When the renovations began on Oklahoma State University’s stadium in 2006, it was in very poor condition, completely run down and dilapidated. Administrators did not have the money to redo the whole stadium at one time, so they progressed in phases. With a very generous donation from alumnus and billionaire philanthropist Boone Pickens, Phase 3 successfully completed the massive overhaul in time for the 2009 season’s opening game.
Most people had given up on this tired, old, rusty stadium but a group of very dedicated, creative architects and interior designers saw a way to turn it into one of the best collegiate stadiums in the country.
The west end zone project for Boone Pickens Stadium at Oklahoma State University was the third of a three-phase project. Special attention was given to improving the washrooms and concessions and a new brick exterior to blend in with the Georgian architecture of the campus.
“The West End Project began when OSU graduate Boone Pickens made his historic gifts to athletics,” says Gary Sparks, principal of Crafton Tull Sparks architecture, and architect of record. “He expressed a desire to have this project be the best. We began the design process by visiting other collegiate stadiums to see what had been done, what worked and what did not work.”
The architects and interior designers spent time with coaches, staff and athletes at the other locations, observing their activities to better understand what they needed to work and function at the highest level. It was also designed to enhance recruiting. “The ‘wow factor’ was important in our design concepts. Using materials that were attractive, durable and easily maintained were also key considerations. “
Most football stadiums run north & south, and it is very rare at both the high school or university level to see a stadium built any other way. At Oklahoma State University, however, the stadium is situated east and west.
“Both the north and south sides were the sidelines of the field, with seating at the east end. The west end had very little except a comparative few 2,000 seats. It had never really been filled like a lot of bowl stadiums,” says Sparks. “Many people felt that if we could get phases one and two done, and do anything at the west end zone at all, it would be a home run as nothing there had ever been addressed.”
The choice of flooring also played an important part in the completed stadium. “Mondo has such a strong reputation and as we used their products on other facilities, we decided to incorporate Mondo flooring products in our design palate for this stadium in a number of areas,” says Sparks, noting the primary products used were Mondo Sport Impact and Super X Performance.
As the completion of the new and improved Boone Picket Stadium came together, plans for dedicated areas were also revealed.
Located at the field level is the locker room – the central element for the other spaces that revolve around it. These include the sports medicine clinic, strength and conditioning room, offense/defense meeting rooms, equipment room, team theater and the training table.
Throughout the stadium, other floor levels include coaches’ offices, staff meeting rooms, position meeting rooms, a full size kitchen and two levels of suites.
The players’ locker room has approximately 14,000 square feet with 131 lockers. The comfortable team lounge promotes unity, and provides a meeting space for halftime talks. Also included in the space are four 42-inch and one 65-inch TVs. A 65-foot curved wall at the front of the room incorporates a white board for the coaches to diagram plays, etc.
This space has approximately 7,600 square feet dedicated to the prevention of injuries and rehabilitation of the players. There are eight treatment tables, cardio equipment, four hydrotherapy pools, twelve taping stations, a large exam room with digital XRay, a small exam room, a doctor’s office and four staff offices.
A strength and conditioning space specifically for football is rare, especially one with approximately 20,000 square feet. High ceilings give a wide-open feel to the space along with a balance of simplicity and visual interest. Mondo flooring is used throughout this space and enhances the wow factor and durability.
The theater accommodates 200 for team meetings, film viewing, press conferences, lecture hall and movies. The 32-inch, leather chairs are very comfortable, and the theater has stateoftheart sound and video capabilities.
The training table is the place student athletes are provided a variety of healthy meals. This 12,000 square-foot space will accommodate over 200, with views that include the inside of the stadium and the main campus.
Multiple types of seats are provided including tabletops, booth seats, lounge chairs, stools and sofas. This space provides a relaxed, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing place to dine.