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Tulsa's Football Stadium to undergo major changes

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  • Tulsa's Football Stadium to undergo major changes

    It has always miffed me that Tulsa has been able to support a Football team while WSU can't. This year the stadium will be undergoing a major renovation. Tulsa and Wichita are very similar. Both have two big brothers (KU and K- State for us) yet they can field a winning football program while we can't even field a club one. Cessna stadium needs some love no doubt but the potential is there for it to rise out of the ashes.

    http://209.184.242.25/sports/sportse...ss05764&sp=fb#

    TU's stadium renovation will be complete for 2008 opener
    In exactly one year -- on Sept. 20, 2008 -- Tulsa will play its first football game in the renovated H.A. Chapman Stadium.

    Fans who attend Friday night's game against Oklahoma probably won't recognize the stadium next fall after it receives a much-needed face-lift.

    "We've very excited," TU football coach Todd Graham said. "We're not talking about something happening three years down the road. So many people for so many years have known what needed to be done here and to see it happening at a brisk pace is great."

    Here's what Hurricane fans will see when they visit campus for the 2008 home opener, tentatively scheduled against New Mexico:

    A large press box with 20 luxury suites will be built on the west side. A $1.5 million scoreboard will loom over the south stands. Each seat in the stadium will be replaced, with 6,800 of the current seats being replaced with a bench with a chair back. The football field will be replaced with new turf.

    Aesthetically, two grand plazas will be on each side of the stadium, with Florence Avenue being replaced with trees behind the west stands. The blue and gold goes away, and will be changed to Tennessee Ledgestone and beige colors to be consistent with the rest of the buildings on campus.

    Progress will also eat up seating. Capacity at the stadium will hover around 30,000, which makes it the smallest in Conference USA behind Houston and SMU (32,000 each). The number of "fixed seats"at Chapman will be about 26,000.

    Construction on the $20-24 million renovation project is scheduled to begin right after Tulsa plays its final home football game, which may be as late as December if the Hurricane hosts the Conference USA championship game.

    Whenever the start date, renovation may have been long overdue for the 76-year-old stadium.

    "This is extremely exciting," TU athletic director Bubba Cunningham said. "We probably talk about it too much, but the transformation of the campus has been extraordinary for the past 24 months."

    The football stadium's renovation will coincide with the university's new south entrance, Cunningham said. The area has already been filled with new apartments for student housing.

    Cunningham said that while boosters and fans are excited about the changes, the top question to him has been about capacity, which takes into account not only seated fans but everyone within the gates of Chapman Stadium.

    The new capacity will be around 30,000, a 25 percent decrease from 2005 when the venue held 40,385. Five thousand seats were lost when the Case Athletic Complex was built where the north end zone stands were located.

    Despite the reduction, the athletic director said the new stadium "fits our needs. If you look at the historical attendance figures, even with the paid and (complimentary) tickets, that the new capacity is plenty.

    "I thought the BYU crowd (which was 24,445) was absolutely terrific and that crowd will fit in the new stadium," he added.

    Cunningham said the capacity figures won't deter power conference programs from visiting Tulsa in the future.

    "We've had conversations with BCS schools about coming and we'll get some of the contracts signed shortly, so it won't be an issue with scheduling," he said.

    He mentioned Oklahoma and Oklahoma State and said, "when you bring those schools in, you allocate 5,000 tickets to the visiting team. As long as we can do that, they're comfortable with that."

    Two C-USA athletic directors with similar-sized stadiums said their capacity is a perfect fit.

    "The size of our stadium has worked fine for us; it's not a big concern," Houston athletic director Dave Maggard said. "If they are around 30,000, it should not be a problem. That is about where we are."

    Reigning C-USA champion Houston averaged 21,910 fans a game last season. Tulsa averaged 21,364 in 2006.

    Added SMU athletic director Steve Orsini: "I feel that (32,000 capacity) is a very good number. . . . we wanted a size that was manageable with compliance to Division I-A and something that we can fill up."

    Cunningham hopes attendance booms and that the need to "bowl in" the southeast and southwest corners of Chapman Stadium is a must.

    "We'll definitely take a look at that when we get to that position," he said. "I think that selling out on a season basis or more consistently from game-to-game is what we're trying to do."

    Stanford lowered its capacity from 85,500 to 50,000 during a 2006 renovation, and Cunningham said season-ticket sales for the Cardinal went from 11,000 to 30,000.

    Naming rights for the stadium came after a $9 million gift from the Chapman Foundation. Additional financing will come from the 20 suites. A 10-year agreement costs between $300,000-$400,000, and only four openings remain.

    The average fan will notice the new bench seating. Code doesn't allow the whole stadium to have bench backs. Many of the west side stands and the 50-yard line area on the east side will have backing.

    The new $1.5 million scoreboard will be a solid metal structure and enclosed with Tennessee ledgestone. It will be a full-screen video board that can include a scoreboard, clock and video.

    "It is very high-tech, and we definitely need to enhance what we currently have," Cunningham said.

    Graham said the new-look stadium goes hand-in-hand with his goal of being a top 25 program.

    "To have this new stadium is paramount," Graham said. "The stadium will help our recruiting in a big, big way."

  • #2
    Here is a pic of the refurbsihed stadium proposal. Sounds like plans are to eventually lengthen the press box/club seats and properly bowl in the endzone. I am so envious I could puke.

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    • #3
      By looking at their stadium, you can tell it needs help. This should help them out quite a bit.

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      • #4
        What did they change the name from Skelly?

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        • #5
          I think, but I'll have to double check things...Chapman was a TU alumn who donated a bunch of $$ to I the new building in the north end zone (on the left side of that picture). That building has luxury suites, a "Former Lettermans" club, football offices and I think the home team locker room.

          I believe they are also donating some $ to the refurbishing of the old stadium.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Shockerman
            Here is a pic of the refurbsihed stadium proposal. Sounds like plans are to eventually lengthen the press box/club seats and properly bowl in the endzone. I am so envious I could puke.

            I'm right there with ya man...


            T


            ...8)

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            • #7
              I don't think that it is an accident that the refurbishment of Tulsa's football stadium coincides with $80 per barrel oil.

              There has got to be a lot of oil money sloshing aroung T-Town these days.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 1972Shocker
                I don't think that it is an accident that the refurbishment of Tulsa's football stadium coincides with $80 per barrel oil.

                There has got to be a lot of oil money sloshing aroung T-Town these days.
                There's also apparently quite a bit a couple miles north of campus as well in Wichita.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by rrshock
                  Originally posted by 1972Shocker
                  I don't think that it is an accident that the refurbishment of Tulsa's football stadium coincides with $80 per barrel oil.

                  There has got to be a lot of oil money sloshing aroung T-Town these days.
                  There's also apparently quite a bit a couple miles north of campus as well in Wichita.
                  What makes you say that? Oh... you mean that 'lil company that happens to be the largest private one in the world...? ...with the president living in town sporting a cool net worth of 17 billion clams..??


                  T


                  ...8)

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                  • #10
                    I have no idea what CK thinks about bringing back Shocker football but he is generally considered to be a pretty smart man, and the fact that he hasn't offered to get behind a resurrection of Shocker football may give a little insight into what he thinks of the idea.

                    I'm grateful for what he has done in support of the Roundhouse Renaissance Project. His financial contributions in any size are always welcome and appreciated, but I don't necessarily consider them an entitlement.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 1972Shocker
                      I have no idea what CK thinks about bringing back Shocker football but he is generally considered to be a pretty smart man, and the fact that he hasn't offered to get behind a resurrection of Shocker football may give a little insight into what he thinks of the idea.

                      I'm grateful for what he has done in support of the Roundhouse Renaissance Project. His financial contributions in any size are always welcome and appreciated, but I don't necessarily consider them an entitlement.
                      Charlie is not an alum. It is reported that Charlie gives lots to KU. It is a fact that Koch is full of KU alums. I can think of a couple reasons why he wouldn't want to resurrect football... or why others wouldn't want him to...


                      T


                      ...8)

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                      • #12
                        P.S.

                        Chuck writing a check to fully support WSU football would require the same effort as you or I breaking wind. There is a reason why he hasn't done it...


                        T


                        ...8)

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                        • #13
                          I suspect that's true!

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                          • #14
                            It isn't b/c of KU. Koch has more WSU alums than any other school. And I believe Koch has given more money to WSU than to all of the other Kansas Regents' schools.

                            I believe Koch's contribution to Koch arena is the single largest contribution Koch Industries has ever made.

                            I think some of the foundations have given George Mason more money, for what that is worth.

                            I don't think George Mason has a football team, but they do have two Nobel prize winners in their economics department.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ABC
                              It isn't b/c of KU. Koch has more WSU alums than any other school. And I believe Koch has given more money to WSU than to all of the other Kansas Regents' schools.

                              I believe Koch's contribution to Koch arena is the single largest contribution Koch Industries has ever made.
                              I believe you are correct. He may be a KU alum, but WSU supplies him with many more employees. WSU has the proper departments in academics that he is looking for. Engineering, Computer Science and Business, plus there are others too, but those three would most likely supply the most. Plus it also looks good to help out the community where your business is located.

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