Owen Field has been the home of the Sooners for nearly a century. The facility started out as a bare field, gradually growing to its present capacity of more than 80,000. Here’s a look at the stadium’s renovation history:
1923: The Sooners move from Boyd Field, just west of where McCasland Field House is currently located, to the spot of the current stadium. Bleachers are added to the east side of the field, making capacity approximately 500. The field hosts its first game Oct. 20, 1923.
1925: The first permanent seating — made of red tile, brick and reinforced concrete — is added on the west side, increasing capacity to 16,000. The stadium costs an estimated $293,000. The stadium is named after Bennie Owen.
1929: Permanent seating is added on the east side of the stadium, doubling capacity.
1948: The field is lowered six feet, the track is moved to the current site of John Jacobs Field and the north end is enclosed, boosting capacity to 55,647. A press box was also added.
1957: South end zone bleachers are added, raising capacity by more than 6,000.
1970: Artificial turf replaces natural grass.
1975: An upper deck is added to the west side, bringing capacity to 71,187. The press box is also replaced. The renovations cost approximately $5.7 million.
1980: The south end zone facility that houses the locker rooms, coaches offices, weight rooms, meeting rooms and other facilities is built and capacity with the added end zone seating goes up to 75,004.
June 1994: Stadium master plan approved by OU Board of Regents.
1994: Natural grass replaces the artificial turf, which had been replaced before the 1981 season.
April 1995: Construction of west-side suites begins.
1998: Capacity is decreased to 72,765 as disability seating is added.
April 1999: The Barry Switzer Center, housing new locker rooms, coaches offices, strength and conditioning facilities and a sports medicine facility, opens.
2002: A plan is implemented to renovate the stadium in phases, including replacing all stadium seating, expanding and renovating north end athletics offices and adding east side suites and an upper deck. The cost of the first phase is $75 million. The second phase ($9 million) includes another level of suites, expansion and renovation of the Santee Lounge and club seats, amenities on the wast concourse and expansion of team meeting rooms in the Switzer Center. Phase III ($12 million) included amenities on the west side, expansion and improvement to the coaches’ office and Legends Lobby of the Switzer Center.
2003: The east upper deck is complete and capacity goes up to 81,207.
2004: The east-side suites are completed, bringing capacity to its current 82,112.
2009: The final phase ($15 million) of the 2002 plan is finished. It includes upgrades to the locker room, meeting and training facilities and expansion of technology-driven enhancements including SoonerVision studio and production facilities within the stadium.