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June 25, 2014

Sooners announce $370 mil football stadium renovations

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ARDMORE -- Oklahoma's football facilities are finally getting their much talked about facelift.

The university's Board of Regents approved plans to go forward with a process that will enhance 90-year-old Oklahoma Memorial Stadium at their June Meeting at the Samuel Noble Foundation Conference Center on Wednesday.

The projected cost of all the renovations is $370 million. Funding for the upgrades will come from private funds, revenue bonds and the athletic department.

Work is expected to start on the stadium at the conclusion of the 2015 season, and construction on the south end zone expansion is expected to be completed by the beginning of the 2016 season.

OU President David Boren and athletic director Joe Castiglione stressed during the meeting that there were no plans to dramatically increase the capacity of the stadium, only enhance the atmosphere for students and fans.

"Providing our loyal legions of fans with the finest amenities while further enhancing an unrivaled football facility that attracts the best and brightest student-athletes to OU is an objective that Sooners everywhere will want to embrace," Castiglione said.

The south end zone expansion will grow from 28,539 square feet to 310,000 square feet.

An increase in restroom spots will grow from seven to 50. 11 new elevators will be built to go along with the seven already in place for a total of 18.

The south end zone video board will be blown up from 5,232 square feet to 8,750 square feet, and an elevated west concourse totaling 30,650 square feet will be built.

Along with the south end zone expansion, future renovations include an upgrade of the 15-year-old Switzer Center with new coaches offices, new team areas and a new weight room. There will new fan amenities built with new concession areas, bathrooms, plazas and backed chairs with wider seats in the stands.

"As a person who has successfully fought anorexia every day of his life, I think that's a good thing," said Boren of the wider seats.

There will be new luxury suites on the west upper deck of the stadium, which will counter the east side luxury suites.

OU is also adding a video board to the north side end zone to counter the video board already on the south side with more seating changes.

"It's incredibly exciting," said OU coach Bob Stoops of the renovtions. "It shows you the great commitment that's here at the University of Oklahoma from President Boren through all the administration to continually push forward and pursue greatness."

SoonerScoop.com will have plenty more reaction from staff and recruits, as well as more photos of stadium renderings thoroughout the day and coming weeks.




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