OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma City Thunder are excited about live crowds being back in attendance this season, and team personnel have COVID-19 protocols in place for the first home game in nearly 20 months.
The Thunder will take on the Philadelphia 76ers at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Paycom Center.
“Twenty months, nearly 20 months since our fans have been at our games,” said Dan Mahoney, the Thunder’s Vice President of Communications. “They miss that experience; they miss that energy. Our team craves it, they feed off that energy, and we really want to give that back to the fans.”
Thunder personnel are ready for the return of live crowds.
“We didn’t have any of our entertainment last year with a-no fan situation in the building, but those and the Thunder Girls and our Thunder Drummers and our Storm Chasers, we’re really excited to add a lot of energy to the game night environment,” said John Leach, Director of Events & Entertainment for the Thunder.
But there will be changes, both inside and outside.
“Thunder Alley is kicking off at 3 p.m. in Scissortail Park, so that’ll be new,” Leach said. “We used to host Thunder Alley on Reno, but we’ve decided to take advantage of the beautiful landscape over at the corner of Thunder Drive and the Boulevard.”
You’ll need more than just a ticket to get inside the Paycom Center.
“Bring your vax card, just show it; if you have a picture of it you can show it. The process to get in, if you planned ahead, if you arrive a little early, you’ll have no problem,” Mahoney said.
Fans who are not vaccinated will need to show a negative COVID-19 test within the past 72 hours.
Once inside, hot hoopin’ and delicious food eatin’ await. On the menu? All kinds of fun foods, from the donut burger, to fajita chicken loaded nachos, to loaded brisket and loaded pork potatoes.
The synergy between the team and the fans has been missed.
“I think they’ve missed the energy, the fun, the excitement of live Thunder basketball,” Mahoney said. “There’s nothing like it and we can’t wait to bring our fans back”
Tickets are still available for Sunday’s game.