Memorial Stadium renovations at Oklahoma University will be considered next week, as the Board of Regents will look at funding the first phase of the $370-million project.
The first part of the project will cover new construction in the south end zone, turning Memorial Stadium into a totally enclosed facility. From Tulsa World:
The south end zone portion of the renovation has been deemed most important. It involves connecting that end of the 82,112-seat stadium to the east and west sides, thereby completely enclosing the stadium for the first time; rebuilding/upgrading coaches offices and player and training facilities; and adding stadium clubs, plazas, concourses and other amenities, including a legends lobby designed to showcase the program’s tradition.
Estimated cost of the south end renovation is $160 million. To that end, according to the agenda, [OU President David] Boren will recommend the regents “acknowledge that the university may incur certain costs relative to the above project prior to receipt of bond proceeds and, to the extent the University utilizes currently available funds for said costs, it is intended that bond proceeds will be utilized to reimburse those outlays.”…
On the chance it would have to be done incrementally, Castiglione said: “It would most likely be the south end zone if we had to start first… because it serves our student-athletes more than any other part of the stadium. And of course, there will be additional seating in the south end zone as we bowl it in. The second phase would be the new stadium tower (on the west side), which includes the press box. The third phase would be additional amenities at the north end, and then moving around to the east side of the stadium.”
The university wants to proceed on the construction projects with no bonding, but the generally poorer economy in Oklahoma — where decreasing oil and gas prices are impacting the economy — could impact fundraising, as did the team’s 8-4 record in 2014.