OKC gears up for Thunder playoff run

Posted on: 4:33 pm, April 17, 2013, by

Thunder playoffs gear up

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City is getting ready to Thunder Up for the playoffs.

Wednesday night the Thunder are wrapping up their regular season against the Milwaukee Bucks.

After that game, the team begins the playoffs as the top seed in the West.

“It’s like a big party every time they play,” Matthew Ellis said. “It’s remarkable how we all come together for one team.”

Matthew Ellis lives downtown.

Just like last year when people painted the town blue during the Finals, look around now and you see windows, sky walks and flags ready for this years playoffs.

“We’re looking forward to it,” cab driver Leon Edwards said. “I don’t get to go to the games but I’m enjoying it.”

The annual influx of out-of-towners has drivers like Leon loving the playoffs too.

“We see money, just being honest with you,” Edwards said.

City leaders estimate each regular season game nets $1.3 million in direct spending and even more for the playoffs but impact goes way beyond dollars and cents.

“We want them to spend money in Oklahoma City,” Visitors Bureau’s Mike Carrier said. “That’s important but the impression they’re left through the press is priceless.”

“I couldn’t be more excited,” Ellis said.

City tourism experts said a big thing that impacts how much money is made is who the Thunder plays.

Matchups against the Lakers, for example, brings in more visitors than if the team plays the Jazz.