Oklahoma varsity ‘connected athletic village’



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Oklahoma State University to create new sports facilities Image: Oklahoma State University Athletics

The Oklahoma State (US) unveiled a $325 million plan to upgrade and add athletic facilities across several athletic programs on February 27th, including a new softball stadium, basketball and wrestling practice facilities and an indoor track arena.

‘THE OKLAHOMAN’ stated that the goal is to build a “unified and connected athletic village unrivaled in college sports”.

Commented Chad Weiberg, Athletic Director, Oklahoma State University, “This is a time of conference realignment and unprecedented transformation in college athletics. With a history that includes 52 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) titles, for us to continue to achieve championship results, now is not the time to pause or rest on past accomplishments, but to honor those accomplishments by pushing forward and building upon what has been started. This vision plan provides a roadmap for the next phase of an athletics village that will be unrivaled in collegiate sports.”

The Oklahoma State University-Stillwater is a public land-grant research university in Stillwater, Oklahoma (US). The OSU was founded in 1890 under the Morrill Act.

Indianapolis, Indiana (US)-based the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a nonprofit organization that regulates student-athletics among about 1,100 schools in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
 

Here’s a look at what is included in the plan:

 

Softball Stadium

‘THE OKLAHOMAN’ further stated that adjacent to the current location of the 750-capacity Cowgirl Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma, an entirely new facility will be built on the site of the baseball team’s old 3,821-capacity Allie P. Reynolds Stadium (former baseball park). The stadium will have top-level amenities to maximize the fan experience and player improvement. With the demolition of the Allie P. Reynolds Stadium, the project will also create additional parking areas around the softball stadium and in that section of the campus.
 

Wrestling Training Facility

The wrestling team is in the first year inside its new locker room, but this plan calls for an additional training facility that will increase the size of the wrestling room and include a dedicated space for spectators. It will also have offices and meeting rooms, expanding North from the 13,611-capacity Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
 

Indoor Track and Field Facility

According to Coach Dave Smith, the Oklahoma State University is the only Big 12 track program without an indoor facility. Set to be located South of the outdoor track complex, the indoor facility will have a 200-meter banked track, indoor field event space, spectator seating, athletic training rooms, and more. It is envisioned not only as a place for indoor workouts for the Oklahoma State University athletes, but as a facility that could host conference and NCAA events.

The Big 12 Conference is a college athletic conference headquartered in Irving, Texas, US. It consists of 10 full-member universities. It is a member of Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for all sports.
 

Basketball Practice Facility

A two-court facility will be added to the South side of the Gallagher-Iba Arena, where the current auxiliary gym sits. The addition will include other training spaces for both programs to use, and with two courts available, neither team will have to worry about lacking practice space because of athletic or campus events that could occupy the main area of the Gallagher-Iba Arena.
 

Boone Pickens Stadium Upgrades

The Athletic Department has already begun a $55 million project to renovate central seating areas on the North side of the 60,000-capacity Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma, to be ready in time for the 2023 season. The South side of the stadium will get a similar overhaul next Winter.
 

Human Performance and Nutrition Research Institute

This building project has already been announced by the university, and will be a joint financial venture with the Athletic Department. The institute will be housed in a new building to the Southeast of the Sherman E. Smith Training Center in Stillwater, Oklahoma, directly across the street to the North from the Boone Pickens Stadium. It is an academic institute that will develop the academic expertise of human performance and nutrition, among other initiatives.
 

Football Operations Center

Sharing the building with the Human Performance Institute, the new football operations center will be home to the majority of Oklahoma State University’s football offices, locker rooms and training facilities that are now located in the West end zone of the Boone Pickens Stadium. The stadium will still have locker rooms and training rooms for gameday use, but the primary home for Oklahoma State University football will now be next to the indoor practice facility.
 

Student-Athlete Success Center

With the football team set to vacate the West end zone of the Boone Pickens Stadium, that area will become an upgraded area for support programs like academic services, student-athlete development and mental health that are now located in the Gallagher-Iba Arena. Sports medicine and strength and conditioning programs could be moved to the West end zone, where the dining and training table areas reside. Those areas will be expanded and renovated as well.
 

Karsten Creek Golf Club Improvements

Enhancements will be coming to the Karsten Creek Golf Club in Oklahoma, including new fairways, greens, irrigation, drainage, and cart paths. Bunkers and tee boxes will also be adjusted to increase difficulty of play. The practice facility will also be renovated.
 

Pedigo-Hull Equestrian Center Upgrades

A variety of updates will be made to the Pedigo-Hull Equestrian Center, including a new covered arena similar in size and scope to the Atherton Family Arena (a 135×270 square foot covered arena).
 

Gallagher-Iba Arena Welcome Area

With the basketball and wrestling additions to cover current entrances for the Gallagher-Iba Arena, a new welcome area will be added to the East, where a grass field used by the marching band currently sits. The addition will create approximately 250 new parking spaces with a park-like setting similar to what sits outside the West side of the Boone Pickens Stadium with a public plaza and walkway. The area will provide premium parking and tailgating areas outside the arena.

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