Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium is reportedly getting a major facelift.
According to KWTV's Dean Blevins, a project that would upgrade the Oklahoma Sooners' home football stadium with somewhere between $350 and $400 million of renovations has been approved. It will reportedly be officially announced at a future Board of Regents meeting.
The most notable improvement will occur in the south end zone, where additional seats will complete the "bowl" and increase the stadium's capacity from 82,112 to more than 90,000. Michigan Stadium remains the largest football stadium in the United States with a capacity of over 109,000, but this renovation will move Memorial Stadium just outside the top 10.
According to Blevins, other renovations will include upgraded suites, a new press box that will stretch the entire length of the west sideline and the addition of "state-of-the-art weight room and training facilities."
One University of Oklahoma graduate was quick to show his elation in the new plan:
Reports say that we are finally adding seats and turning Gaylord Memorial Stadium into a bowl! I've been wanting this forever #boomer— Andrew Matt (@Andrew_S_Matt) May 5, 2014
The Sooners won't have to play any home games in another stadium, either.
Renovations will begin immediately after the 2014 season finale on December 6, and they will be complete before the 2015 season opener on September 5.
Good idea for Oklahoma?
The Sooners don't exactly need a lot of help in terms of home-field advantage. Since the start of the 2010 season, the storied program, which has a 92-game sellout streak dating back to 1999, is 22-3 at Memorial Stadium.
Still, there's no shortage of potentially positive effects with a renovation like this. Filling out the bowl and adding seats will make things louder and enhance the experience of attending a game in Norman, and the state-of-the-art facilities will surely be a major selling point in the recruiting game.
Oklahoma is fresh off a Sugar Bowl victory, expected to be in the top five in next year's preseason poll and has been one of the dominant teams since the turn of the century, but with this new plan, it's clear the arrow is pointing up and there is still room for the elite program to grow.