By Jennifer Loren, The News On 6
BIXBY, OK -- Friday was opening night for the Tulsa 66ers in the new Spirit Bank Event Center in Bixby. The coaches say they're banking on a good season for their team and for fans.
The Tulsa 66ers were welcomed to their new home with a pretty good crowd considering it was football championship Friday night. But their new home, The Spirit Bank Event Center in Bixby, is plush, and surrounded by shops and restaurants. Head coach Paul Woolpert hopes more fans will find them.
"Well, the first time I saw the Spirit Bank Event Center I was just amazed. It's beautiful. The whole area surrounding here is beautiful with all the shops and restaurants. You know, I think it's going to be a place for people to come for years to come," said Tulsa 66ers Coach Paul Woolpert.
The arena seats close to 5,000 people. While coaches say they don't expect to fill every seat every night, they brought on one new player who they hope might help fill some of those seats.
The team's forward Ryan Humphrey is playing his first game with the team. If he looks familiar, it's because he's a hometown player. Humphrey was an All American player at Booker T. Washington High School and played at OU and Notre Dame before he was drafted to the NBA.
"I know he's going to provide a lot of leadership to our young guys. He's already done it in practice. I think once we get that out on the floor it's just going to be very, very beneficial to the 66ers," said Tulsa 66ers Coach Paul Woolpert.
"I'm excited. It's been a long time since I've come and played, not only in the state, but in Tulsa. So, I'm excited," said Ryan Humphrey.
And, it appears fans are excited, too.
The 66ers are coming off two losses and have a few players out with the flu.