanter and zero Perkins down low? How will new coach Billy Donovan’s “spread pick-and-roll” offensive system lend itself to NBA talent and competition? We’ll soon find out, as preseason games begin Oct. 7 in Minneapolis, while the regular season tips off Oct. 28 in Chesapeake Energy Arena vs. those pesky, ageless and heavily-accented San Antonio Spurs. We can’t wait!

basketball, Thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Arena annals

Aerial of arena construction

The Chesapeake Energy Arena, current home of the Oklahoma City Thunder, has a relatively short but interesting history. The seeds of the arena were first sown with the passage of the MAPS projects in December 1993. Construction commenced on May 11, 1999, with the design of the arena indicative of the minimum NBA and NHL standards of the time. Completed at a cost of only $89.2 million initially, the arena opened as the Ford Center on June 8, 2002 with a basketball seating capacity of 19,163. It hosted Britney Spears, the Rolling Stones, the Eagles, Paul McCartney and more over its first 12 months, in addition to the OKC Blazers hockey team.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina forced the New Orleans Hornets from their home and into the welcoming arms of OKC and the arena. For two seasons, Chris Paul, David West and coach Byron Scott led the “New Orleans / Oklahoma City Hornets” to newfound fan support and success on the court, unearthing the “Loud City” phenomenon and a strong demand for pro hoops in OKC at the same time.

In late 2007, relocation of the NBA franchise in Seattle to Oklahoma City became a legitimate possibility. The city council placed a temporary 1-cent sales tax on the ballot to begin at the conclusion of the “MAPS for Kids” program in order to fund upgrades intended to bring the arena up to current NBA standards (as well as construct a team practice facility) should the team indeed relocate. The measure was handily approved by the voters in March 2008, and the team was given the OK to relocate to OKC the next month.

Naming rights for the Oklahoma Ford Dealers expired in 2010, and the arena was known as “Oklahoma City Arena” until the next year, when it became known by its current moniker. Meanwhile, a multi-year renovation schedule had commenced. After the upgrades were complete, the basketball seating capacity stood at 18,203, but additional suites, restaurants, clubs, premium seating, lighting, sound, NBA-specific locker rooms and more were added, in addition to concourse and other public area renovations, as well as a new “front door” for the arena that faces the future Oklahoma City Boulevard alignment to the south.

The future looks bright for Chesapeake Energy Arena outside, inside, and on the court. Thunder Up!

Thunder, basketball, concerts
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Fun and games

For sports enthusiasts, Oklahoma City has plenty to offer this holiday season. The Oklahoma City Thunder plays at the Chesapeake Energy Arena tonight, Friday night and New Year’s Eve. The OKC Blue also takes the court on Friday at the Cox Convention Center. Don’t miss Family Fun Day as the OKC Barons take the ice to face the Charlotte Checkers on Sunday, Dec. 28. We can’t resist soft drinks and hot dogs and the opportunity to skate with the players following the game.  

live sporting events, Thunder, basketball, hockey
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Make Your Breaks

Ahh, Christmastime. Snow, lights, Santa, candy canes, carols, and fudge. Mmm, fudge... Sorry. We just really like fudge. Anyway, for you parents out there, all this merriment can mean maybe just a little too much time with your little snow angels now that they’re out of school for a while. But before you go taking numerous nips from the nog in an attempt to deal, check out some of the winter break options to keep those kiddos from being cooped up in the house too much over the holidays.

  • Thunder Youth Basketball Camp – fundamentals and fun for all skill levels. December 29 & 30, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., ages 5-16. An alternative to playing ball in the house!
  • Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center – camps include instruction in different mediums / skills depending on age (5-8 or 9-12). December 18-19 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Let ‘em create art here instead of their bedroom walls.
  • OKC Zoo Safari Day Camps – ages 4-12 can hit the zoo December 30, 31 and January 19. Kids will connect with animals and nature instead of your last nerve. Advance registration and payment required.
  • Holiday Magic Drama Camp at NW Optimist Park – campers sing, dance and learn some classic holiday numbers culminating in a family performance. December 22-23 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 405-297-1437 for more info ($50 per camper). Now they can be dramatic about something other than that present they won’t shut up about.
  • Soccer City Winter Break Camp – let your kids get their kicks by taking out their frustrations on a soccer ball instead of the furniture and/or their siblings. Ages 4-15 are welcome and will be divided among age, ability and flopping potential (kidding!). December 22-24 and 29-31.
  • Santa’s Adventures at RIVERSPORT – not really a camp per se, but the Rudolph Launch, Candy Cane Rock Wall, Snow Bounce and more are open for riverside fun from 1 – 8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through January 4th. Note that this includes the SandRidge Santa Zip, where you drop a wrapped package into a chimney target as you fly down the zip line. Picture that for a second, and just try to tell us it doesn’t sound AWESOME.

What camps are we missing in our list? Let us know in the comments and we’ll get it added!

arts and culture, basketball, camps, kids, Oklahoma River, soccer, theater, zoo
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thundering Up and Onwards

Really looking to stay warm for the next couple of months? There is no place better to heat up than the Chesapeake Energy Arena during a Thunder game with 18,203 of your closest friends. If you are new to Oklahoma City, you don’t have to hang around long to realize the Thunder have taken the city and whole Sooner State by storm.

The 2014-2015 season just tipped off and it marks the seventh season of Thunder basketball in Oklahoma City. And what a seven years it has been. The Thunder has made the playoffs five straight years, including a trip to the NBA finals and three trips to the conference finals. The franchise will also be attempting to win their fifth-straight Northwestern Division Championship (Northwestern makes sense right?).  

The Thunder are led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Durant (better known as KD) is the reigning MVP of the NBA (seriously check out his MVP speech) and has made the All-NBA first team 5 times in his seven-year career. KD is not nice and is the baddest.

Westbrook (who we like to call Russ) is a three-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA selection. Russ also makes headlines off the court for his unique fashion style.

In all honesty, we could ramble on all day about the Thunder, Rumble, Ibaka and one of the best home court advantages in all of the NBA so we’ll stop. Just do yourself a favor, check out the home schedule and grab some tickets. You won’t be disappointed.

live sporting events, Thunder, basketball, family-friendly
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Youíre My Boy Blue

A new addition to the metro’s landscape this year is the Oklahoma City Blue. After residing in Tulsa since 2005, the Thunder’s D-League affiliate will play this season in OKC at the Cox Convention Center.

Not familiar with the D-League? Here is a quick primer. The D-League is short for the NBA Development League, an 18-team league that serves as a development league for the NBA. The Blue are owned by their parent team, the Thunder, and serves as a place where young players can develop. So in short the Blue will offer a great chance to preview the NBA’s up-and-coming players. Not a bad way for hoops junkies to spend a night.

live sporting events, Thunder, basketball, family-friendly
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Free for All

Who doesn’t enjoy some playtime? Even if you’re a grown-up, there are plenty of ways to recreate here in Greater Oklahoma City. And if you find yourself pinching pennies, that’s A-OK because we’re about to lay down some FREE-as-can-be options for you.

Mat Hoffman Action Sports Park
Ranked in the top 10 skateparks in the U.S., the action park is divided into two areas – a flow course with bowl combinations and a street course with ledges and handrails.

City Parks
Did you know that there are more than 100 public parks are located across the city? True story. Check one (or many) out.

Downtown Community Basketball Court
Located on the southwest corner of Hudson Avenue and Reno Avenue in Downtown, the court is open to the public daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Disc Golf
FORE! Head over to one of three disc golf parks in Oklahoma City and play 18 holes of flying fun.

Mountain Biking & Hiking Trails
Are you a biking and hiking enthusiast? The Bluff Creek Trail is a single loop of more than 2.5 miles with tight turns around trees and some moderately difficult terrain. The Lake Stanley Draper Trail has three connecting loops that can be ridden consecutively for a distance of 12 miles, with three color-coded loops that vary in difficulty.

Walking Paths
In the mood for a stroll? Get moving on one of the many trails and walking paths around town.

cycling, family-friendly, fitness, free, outdoor recreation, parks, running, basketball, bmx
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

If You Build it They Will Come

From raucous Thunder crowds to the biggest names in music, Chesapeake Energy Arena has been the epicenter for big league entertainment since its opening more than a decade ago. While the arena opened in 2002, its story traces back even further to 1993 with the passage of MAPS.

If you haven’t learned what MAPS is yet, here is a brief overview: in the early 90s OKC was looking to turn things and rebuild its economy after a bust cycle in the energy industry and a banking crisis. The citizens voted to tax themselves to build nine projects that would help raise the quality of life in the metro area. In the two decades since, MAPS has spurred billions in private investment and kicked off a modern day renaissance in OKC.

No project has exemplified Oklahoma City’s can-do attitude like the arena. The Ford Center (as it was called when it opened – today you know it as the Chesapeake Energy Arena) seated more than 19,000 and was designed to NHL or NBA specifications. Some mocked the idea and said OKC was wasting time and money to build an NBA-quality arena. At the time the thought of NBA basketball in OKC was a pie-in-the-sky dream to even the most dedicated sports fans. Still, the citizens knew that if the opportunity arose, OKC would be ready to capitalize.

After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Hornets (now the Pelicans) needed a home while their arena was repaired. Oklahoma City was one of the few cities that had an NBA arena ready to go, so the Hornets temporarily moved to OKC for two seasons and the rest was history. OKC’s support of the team blew away even the most optimistic supporters and proved Oklahoma City was a big league city.  The Thunder relocated and just four years later the arena that some thought shouldn’t even get built was hosting an NBA finals. 

basketball, MAPS, music, Thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Thunderstruck

It’s hard to believe but the Thunder will be kicking off their sixth season in OKC when they face the Jazz this week to start the 2013-14 season. Time sure does fly when you’re having fun. The squad will be looking to win their fourth division title in a row, a feat the franchise has never accomplished, going back to its founding in Seattle.

The Thunder will have a slightly different look (at least in the beginning) as Russell Westbrook is expected to miss the first month of the season with an injury. While the team will be without Westbrook for a while, the good news is Kevin Durant is good at basketball. KD will be gunning for his fourth-straight All-NBA honor and fourth scoring title in five years.

With a great mix of returning players and athletic newcomers, this season is shaping up to be another great one for the good guys. Hopefully it ends with confetti dropping and a championship parade through the streets of downtown.

Whether you are in Chesapeake Energy Arena, watching with friends or enjoying the game by yourself, wear your blue, be loud and Thunder Up! You can view a 2013-14 Thunder schedule here.

basketball, Thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Catch (Thunder) Up

If you are new to the blog and couldn’t tell, we take our Thunder basketball pretty seriously around here. Truth be told, we like to talk about the Thunder and we do it a lot. Click here to catch up and read all our past musings on the Big Blue. It's everything from who to follow on Twitter to where you can buy the best Thunderwear to where to watch the game (if you can’t snag a seat in the ‘Peake).

basketball, Thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

And one

Rucker Park. Venice Beach. The Cage. Mosswood Park. Their names are synonymous with entertaining hoops. Fortunately for you, downtown OKC has its own community basketball court on the corner of Hudson and Reno (just down the street from where the pros play), where you can both work on your handles and earn yourself a new streetball handle.

Open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., the court is just another OKC community fitness and recreation amenity of which you can take advantage. Ball in, ball hard, and soon you’ll have a nickname worthy of such laudable luminaries as “The Professor,” “Swee’Pea” or even Jumpin’ Jackie Jackson himself. Game on!

basketball, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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