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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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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.

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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