McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State House

October 24, 2013

OU Regents weigh stadium renovation

Officials want to make Memorial stadium more fan friendly

(Continued)

LAWTON —

“We get it,” Castiglione said. “We certainly understand how fans are wanting to consume sports in today’s world. We understand how good the television has become. We understand how big it continues to get.

“We understand the involvement of technology and the way fans are using multiple screens now to enjoy a sporting experience. But the one thing technology can’t replicate is what it’s like to be in a stadium on gameday.”

A market study will be done to find out what fans want. The university did a study in 1999. However, unlike then, officials now know they are now competing for entertainment dollars with entities like the Oklahoma City Thunder, which wasn’t around 13 years ago.

“This is a chance for us to continue to take care of one of the unique cathedrals of college football,” Castiglione said. “We are very mindful of the immense tradition that has been created in that stadium since it was built. We are always looking for ways to provide state-of-the-art facilities. This is really an effort to follow our standard approach of being proactive.”

There is no timetable in place for the study to be completed or for renovations to occur. Officials plan to take their time because they want the finished project to be lasting.

“Everything will be looked at,” Castiglione said. “In roughly 10 years, we will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. We are trying to be constantly looking at what’s best for the University of Oklahoma for our student athletes and our fans.

“It goes back to where we need to be. We know where people are right now. We are going to be looking forward to where this university needs to be.”

 

In other action: Regents voted to install new bleachers in the McCasland Field House. The refurbished seats will allow 100 more fans to attend athletic events hosted there. It won’t take place until after the spring.

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