The Oklahoma City Thunder made a huge impact on its hometown, but measuring the exact value of being an NBA Finals contender is hard.
What price do you put on city exposure? What’s a good metric for an improved impression? How much is spreading the notion that cool-things-actually-happen-in-Oklahoma worth?
It might be impossible to put a number on it, but there is one dataset that helps explain what it means to be a “Big League City:” Concession sales.
As the Thunder kept winning, fans kept eating and drinking, and OKC gets a cut.
Concession stands at Chesapeake Arena pulled in $1,000 per minute during the two finals games played in OKC, reports The Oklahoman‘s Michael Kimball, who cited numbers a from presentation the arena’s management company, SMG, gave to the city’s Sports Facilities Oversight Board. SMG and OKC keep 60 percent of the concession sales, the paper reports.
Fans normally spend an average of $10.62 apiece on concessions during a regular season game, arena manager Gary Desjardins said, according to The Oklahoman. That rose as the Thunder moved through each round of the playoffs, topping out at $13.81 apiece during the finals games.
Fans spent more than $500,000 on concessions at the two OKC finals games alone, $300,000 of which is going to SMG and OKC, Kimball writes:
Sales numbers for team apparel and souvenirs presumably enjoyed a similar jump, but proceeds from those sales are exclusively the team’s and were not disclosed in the presentation.