The Tulsa 66ers will be looking for a new home for their upcoming 2014-15 season as SpiritBank, the company that owns the SpiritBank Event Center in Bixby, Oklahoma, will not lease the building to the 66ers or any other main booking. That means, they’re not going to lease to the 66ers.
Home to the 66ers for the past two seasons, the SpiritsBank Event Center is looking to be sold to another vendor says spokesperson for SpiritBank.
“Since we’re in the business of banking rather than event attractions, we’re focusing on (smaller events) as we get closer to finding the right buyer,” Joyce Madewell told the Tulsa World.
The 66ers have been in the SpiritBank Event Center for the past two seasons, with attendance averaging just over 2,000 during their tenure will have to find a new place to play. There are three options for the 66ers, two realistic and one that’s off the wall suggestion.
BOK Center, home to the Tulsa 66ers, has a basketball court and have been known to not fill the arena for ball games. Not to mention it’s down town and Tulsans have flocked to downtown in the recent years. There is ample parking around the arena and plenty of office space for the 66ers organization to set up shop. It doesn’t over lap with the WNBA season, so there wouldn’t be too many scheduling conflicts there. However, the BOK Center hosts a lot of top of the line concerts and I’m sure they’ll continue to take first stage over the NBA D-League if this were to happen.
Cox Business Center – Tulsa
Already the home to the Tulsa 66ers for the start of the 66ers franchise. They have a history with the franchise and with the purchase by Cox, I’m sure there has and will be some continued upgrades on the facility. Holding almost 9,000 seats and located right down the way from the BOK Center, it seems like a no brainer for the 66ers and the Thunder to move the team back to this location. This is the most favorable choice for the 66ers.
Cox Convention Center – OKC
Why not? Suggested by a source close to the organization, they wouldn’t be surprised if the team is moved even closer to the Thunder. They’re not trying to compete against the Thunder for advertising or sponsors. Plus, it would be closer to the Thunder and would make travel to D-League games for single games, such as the Thunder has sent multiple rookies and second year players to do multiple times, must easier. There is no real venue for the 66ers to play, though. There in lies your real caveat for this move. So, it’s expected the team will stay in Tulsa area.
It makes no sense to leave Tulsa through the sponsors and community connections Tulsa has made in the past nine years. Moved from Ashville, North Carolina in 2005, the 66ers have been a staple in Tulsa metro athletics. While attendance isn’t booming, fans still continue to rave about the game experience when attending a 66ers event.
The Oklahoma City Thunder aren’t into the 66ers for attendance or money. It’s about the development of their young talent. Having a team in such close proximity has done wonders for the development of players such as Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb. They’ve set a precedent to where other NBA teams are having close D-League organizations that help their teams.
One thing is for sure, They’ll play some D-League basketball next season in Oklahoma.