Boone Pickens Stadium renovations are underway: Here is what will be different for fans next season.
(Ben’s weekly OSU newsletter makes checking email fun on Saturday. Subscribe here.)
STILLWATER — Get ready to stretch out, Cowboy football fans attending home games next season, you’ll have the room.
Boone Pickens Stadium is undergoing renovations and more legroom in the south stands is one of several differences fans will notice for the 2024 season.
Oklahoma State is increasing the distance between every seat on the south side in the 200 and 300 levels (the middle two sections) from 27 inches to 31 inches, matching the legroom on the north stands. Stadium capacity is being slightly reduced to make the change. OSU Athletics does not have an official number yet. It is not expected to be a drastic reduction.
“I just think (there will be more) overall stadium comfort up here, where guys as tall as me would have had to sit sideways,” Kyle Waters, senior associate athletic director/facilities said.
Waters is in charge of the seating bowl upgrades. It is the second half of a $55 million project that began last December with the north stands. The project’s targeted completion date is Aug. 1.
Here are other upgrades fans will notice next season:
Additional signage directing to reordered section numbers. Waters said navigating the stadium isn’t a problem for Cowboy fans who come to games regularly, but he doesn’t want to take visiting fans for granted.
Five thousand black mesh chairs installed on the south stands. Each chair will be equipped with a cupholder and is made from fade-resistant material. The chairs will be nearly identical to the 900 mesh chairs currently on the north side.
A grab-and-go concession option underneath the south stands at the 50-yard line. It will be similar to the concession stand on the north side. Fans will be able to pick up sodas, hot dogs and beers without having to wait in a line at a traditional concession window.
More handrails and smaller step inclines in some places at the top of the 200 level where there had previously been large steps.
The Boone Pickens Legacy Experience museum. Boone Pickens, a Holdenville, Oklahoma native, changed Oklahoma State more than any other person. The oil tycoon died in 2019 and donated $650 million for OSU’s athletic and academic programs. The university is preserving Pickens’ legacy in a museum that will be located in the west end zone by his statue outside the stadium.
The museum will be 10,000 square feet and two stories tall. A central feature will be a restored replica of Pickens’ 1955 Ford station wagon. Andy Anway is designing the exhibit. Anway previously designed the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas. Pickens’ childhood home, a modest white house with red brick at the base, was relocated on the grounds of Karsten Creek in 2020.
Right now, though, a demolition crew is tearing up the old stands and unearthing dirt that daylight hasn’t touched since before Lewis Field.
It is too early to tell if a spring game will be played, an OSU representative said in January. Last year, OSU was unable to play a spring game in the stadium because of protective matting on the field needed to allow a crane to operate. This year, a smaller crane will be used that doesn’t require as much protection on the turf.
Waters said on last month that the south side renovations are 15% complete. Although Aug. 1 is the goal to be done, it’s not always that simple in construction.
“As everyone is well aware in construction if we’re wrapped in a bow and ready to open Aug. 15th, I will be super happy,” Waters said.
OSU opens the 2024 football season at home against South Dakota State on Aug. 31. The full schedule was released Jan. 30 and features six home games.
Fans can watch the project live on OSU’s stadium construction camera.