OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — Hundreds of Oklahoma City Thunder fans braved the rain and cold for the first home game of the season on Sunday.
In just over a month Oklahoma City residents will decide on a proposed arena for the Thunder.
“We need a new arena If we want to maintain first class,” said Steven Merrill, who’s attended games for years.
The planned building would cost a minimum of $900 million dollars and also includes a commitment from the team to keep the Thunder in town until 2050.
“They need to keep the team here, build a bigger arena, start a dynasty,” said Jerry Spalvieri, who’s attended games for years.
However the Paycom center just unveiled $20 million dollars worth of improvements just in time for the season, ranging from new dining options to a new scoreboard.
Merrill has been attending games from years and said they’ve never been better.
“The good visibility, no matter where you sit in there today, a few more restaurants and everybody was up there lively and having fun,” said Merrill.
Although Thunder fans are excited some are concerned with the hefty price tag and use of taxpayer dollars.
One group has spoken out against the project after city council approved a special election.
“We’re against a poorly negotiated deal. We’re getting the most poorly negotiated rated NBA arena contract in the last decade,” said Nabilah Rawdah, executive director of Oklahoma Progress Now.
Thunder fans said they believe the team and the entire city will benefit from the new arena.
“If you want to get bigger and better, we need another,” said Spalvieri.
Oklahoma City residents will go to the polls for the special election on December 12th.