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Oklahoma football: A look at the history of Owen Field

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.
by Ryan Aber Published: May 5, 2014
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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.

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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