SBD/May 6, 2014/Facilities

Sources: Univ. Of Oklahoma Planning $350-400M Stadium Upgrade Following '14 Season

Several sources called OU's '15 completion date for the stadium project into question
An expansion of Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium at the Univ. of Oklahoma "has been approved and is expected to be announced at a future OU Board of Regents meeting," with the cost estimated at between $350-400M, according to sources cited by Dean Blevins of Oklahoma City-based KWTV-CBS. The project would "commence following the final home game" of the '14 season against Oklahoma State. A source said that they "hoped to have it completed" for the '15 home opener on Sept. 5 against Akron. However, a different source said that hitting that target was "highly unlikely." The most "noticeable upgrade to the fans would be in the south end zone, where additional seats would form a bowl, and for seating to increase from its current capacity of 82,112 to close to 88,000." Current suites are "expected to be upgraded with new suites made available in the south end zone area." A new press box also would "stretch the entire length of the west sideline." Meanwhile, upgrades in the south end zone would "result in a state-of-the-art weight room and training facilities" (NEWS9.com, 5/5). But in Oklahoma City, Jason Kersey cites sources as saying that any potential changes are "still very much in the planning stages." Sources said that the stadium upgrades "haven’t even been through a competitive bidding process yet, so any estimated price tag would be speculative." One source said that there is “'no way' a project of this magnitude could be completed" by the start of the '15 season. However, sources did confirm that bowling off of the south end zone is a "possibility that has been discussed, but added it isn't a lock to be included in final renovation plans." Even if additional seats and suites "are added, though, the stadium’s capacity isn’t expected to rise much beyond its current 82,112" (OKLAHOMAN, 5/6).
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