Oklahoma AD has gone crazy, wants an off campus basketball arena / facilities ... with a $1B entertainment district development ...

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Yeah this is a basketball + other facilities, but I think it is also about the changing face of college sports or ... at least how this AD thinks it should change.

It's totally wild how this seems to just be a copy paste idea from the NBA (and those plans have hardly been proven successful yet) AND he wants other Oklahoma sports to be "tenants" for their practice facilities in this development. Because if anything that's what your sport needs ... to pay commercial real estate market prices for your gymnastics practice facility!??!?

And screw the students attending games I guess....

 


I’d love an AD with a big vision. It would be a welcome change for us. We haven’t had it in a long time.

Go AD’s with big vision!!
What vision is this though? An off campus stadium? Bills for renting commercial real-estate for unprofitable college athletics?

They don't own any of the real-estate ... this "vision" seems more like vision for vision's sake.

Meanwhile the history of off campus stadiums is pretty clear as far as support goes.
 

This might be the first time that a University has threatened to relocate its athletics programs.

Also of interest, the proposed arena would only seat 8,000. I don't know what Oklahoma's basketball attendance has been historically but this seems to continue the trend towards smaller arenas for even P6 programs. This is something to keep an eye on if the idea of replacing Williams Arena ever gains traction.
 

This might be the first time that a University has threatened to relocate its athletics programs.

Also of interest, the proposed arena would only seat 8,000. I don't know what Oklahoma's basketball attendance has been historically but this seems to continue the trend towards smaller arenas for even P6 programs. This is something to keep an eye on if the idea of replacing Williams Arena ever gains traction.

Their current venue is 11,000. I imagine if we do a massive renovation, or better yet build new, we’d target 10K for MN.

Go Gophers!!
 


This might be the first time that a University has threatened to relocate its athletics programs.

Also of interest, the proposed arena would only seat 8,000. I don't know what Oklahoma's basketball attendance has been historically but this seems to continue the trend towards smaller arenas for even P6 programs. This is something to keep an eye on if the idea of replacing Williams Arena ever gains traction.
Looked at some games from this last season and they were having 10,000 for many of their conference games. 6,000-7,000 for non-conference.
 

For viability surrounding collegiate funding Harroz outlined four things that would ensure the process functions correctly:
* antitrust,
* complying with Title IX,
* settling the question of whether athletes are employees and

* ensuring that non-revenue-generating sports survive. [I added the bullet point stars for emphasis]

“For long-term viability of intercollegiate athletics, you've got to solve for those four things,” Harroz said. “I think that a lot of people want to say, ‘Well, if you just fix NIL and the transfer portal, then your problems are solved.’ It's not. You’ve got to solve for all four of those.”


He's not wrong in that more than NIL and the transfer portal need to be fixed when looking at the total athletic department, but the plan of building a billion dollar women's gymnastics and basketball Taj Mahal seems to be the equivalent of buying a McMansion home at the peak of a real estate bubble. Money in football and men's basketball could kill Olympic sports. College athletics needs to sort out its issues before I'd make any major investments in infrastructure. The current trend is paying athletes. Put a large wad of cash and crappy facilities in front of a recruit and they'll take that over no cash and great facilities every time.
 

This might be the first time that a University has threatened to relocate its athletics programs.

Also of interest, the proposed arena would only seat 8,000. I don't know what Oklahoma's basketball attendance has been historically but this seems to continue the trend towards smaller arenas for even P6 programs. This is something to keep an eye on if the idea of replacing Williams Arena ever gains traction.
If Oklahoma doesn't build it they'll be come the Seattle Super Sooners!

/stolen from elsewhere on the interwebs
 

This might be the first time that a University has threatened to relocate its athletics programs.

Also of interest, the proposed arena would only seat 8,000. I don't know what Oklahoma's basketball attendance has been historically but this seems to continue the trend towards smaller arenas for even P6 programs. This is something to keep an eye on if the idea of replacing Williams Arena ever gains traction.
It would be funny if our basketball arena ends up smaller than the hockey arena. Mariucci holds just over 10,000.
 



It would be funny if our basketball arena ends up smaller than the hockey arena. Mariucci holds just over 10,000.
I'm not a hockey guy but from the sounds of it, Mariucci is about twice the size that it really needs now.
 

I'm not a hockey guy but from the sounds of it, Mariucci is about twice the size that it really needs now.
Average attendance last year was 9,225. Would seem dumb to cut out 4000 ticket sales each game.
 

If Oklahoma doesn't build it they'll be come the Seattle Super Sooners!

/stolen from elsewhere on the interwebs
I'd be ok if Golden Gopher athletics relocated to, say, Apple Valley, Chaska, St. Cloud. Maybe this Sooner is on to something.
 

This might be the first time that a University has threatened to relocate its athletics programs.

Also of interest, the proposed arena would only seat 8,000. I don't know what Oklahoma's basketball attendance has been historically but this seems to continue the trend towards smaller arenas for even P6 programs. This is something to keep an eye on if the idea of replacing Williams Arena ever gains traction.
Just a guess/assumption on my part but assume the arena would have fewer seats for fans but more suites and high end areas for the people with money. Because those are the only people they really care about getting to the games anyway.
 




Hockey attendance has rebounded, especially the past 2 seasons. 10,000 is right sized for puck.
Can confirm, it is up and down still sometimes, but I was impressed that the games I went to were full or .... just about as far as butts in seats went.


It isn't what it once was, but it certainly seemed to be trending up with even just the fan enthusiasm, butts in seats, and etc.
 

Can confirm, it is up and down still sometimes, but I was impressed that the games I went to were full or .... just about as far as butts in seats went.


It isn't what it once was, but it certainly seemed to be trending up with even just the fan enthusiasm, butts in seats, and etc.
The 6-5 OT loss to Michigan was LOUD. I can't remember if it was that game, but I am pretty sure we set a new all-time attendance record this year (for a single game).
 

Can confirm, it is up and down still sometimes, but I was impressed that the games I went to were full or .... just about as far as butts in seats went.


It isn't what it once was, but it certainly seemed to be trending up with even just the fan enthusiasm, butts in seats, and etc.
There were a few stinkers on the home schedule too that certainly didn't help with attendance (Sunday/Monday vs CC, St. Thomas, Robert Morris, 1st round big ten playoffs vs PSU at weird times). Those games I'm sure hurt our average attendance quite a bit. Not to mention games in general are no longer predictable Friday/Saturday at 7pm. That hasn't helped attendance either.
 

Can confirm, it is up and down still sometimes, but I was impressed that the games I went to were full or .... just about as far as butts in seats went.


It isn't what it once was, but it certainly seemed to be trending up with even just the fan enthusiasm, butts in seats, and etc.
The 2 regular season games I went to were pretty well attended Mich St & Ohio St, in the 9,000 range for sure.

Game 1 of the Big 10 playoffs vs Penn St was indeed sparse, probably in the 3,000 - 4,000 vicinity. I was surprised by that, given the Big 10 Semis I went to in 2023 it was nearly Sold Out, though this year was head-to-head with the HS State Semis.
 

The 2 regular season games I went to were pretty well attended Mich St & Ohio St, in the 9,000 range for sure.

Game 1 of the Big 10 playoffs vs Penn St was indeed sparse, probably in the 3,000 - 4,000 vicinity. I was surprised by that, given the Big 10 Semis I went to in 2023 it was nearly Sold Out, though this year was head-to-head with the HS State Semis.
The semi game this year vs Michigan was a sell out.
 

The 2 regular season games I went to were pretty well attended Mich St & Ohio St, in the 9,000 range for sure.

Game 1 of the Big 10 playoffs vs Penn St was indeed sparse, probably in the 3,000 - 4,000 vicinity. I was surprised by that, given the Big 10 Semis I went to in 2023 it was nearly Sold Out, though this year was head-to-head with the HS State Semis.
I wanted to go to the Penn St. game but it just comes up sorta at the last minute, then is at a busy time of year ... just bad timing.
 

What vision is this though? An off campus stadium? Bills for renting commercial real-estate for unprofitable college athletics?

They don't own any of the real-estate ... this "vision" seems more like vision for vision's sake.

Meanwhile the history of off campus stadiums is pretty clear as far as support goes.
FYI: I believe Autzen (football) Pape Field (women's soccer and la cross) and PK (Park baseball) are all classified as off campus.
 


We're at the point in college sports where greedy parties are trying to squeeze every penny out of it before they leave the corpse on the side of the road.
NOTSUREIF.jpg
 

FYI: I believe Autzen (football) Pape Field (women's soccer and la cross) and PK (Park baseball) are all classified as off campus.

Yes, but did you read the article? The OU president said if the Norman City Council doesn't approve the TIF measure then they'll threaten to move the teams to another city.
 


I really don't think having other sports off campus would hurt attendance. Football has to be on campus during beautiful fall days and tailgating. The campus is a draw that time of year.

Really the T-Wolves and U of M should consider a partnership on an arena. Make sure there are enough seats in the lower bowl for Gopher events and close off the upper deck.
 

Yes, but did you read the article? The OU president said if the Norman City Council doesn't approve the TIF measure then they'll threaten to move the teams to another city.
Meaning suburban Oklahoma City. Place within 30 minutes and more population. It's not crazy considering the way college sports are going right now.
 

Yes, but did you read the article? The OU president said if the Norman City Council doesn't approve the TIF measure then they'll threaten to move the teams to another city.
Where will they go? Just go play in the Thunder's arena? Tulsa? Go really bold and move to Stillwater.
 

I really don't think having other sports off campus would hurt attendance. Football has to be on campus during beautiful fall days and tailgating. The campus is a draw that time of year.

Really the T-Wolves and U of M should consider a partnership on an arena. Make sure there are enough seats in the lower bowl for Gopher events and close off the upper deck.
You might be right, but I don't know if I'd attend as much of it was off campus for hockey or basketball. Just more of the charm of college sports going in the trash bin. Might as well just go to the pro sports instead.
 

I really don't think having other sports off campus would hurt attendance. Football has to be on campus during beautiful fall days and tailgating. The campus is a draw that time of year.

Really the T-Wolves and U of M should consider a partnership on an arena. Make sure there are enough seats in the lower bowl for Gopher events and close off the upper deck.
Curious, did you go to the U?
 




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