Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium will be unveiled to the university’s board of regents Wednesday in Ardmore, but the construction is contingent on athletic department fund-raising that will require the project be completed in three stages.
Some OU donors for several years have pushed for improvements to the stadium, but sources say OU president David Boren has closely managed the progress of the plan because of the shaky nature of higher education funding and fund-raising in the state. Boren does not want the project to affect the university’s ability to raise money for academic pursuits.
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Boren and the regents are expected to require the athletic department to have the funding in place for the first phase to be approved sometime early next year. More than $100 million is needed for the renovation of the Switzer Center, with an expanded weight room and new coaches offices, plus fan amenities, which could include new bathrooms, concession areas, wider concourses and plaza areas for fans to gather. The entire project is not expected to increase the current stadium capacity of 82,112, which routinely is exceeded by a few thousand. In fact, it’s possible the capacity could decline, though the luxury suites are expected to generate more than enough revenue to offset any decline in total number of fans. (More at The Oklahoman)
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