The Oklahoman

Oklahoma City may have gotten some bad economic news Monday with the latest breakdown in NBA labor negotiations, but help is on the way in the form of $115 million worth of conventions, horse shows and other events.

The Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau is set to present its quarterly report Tuesday to the Oklahoma City Council. The bureau's report, submitted to the city last week, details some of the expected economic impact of events it booked for the city during the first quarter of the fiscal year.

Conventions, meetings and sporting events booked by the bureau are likely to have an impact in direct spending of more than $52 million, according to the report.

Horse shows and other livestock events should have an impact of more than $63 million.

The numbers are slightly ahead of the bureau's predictions for the quarter, bureau President Michael Carrier said.

Though the cyclical nature of the bookings means the bureau tries not to get too high or too low on the numbers, he said it speaks well of the attractiveness of Oklahoma City as an event venue.

"It was a good quarter," Carrier said. "With all of the different things that we have going on here . . . it's excellent for corporate traffic, and we're a great weekend leisure destination for both family consumer travel and for motor coach travel through here."

Carrier credited a surge in hotel tax revenue as part of why the expected economic impact exceeded the bureau's initial projections. Hotel rates have increased slightly in the last year, which means more money for the city.

The better-than-expected impact could help soften the blow of potentially losing an entire Thunder season. NBA labor negotiations stalled again Monday, jeopardizing the season.

City officials estimate a canceled season would lead to an impact in direct spending on the local economy of at least $1.28 million per game, or at least $55 million even if the Thunder were to miss the playoffs.