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OU stadium upgrades still in planning stages

by Jason Kersey Modified: May 5, 2014 at 12:49 pm •  Published: May 5, 2014

NORMAN -- The renewed excitement surrounding Oklahoma football began with one of its most memorable victories in recent history, a stunning 45-31 Sugar Bowl upset of two-time defending national champion Alabama.

It carried over through signing day, when Bob Stoops’ staff closed in a great way, securing a 2014 class that includes five-star running back Joe Mixon. One national publication has already named OU as its pick to win the 2014 national championship.

A Sunday night report of imminent stadium renovations only fueled the already red-hot fire, but according to OU sources, fans might need to curb their enthusiasm — at least for now.

The OU athletics department is expected to announce major upgrades to Gaylord Family — Oklahoma Memorial Stadium later this year, but any potential changes are still very much in the planning stages, multiple sources told The Oklahoman on Monday.

Oklahoma City’s KWTV-9 reported Sunday night that the massive stadium upgrade plan had been “approved” and would cost between $350-400 million. The report also said seating capacity would be expanded to near 90,000; seats would be added to form a bowl in the South end zone; and that the upgrade would include a new press box and suites.

The report also indicated that OU plans to begin work on the project immediately following the 2014 home finale Dec. 6 with the hope that it would be completed by the 2015 season opener.

Sources said Monday that the stadium upgrades haven’t even been through a competitive bidding process yet, so any estimated price tag would be speculative; and one source said there’s “no way” a project of this magnitude could be completed by the start of the 2015 season.

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