Source: Oklahoma Has "Very Open Mind" About Moving CBB Games To Proposed New Arena
The Univ. of Oklahoma would at least "consider moving its home basketball games to a proposed new arena in far north Norman," according to a source cited by Berry Tramel of the OKLAHOMAN. A 10,000-seat arena was "part of a massive development project proposed" that yesterday was approved by the University North Park development oversight committee. A representative from Baltimore-based architectural firm CallisonRTKL "made the presentation." The project would be "part of the University North Park district, which has been developed in recent years with retail, dining and hotels." On a possible move from Lloyd Noble Center, a source said, "We certainly have a very open mind about it." Norman city attorney Jeff Bryant said OU has not committed to using the arena but that AD Joe Castiglione "has indicated OU is 'absolutely interested' in becoming an anchor tenant." The proposed 10,000-seat arena would "include 800 club seats, 30 loge boxes, 12 suites, 20 luxury suites and an adjacent 2,600-space parking garage." Tramel writes funding and development details are "not known." OU has played at Lloyd Noble Center since '75. Various improvements have been "made over the years, but it remains a multipurpose arena in which it's difficult to create a gymnasium feel." Moving to far north Norman would "make basketball games less accessible for students but more accessible for fans coming from most of the Oklahoma City metro area" (OKLAHOMAN, 9/20).
EXPRESS LANE: In Oklahoma City, Ryan Aber notes OU men's basketball is offering a "Sooner Express Pass" this season, a ticket option for the upcoming home schedule which "gives fans the opportunity to see all 16 regular-season home games" for $159. Ticket-holders will "receive an email 48 hours prior to each home game with seat locations and tickets for that particular game" (OKLAHOMAN, 9/20).