STILLWATER – Oklahoma State is strengthening its position within the national landscape of college athletics with the unveiling of the athletics facilities vision plan that was announced by Athletic Director Chad Weiberg today.
The plan focuses on providing for the success of the student-athletes, improving the fan experience, and bolstering the University’s ability to attract student-athletes across all programs through the creation of a unified and connected athletic village unrivaled in college sports.
Included in the plan are a new football operations center, a new wrestling training facility, a new softball stadium, an indoor track, a new training center for basketball, upgrades to the Pedigo-Hull Equestrian Center and to Karsten Creek Golf Course and repurposed areas in the west end zone of Boone Pickens Stadium and Gallagher-Iba Arena for student-athlete services that include a new academics center and spaces for mental health, leadership and career development.
The athletics vision plan comes at an estimated cost of approximately $325 million. The implementation and order of construction will be determined as funding becomes available for each individual element.
“This is a time of conference realignment and unprecedented transformation in college athletics,” Weiberg said. “With a history that includes 52 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 road map for the next phase of an athletics village that will be unrivaled in collegiate sports.”
The plan is in its conceptual stages. A closer look at some of the key elements:
Human Performance Innovation Complex and Football Center
In December of 2022, Oklahoma State University announced its new Human Performance and Nutrition Research Institute with the goal of impacting every community in Oklahoma.
Due to available space and to maximize efficiencies, the institute headquarters will share a roof with the new operations home of Cowboy Football and will be located immediately adjacent to the existing practice fields and the Sherman E. Smith Training Center.
Sharing the same footprint will maximize efficiencies of key elements of the Human Performance And Nutrition Research Institute and Cowboy Football.
Vacated space in the west end zone of Boone Pickens Stadium creates tremendous benefits for student-athletes in every sport and accommodates an athletic department that has grown in recent years to include new areas dedicated to student-athlete success, mental and physical wellness, leadership and professional development.
While the institute itself is funded by the university, the Cowboy Football program will have its own space within the building paid for by athletics funds and private donations.
The 2009 upgrades to Boone Pickens Stadium played a significant role in OSU’s rise to college football prominence. It also launched a larger mindset – one that Cowboy Football is truly capable of ascending to the highest level of the sport. This new facility provides an opportunity for OSU to reaffirm its commitment to being a national force moving forward.
Student-Athlete Success Center
The program areas currently occupied by OSU Football in the west end zone of Boone Pickens Stadium will be renovated following completion of Human Performance Innovation and Football Center. This includes both student-athlete and coaches/staff areas in the stadium which are currently located on the arena and lower club Levels.
The existing Student-Athlete Dining and Training Table would be expanded and renovated. Premium areas, including both club areas and seating and additional suites would be added, offering new seating types and amenities. Existing student-athlete support programs such as academic services, student athlete development and mental health could be relocated from Gallagher-Iba Arena to the stadium. Sports medicine, along with strength and conditioning could also be expanded and located in the west end zone, offering a central training and recovery space for all student-athletes.
In addition, offices and work areas for OSU Athletics creative teams, encompassing operations, graphic design, creative content and communications would be relocated to Boone Pickens Stadium.
Boone Pickens Stadium
Between 2003 and 2009, Lewis Field expanded and was officially rededicated as Boone Pickens Stadium on September 5, 2009. The expansion included adding nearly 4,000 club seats and 123 suites and connected the north and south by creating a continuous seating bowl in the west end zone. Over time the original seating on the north and south sides stadium bowl has required annual maintenance, resulting in increased repair costs, necessitating the replacement of the existing seating treads and risers. This need allowed OSU Athletics to plan the modernization and improvement of the fan experience in Boone Pickens Stadium.
Following the 2022 football season, work began on a two-year stadium project, beginning on the north side. That scope of work begins at the 200 level with the addition of a cross aisle to the existing seating treads and risers at the 300 level, expanding tread depths and new entrances. The project includes replacing benches, adding stadium seats in some sections, additional aisles, and adding handrails for safety. New intermediate aisles will be located between the existing entrances, reducing the amount of seating between aisles.
Following the 2023 football season, the south will be replaced in a similar fashion. The project includes new entrances at the lower 200 levels, replacing benches, adding stadium seats, additional aisles and adding handrails.
This renovation will keep the overall vision of Boone Pickens Stadium intact, marrying the north, west and south seating sections, and maintaining the existing 100, 200 and 300 level seating bowl levels.
The plan includes a new softball facility partially located on the former site of Allie P. Reynolds Stadium. The new home of Cowgirl Softball will provide modern amenities suitable for a premier collegiate softball program and will include championship caliber player-development areas. In addition, typical chairback seating, tailgating corrals, and family friendly areas to enhance the fan experience are planned.
Following the demolition of Allie P. Reynolds Stadium, the project will also create opportunities for additional parking for on-campus residents.
Indoor Track and Field
The men’s and women’s track and field programs support over 100 student-athletes. These athletes require year-round training and competition space. The vision plan proposes an indoor track and field facility south of the existing outdoor track and field complex. The proposed site is bordered by McElroy Road to the north, the Sherman E. Smith Training Center to the south, the Michael and Anne Greenwood Tennis Center to the west, and North Knoblock Street to the east.
This parcel of land is ideally sized for a full indoor track program. It will include a 200 meter banked track, indoor field event space, spectator seating, athletic training rooms, team meeting/theater spaces, locker rooms, player lounges, and offices for coaching staff.
In addition to strengthening training and development for the track and field programs, this new facility will act as a dynamic new recruiting tool for an already nationally prominent program.
Wrestling Practice Facility
Cowboy Wrestling is the most successful program in the history of the NCAA, regardless of sport. Entering the 2022-23 academic year, Oklahoma State wrestling had won 34 team national championships, 143 individual NCAA championships and had 475 All-Americans. The plan proposes an addition to the existing facility, which would support the ongoing success of OSU Wrestling.
While the program recently received an upgrade to its locker room, additional space is needed to sustain the success of the program.
This addition will increase the size of the wrestling room, allowing for additional mat space and championship-level team amenities. While the team will always compete inside the famous Gallagher-Iba Arena, the training facility will feature a dedicated space for spectators that will enhance recruiting and donor visits. This training facility will also house office and meeting spaces for the coaching staff.
Basketball Practice Facility
OSU's basketball programs have a rich history of success. Since the Cowboys’ first game in 1908, OSU has won two national championships and appeared in six Final Fours. In the Big 12, only Kansas exceeds those totals. With 17 postseason appearances and three conference championships, the Cowgirls are continuing to build on an already-established tradition.
While having the benefit of utilizing the game court and backdrop of Gallagher-Iba Arena for practice can be an advantage for both programs, at times they are displaced during other athletic and campus events. A new practice facility is essential in helping both basketball programs continue to recruit, develop and train student-athletes to compete for conference and national championships.
The vision plan proposes an addition on the south side of the arena, which will feature two practice courts, and other championship-caliber training spaces.
Pedigo-Hull Equestrian Center
Building off the historic 2021-22 season in which the program captured its eighth Big 12 Conference title and its first overall NCEA national championship, several updates to Pedigo-Hull Equestrian Center are planned.
Similar in size and scope to the Atherton Family Arena, an additional covered arena will be added to the Pedigo-Hull Equestrian Center.
Currently the primary practice arena, the Atherton Family Arena is a 135x270 square foot covered arena. The team also uses the Totusek Indoor Arena, a 100x200 foot climate-controlled facility. The Pedigo-Hull Equestrian Center consists of a saddling barn that includes coaches’ offices, locker rooms, a tack room and an athletic training satellite office. It also has a 24-stall horse barn with outdoor runs and several paddocks and pastures. A new multipurpose team building that includes a team lounge with study area and a fueling station was completed in 2021.
Karsten Creek Golf Course
Opened in 1994, Karsten Creek Golf Course was quickly named the “Best New Course” in the country by Golf Digest. The undulating fairways and challenging bunkers were originally created by renowned golf course designer Tom Fazio. Complementing the course are the clubhouse, three multi-level guest lodges, and a practice and teaching facility. While the course and related amenities have stood the test of time, renovations are needed to improve the facilities infrastructure, create a more challenging course, and enhance the skills of the student-athlete.
Course enhancement will include new irrigation, drainage, fairways, cart paths, and greens. Bunkers and tee boxes will be adjusted to increase the difficulty of play and advance the skills of the golfers. The practice facility will also be renovated to improve the tee boxes, landing zones, short game area and practice putting greens.
Originally constructed in 1997, the indoor practice facility will be upgraded to include state-of-the-art equipment.
Gallagher-Iba Arena Welcome Plaza
Since 1938, Gallagher-Iba Arena has been known as one of the great venues in collegiate athletics. Over time, however, the original east facade of the building has lost its unique prominence as the main gateway of the venue. This project seeks to revive this entrance, creating the welcome that OSU fans and athletes deserve. The plan also proposes adding premium parking and tailgating experiences to enhance the fan experience from the moment they arrive for an event.
The proposed Gallagher-Iba Welcome Plaza parking expansion will create approximately 250 new parking spaces nestled in a park-like setting.
In addition to creating parking, public plaza and walkway, fans will experience an arrival sequence similar to that of Boone Pickens Stadium. With new fan-focused offerings, OSU will have new opportunities to generate revenue.