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Tickets are still available

Tickets are still availableThe Thunder averaged 18,704 fans last season. The renovated Ford Center's new capacity is 18,200.

Simple math suggests the entire NBA season will be a sellout, right?


Tickets are still available for every game, including the season opener Wednesday night vs. Sacramento.

The Cavaliers (Dec. 13), Celtics (Dec. 7), Lakers (Nov. 3) and Clippers (Nov. 15) are close to sellouts. But even those marquee games still have more than 500 tickets available.

More than 2,000 tickets are available for several games the first half of the season through Jan. 16. Individual tickets for the second half of the season will be put on sale at a later date.

"There was a perception last year that it was a hard ticket to get 41 games a year," said Dan Mahoney, the Thunder's vice president of corporate communications. "Reality is big games like Cleveland, the Lakers, this year the Clippers with Blake Griffin making only one appearance, obviously sell better.

"But fans need to know they have opportunity to see games."

Eighty percent of Thunder season ticket holders renewed.

Team officials estimate season ticket sales at 11,500, which includes the equivalent of one season ticket for every two half-season tickets sold and one season ticket for every four 10-game packages sold.

Unlike some NBA teams, the Thunder's plan, this season and the future, is to hold back close to 3,000 tickets for every game for individual and group sales.

"Even though capacity changed, we have the same number of seats available," said Brian Byrnes, vice president of sales and services. "Most of where we changed capacity is with the new club level terrace boxes on each end.

"The seats we make available in the lower bowl end zone and Loud City, we have the same amount of seats available for single games as we had last season."

Some NBA teams project significant revenue losses this season, but the Thunder could turn a profit.

Corporate sales were renewed at 95 percent. An additional 40 percent of new corporate partners have been added.

Last year, the Thunder had around 50 corporate sponsors; this year, 75.

"It shows confidence in the Thunder and the future," Mahoney said. "We're very proud of our corporate sponsorships."

With a full calendar year to market, group sales have increased.

"Being able to have a marketing plan in place since the schedule came out (two months ago) has enabled us to be a lot more proactive putting packages together," Byrnes said. "Last year, we didn't start selling group packages until November."

It's still a hot ticket. But hours before the Thunder's second season tips off, fans can still purchase tickets for every game.

"There's obviously an economic downturn that we have to navigate through," Byrnes said. "All things being considered, we're very pleased with the strong renewal rates. We're very optimistic as we head into the season."

Last year, the Thunder had 18 sellouts. The second half of the season generally produces better crowds in this market after football season ends.

"We can't speculate how many (sellouts) we'll have," Mahoney said. "We're just trying to provide the best product we can. We're striving to improve in every facet of the business."


→Fans can purchase tickets on the team website (, at the Ford Center box office during business hours or by calling (405) 208-HOOP.

Thunder officials hold back 200 tickets for each home game to be sold on the day of the game.

→Team officials give away 75 pairs of tickets (150 total) at a random drawing two hours before every home game.

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Added: October 29, 2009


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