STILLWATER — Last Saturday in Seattle, Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Tim Beckman couldn't believe that fewer than 51,000 fans were in the bleachers of Qwest Field.
It had nothing to do with the attendance, but the noise level.
"That place was as loud as the ‘Shoe,” the former Ohio State assistant coach said, referring to the Buckeyes' famed Ohio Stadium, nicknamed The Horseshoe. "It was as loud as anywhere we played in the Big 10.”
And it offered proof for Oklahoma State faithful that the volume level inside a stadium isn't only determined by the number of people inside it.
Boone Pickens Stadium holds 60,000 fans — not the biggest around, but it could be one of the loudest, thanks to its unique structure. The Cowboys now have a horseshoe, too, thanks to the new west end zone.
But few football stadiums have a giant brick wall reverberating 60,000 screams back toward the field.
That's just another perk of the Cowboys' redesigned stadium, which opens its doors today for its first game, a 6 p.m. kickoff against Houston.
The guts of the new 15,300-seat west end zone — including additional suites, coaches' offices, a new locker room and more — aren't completed yet, but the seating structure is ready for fans.