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Oklahoma's Board of Regents to Consider Massive Athletic Facility Upgrades This Week

Joe Castiglione has updated athletic facility upgrades in Norman ahead of OU's impending move to the SEC.

Update: An athletics department spokesperson provided with a clarification to our prior report pertaining to the University of Oklahoma’s Campus Master Plan of Capital Improvement Projects:

“The University of Oklahoma’s Campus Master Plan of Capital Improvement Projects is produced each year as it is a requirement by the Oklahoma State Regents of Higher Education. The plan is shared with state leadership for consideration of long-term appropriations to higher education. OU’s plan includes a range of endeavors, some of which — including athletics projects – have been on the docket for many years. As it does every year, this year’s plan reflects the university’s long-term planning and inflation-adjusted project costs.”

Joe Castiglione is getting ready to splash the cash.

Wednesday, the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents released the agenda for its May meeting, and plenty of money was earmarked for athletic facility upgrades.

Ahead of OU’s move to the SEC, Castiglione hasn’t shied away from the reality that the Sooners will have to improve their facilities across all of the athletic programs to enter the league on the same playing field as some of their future conference mates. Now, Oklahoma’s athletic director has outlined just how that money will be spent.

While there were existing master plans to renovate facilities across campus, the agenda outlined a new budget for some projects, as well as proposing some new facility upgrades.

Oklahoma Board of Regents Athletic Facility Upgrades

Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium has continually been upgraded over the years, and the plans will go further.

The athletic department has a master plan for all of the future renovations and upgrades expected to be added to the stadium, and that future projected budget has been adjusted to $300 million. This projection includes “additional concourses and seating, handrails, technology improvements, game day operations and press facilities,” the agenda said, including the budget to demolish the current press box and build a new one atop the stadium.

As the statement from the Oklahoma athletic spokesman said, the $300 million budget on the stadium master plan is an adjusted total amount that is required to be reported annually. No further timeline for the stadium project has been communicated at this time. 

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Oklahoma is expected to break ground on Love’s Field for the softball program this summer, and the total estimated cost for the stadium and improvements to the softball facility were listed at $42 million.

L. Dale Mitchell Park will need to be renovated as well as Skip Johnson prepares his baseball program for the jump to the SEC. Upgrades to seating, fan amenities and the team practice facilities were outlined to cost $30 million per the Board of Regents meeting agenda.

The budget to upgrade the tennis facilities was set at $8 million, and $7 million will be put toward improving and expanding the Charlie Coe Golf Learning Center.

Jennie Baranczyk and Porter Moser weren’t left out either. The Lloyd Noble Center is slotted for upgrades as well to the then of $6 million.

The massive undertaking of the Bud Wilkinson/Wagner Redevelopment at the Northeast corner of Lindsey and Jenkins streets in Norman was set at $75 million as well. Per the agenda, the project will happen in multiple phases, and it will allow for the relocation of Student Athlete Academic Services, as well as adding office space, Varsity O-Club facilities, collaborative learning areas and the potential for a new parking structure.

Oklahoma’s Board of Regents are scheduled to meet across May 12-13, and the approval of the budgets for the projects will help the Sooners equip themselves to compete at the levels fans have grown accustomed too, despite the move to the highly competitive SEC.

No timeline was given for when construction will begin on any of the projects at this time.

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