Oklahoma recently opened Headington Hall, the standard for all football dorms across the country. Its stadium was recently rated the best in the Big 12. It will reportedly give Bob Stoops a raise to more than $5 million as soon as today.
One might think Oklahoma could not possibly have more resources to devote to football. Oklahoma is football, after all. One would be wrong.
According to Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman, Oklahoma is in the beginning stages of what will amount to a massive overhaul of the Sooners' entire football properties. Broken out in three stages, the school will renovate the Switzer Center - OU's football headquarters - with a new weight room, new coaches' offices and a new entrance, as well as new bathroom and concession areas with new fan plazas at Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium. Stage two entails building new luxury suites spanning the west side of the stadium, mirroring what Oklahoma already has on the east side. A new press box will be built on top of the luxury suites. Finally, the third stage will install a new video board above the north end zone, matching the board sitting above the south end zone.
At the behest of Oklahoma president David Boren, the Sooners are going about this very cautiously. The athletics department will not receive the green light to build until the proper amount of funding is in place. Construction on stage two would not begin until stage one is complete. All told, the project could cost more than $400 million (word from the OU Board of Regents meeting says that the project has a $370 million price tag).
“A&M is finishing their $400 million (stadium) deal,” an unnamed OU booster told the Oklahoman. “TCU’s stadium is better than JerryWorld. Baylor’s is going to be out of this world. You know what Oklahoma State did. Finally OU is joining the party, it looks like.
“The frustrating thing, we’re behind in all these things. We see what it did for Oklahoma State. Went from the bottom of the Big 12 to fighting for the top, just because of nice facilities. That’s what it’s all about in this day and time.”
Construction is slated to begin at the conclusion of the 2015 season, with the hopes that the Switzer Center redesign would be complete in time for the 2016 campaign.
(Photos via @GuerinEmig)