Baby Thunder

There are those moments you’re likely to always remember: First day of school. First kiss. First child.

First Season Ticket seat.

OK, so maybe first Season Ticket seat isn’t quite in the same league as the birth of a child. Still, there is something exciting and full of promise about selecting the special perch from where to take in a season of Thunder Basketball.

And, for at least one new Season Ticket Member, the birth of a child and that first Thunder Season Ticket seat will always be inexorably tied.

Bryan Tilson and his wife, Krystal, are diehard Thunder fans. The Moore, Oklahoma, couple routinely attends home games. They celebrated their most recent wedding anniversary at the Ford Center watching the Thunder-Spurs contest.

And only four days after the birth of the Tilsons’ first child, Bryan was managing to juggle being proud papa with loyal fan. While mother and baby recovered at the hospital, Bryan hustled to the Ford Center for the March 27 “Select-a-Seat” event, in which pre-qualified buyers picked their seats for the 2010-11 season.

Bryan went at Krystal’s insistence. She pointed out to him that the newest addition to the family, little Brylea Kathleen, had a vested interest in the tickets.

“We plan on bringing her to every game we can go to next season,” Bryan said.

A Texas native who moved to Oklahoma six years ago, Bryan said he started going to Thunder games about five months ago. It didn’t take him long to get hooked.

“It was going to the game and the atmosphere in that arena,” said Bryan, 29. “It’s the way we support the team we have here -- the electricity in the arena. It’s just phenomenal and it makes you want to be a part of it. We’re a booming young town. We’ve got a booming young team. You go to the arena and you see the drive they have and the support they have from this town – you can’t not be a fan.

“You feel like you’re part of the team and Oklahoma has done a great job making their team mesh with the fans. Once you get that, it just grows from there.”

Bryan is certain their daughter will inherit her parents’ love for all things Thunder. He confidently predicts Brylea will be a member of The Raindrops, the team’s junior dance team. And he insists his little girl is blessed with “hands that are going to be able to palm a basketball by the time she’s 3.”

On Saturday, March 27, Tilson joined several hundred other new Season Ticket members for “Select-a-Seat.” The Thunder hosted the all-day event for buyers who had acted early to seek new season tickets.

The demand for 2010-11 season tickets is booming, said Thunder senior vice president Brian Byrnes.

“The demand that we’re seeing in new business really falls in line with what we’ve seen in almost every other way we manage our business,” he said.

“There’s clearly an uptick in enthusiasm and volume. I think people recognize that there’s a real value in the Thunder experience, that there’s a real comfort in the game experience. It’s quality. It’s engaging and it’s exciting.”

Fans interested in purchasing season tickets for 2010-11 can phone (405) 208-HOOP or HERE