The University of Oklahoma is continuing renovations to its football stadium, and is hoping to have much of the work in place by the team’s September 10 opener.
Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium has been undergoing work for much of this summer, with most of the upgrades focused on the south end. Along with the addition of a new videoboard and premium seating areas, this round of renovations is expected to eventually include improved locker rooms and a main entry plaza.
The goal for the University of Oklahoma was to have much of the fan amenities–mainly the videboard and new seating–by September 10, when the Sooners face Louisiana-Monroe. To this point, that objective has largely been achieved. The videoboard installation has progressed to the point where testing has begun, and much of the work left on the club seats consists of placing new furniture.
As athletic director Joe Castiglione will attest, completing this portion of the project by the university’s deadline required an active construction schedule. More from OU Daily:
Construction crews broke ground on the renovations shortly after the last home game in 2015. Executive associate athletic director Larry Naifeh said construction crew work hours in the past year are now at about 750,000. By the end of the project, total man hours will exceed 1 million.
“We didn’t give the contractor any alternative,” Castiglione said. “It had to be ready.”
The renovated stadium, which Castiglione said will have a capacity of 83,489, includes a new video board that has been undergoing tests in recent weeks.
The new board made quite an impression on Castiglione, when he saw it light up the Embassy Suites in Norman.
“It was obliterated because there … looked like a strobe light show of red, white and blue colors,” Castiglione said. “At first I didn’t know what it was … that’s when I realized this is a whole different viewing experience.”
At a cost of $160 million, the remainder of the project should be complete next summer.
Image of Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, posted on August 1, courtesy of the University of Oklahoma.