NORMAN—The planned upgrades of Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium will affect Oklahoma’s football team at virtually every level — from the added space in the weight room to spacious meeting rooms for position groups to the impact the additions will make in recruiting.
But the changes, planned to begin after the 2015 season dependant on fundraising, will have a big impact on the fan experience as well.
OU athletic director Joe Castiglione expects the vast majority of fans to be pleased with the changes that will make the game experience a more comfortable one. But Castiglione knows there will be people who will be unhappy with how the changes affect them.
“There are fans who have sat in the same seat for a long time, people who have sat around the same group of people for 20 years,” Castiglione said. “There will be an answer for everybody but there won’t be a perfect solution for everybody.”
Oklahoma officials don’t quite know how many fans will be affected by the renovations, which could be finished as early as the 2016 season.
Once the exact plan is finalized, Castiglione said Sooner Club staff would be reaching out to affected season-ticket holders personally.
Two areas will be heavily affected — the south end zone and the west upper deck.
While there will be seats added in the south end zone as the stadium is bowled in on that end, seats are likely to be eliminated from the top of the sections on that end of the field.
On the west side, seats will be disrupted at the top and on the sides of the current upper deck as a third deck is added to mimic the east side and a new press box is constructed.