Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (a.k.a Owen Field) has been the site for the Oklahoma Sooners football team since it opened on October 20, 1923. The first game was a 63-7 win over Washington (MO) and the winning continues as the Sooners have an incredible 379-84-15 overall record in the stadium through 2015. Oklahoma Memorial Stadium is named in honor of the university personnel who died in World War I.
The stadium has undergone numerous renovations and upgrades over the years, especially in regards to its seating capacity. The stadium was built with add on seating, when the original west stands were erected in 1925 the capacity was 25,000. Then, the east stand raised capacity to 32,000, while the north end zone raised it to 55,000. Now with an upper deck, the stadium seating capacity is 82,112.
The Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium attendance record was set on October 27, 2012 against Notre Dame with 86,031 in attendance.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Gaylord Family Memorial Stadium has plenty of concession stands to satisfy any in game hunger or thirst. Local restaurants such as Taco Mayo and Pizza Hut have stands inside the stadium. The prices are typical for a sports venue, which is a little higher if getting the same food at the restaurant locations outside the stadium.
The Taco Mayo menu offers two crispy beef tacos and potato locos ($6), three crispy beef tacos ($7), or beef or chicken nachos ($8). Add $1 if you desire guacamole.
Pizza Hut offers $6 pizzas, but they are the small round pies. They are good if you are trying to eat a kid's meal. The Red Zone Fan Fare concession has the traditional stadium food that you can get anywhere, such as spicy sausage for $7, the choice of a jumbo kraut dog, foot long corn dog, or a chili cheese dog will each cost you $5, while a regular hot dog cost is $4.
The ultimate nachos are $6 and are great if you just want a snack to get you through the game, a smaller version of the ultimate is the Sooner nachos which cost a couple of dollars less. A unique item offered at the concession stand is the Walking Taco - an opened bag of Doritos with nacho cheese chips. The chips are then broken with ground beef added, and topped with shredded lettuce and cheese with sour cream and a side of picante sauce for $5.
If you are looking for BBQ, then the Billy Sims BBQ concession stand has what you need. BBQ sandwiches (Brisket, Pork, and Hot Link) cost $7, but get to the concession stand early if you want to try the $10 rib combo with chips as it is only available while the ribs last.
Many concessions around the stadium offer funnel cakes, frozen lemonade, Cracker Jacks, peanuts, and pretzels. The burger concession stand is Mackdaddy's, home to the onion burger for $5.50 or $8.50 if you want to "Double D" the burger.
The stadium serves Coca-Cola products including Coca-Cola, Coke Zero, Diet Coke, Sprite and water. The price for the soda is $5 for a 3-D souvenir cup, $4 for a regular, and $4 for a small soda or bottled water.
A great thing that the food and beverage area provides is fundraisers for the community. Remember that all of these concessions are operated by non-profit organizations as fundraisers, the service maybe a little slower, but they are working very hard to serve you.
There are TV monitors and radio broadcast airing in the concession areas to keep you informed of the game as the concession wait and access back to the seating area could take some time. Hopefully, the new renovation will address this area.
Just like any major football program, the atmosphere on game day begins with tailgating. The tailgating scene starts early in the morning whether it is an 11am kickoff or an evening game. The whole tailgating scene surrounding the campus makes going to Norman an event, not just a game. The Sooner faithful are filled with generations of fans that become the Sooner family during these tailgating events, eating, drinking, talking about Sooner football, and catching up with each other. Family is the common theme among the tailgaters. The best way to experience this is to attend a Sooner game with a Sooner fan that tailgates.
If this is not a choice then there is the Sooner Fan Fest, an interactive fan entertainment area in the northeast corner of the stadium, sponsored by Sooner Sports Properties and OU athletics. The fan fest opens three hours prior to kickoff offering food vendors, live music, the OU Schooner and Ponies, along with a 10' video board to keep up on the day's other games around the nation.
Inside the stadium, the double level stadium is filled with Crimson and White. Depending on the game, you may see the section rotate crimson and white around the stadium. The game introduction starts with the huge video board on the south end of the stadium showing highlights of past Oklahoma football accomplishments, past players and coaches reminding the pro Sooner crowd with an OU motto of "There is Only One Oklahoma," followed by fireworks exploding over the top of the scoreboard, while the Oklahoma Cheer Squad, The Ruff necks, and the OU Schooner and Ponies enter the field with the Oklahoma Football behind them as the band plays the OU fight song.
The Sooner fans stand throughout the game, cheering, chanting, booing, but most of all releasing a positive energy for the Oklahoma football team to continue their winning ways inside Gaylord-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
A large part of the college football experience is the marching band and at Oklahoma, the marching band is one of the best in the land as their namesake claims, they are the "The Pride of Oklahoma." The feature twirler, the band leader, color guards, and the band themselves always put on a great display throughout the game. The mascots Boomer and Sooner are fan friendly, while the Sooner Schooner is one of the most recognized symbols of Oklahoma football in the United States.
The atmosphere is wonderful because of the history of Oklahoma football, with the love and passion of the Sooner faithful providing a steady element for every Sooner home game. When the Sooners score, and from history they do often in Norman, be ready for gunfire and fireworks. Sit back and just soak in the atmosphere of Oklahoma Sooner football in Norman, Oklahoma.
The University of Oklahoma is a coeducational public research university located in the city of Norman, Oklahoma, 20 miles south of Oklahoma City. Norman is the 3rd largest city in the state with a population of about 118,000. The OU campus has a student population close to 30,000.
There are plenty of options for restaurants and lodging around the campus especially towards Interstate 35 in Norman.
On the northside of campus, by Campus Corner off W. Boyd Street, there are numerous shops, bars, and restaurants such as Hideaway Pizza, Louie's Grill & Bar, O'Connell's Irish Pub and Grille, The Library Bar and Grill, and Pepe Delgados. There are also numerous fast food chains and restaurants within a five mile radius of campus, near the Main Street exit of Interstate 35. Included among them is The Shack Seafood and Oyster Bar serving Cajun & Creole, seafood, and American choices.
The Oklahoma City area has so much to offer to visitors that a lot of people are surprised when visiting. However, Norman, Oklahoma should also be a stop when visiting the area, as the beautiful University of Oklahoma campus is home to a couple of nice museums; the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History and Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.
The Hampton Inn-Norman and the Fairfield Inn & Suites are just down Ed Noble Parkway from The Shack. The NCED Conference Center & Hotel is one of the largest hotels in Oklahoma, while the Hilton, Embassy Suites, Holiday Inn and Best Western are all located in Norman.
At the end of the 2015 season, the Oklahoma Sooners fans continued the sellout streak at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium to 104 consecutive home games. The Sooner faithful is a strong fan base so no matter what sporting event you are attending the fans are supportive. However, there isn't anything bigger than Sooner football as fans of all ages show up with their Crimson and Cream, from young girls in their OU cheerleading outfits to the adults decked out in their OU novelties from head to toe.
There are a lot of arms making the letters O-U and O-U chants being heard throughout the game, with the call Boomer Sooner echoing around the campus and stadium on game day. The Sooner fans don't sit during the games, so be ready to stand with them.
Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium sits on the campus of the University of Oklahoma, just south of Main Street. On a football game day you can expect over 100,000 people in the area, so parking may seem like a problem. The Norman police have designated traffic routes around campus to lead you to and from the stadium area. These routes start usually about four hours prior to kickoff.
Most of the parking around the campus requires either a credential or parking pass as the lots are reserved. Some area hotels will have a shuttle service. However, if you want to drive the Pay to Park Lots cost around $20. That is if you can get there early enough since OU parking permits are allowed to park there for free. There are also various businesses that charge anywhere from $5-$20 for parking in the area. If you can arrive early, then there is free parking throughout the Norman neighborhood off campus, just north of the four corners area.
The best option if you are driving and you don't want to drive around in traffic is the Lloyd Noble Center. The University of Oklahoma's all-purpose arena is located one mile south of the stadium and provides free parking. There is a shuttle that costs $4 round trip and begins about three hours before kickoff. There is reserved physical disability parking for a fee. For information on that parking you should call the parking office at (405) 325-3311.
There are nine available gates to the general public for entrance into the stadium. The student gates are 7 and 11, and there is no re-entry into the stadium once the ticket has been scanned. Please go to the Sooner website for any additional questions such as restricted items and searches.
The concourse throughout the stadium gets very crowded, particularly at halftime. Access through the section tunnels into the stadium could delay you getting to your seat, so be sure to arrive in plenty of time before kickoff to avoid the last minute dash to the seats.
You'll be standing the majority of the game, so just a quick rest will be all you need for a seat. The bathrooms are clean. Hopefully they will be a part of the renovations, to bring them up to date.
The stadium shows signs of its age with the access of getting around the stadium. Hopefully the renovation will improve this aspect and fans will freely be able to make their way to the seats, concessions, and bathrooms in an orderly manner and not miss any of the game.
Tickets to watch a prolific football program are never cheap, and this is true at Oklahoma as well. Tickets at face value range from $80-$100 per ticket. The Sooners have sold out over 100 consecutive games. The supply and demand for tickets varies on the opponent which most times leads to searching for tickets on a second party market. You can find reasonable ticket prices for lesser opponents, so if you love college football and would like to witness one of the most recognized football stadiums across the land, you should be able to find a ticket that will suit your budget.
The 2015 season attendance average was over 85,357, the largest in program history. With the completion of a renovation, along with high expectations for the 2016 campaign, the price most likely will rise. However, to witness one of history's premier college football programs is well worth the price of admission.
An extra point for one of the winningest college football programs in history. Oklahoma has had five Heisman Trophy winners (Billy Vessels 1952, Steve Owens 1969, Billy Sims 1978, Jason White 2003, and Sam Bradford 2008). Most importantly, Oklahoma has seven claimed National Championships (1950, 1955, 1956, 1974, 1975, 1985, and 2000).
Heisman Park, located outside the stadium on the east side, consists of statues of all of the past Heisman Trophy winners at Oklahoma.
A final extra point for "The Pride of Oklahoma" marching band, one of the best bands in college football.
Oklahoma football is one of the most historic and winningest college football programs of all time. Sooner Nation is a solid fan base that passes on traditions from generation to generation. Attending a football game in Norman should be on any college football fan's list. The renovation to this acceptable but old stadium will only increase the wonderful atmosphere, so look at the 2016 Oklahoma Sooners football schedule and travel to Norman, where you'll likely be watching a top 5 football team playing in a top notch facility. See the renovation link for an update of the construction being done to Gaylord-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
There is nothing quite like a cool, breezy game day in Norman, Oklahoma. The bi-polar Oklahoma weather is normally on its best behavior in the fall, making football season the best time to travel to Norman. The Sooners have been the state's main sports attraction for decades and get the full attention of all Oklahomans.
Fans descend on Norman from all corners of the state to take in the sights and sounds before filing into the monument that is the 82,000 capacity Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. All of this and the history surrounding the program make it a can't-miss destination for the traveling football fan.
The OU crowd was not very nice in my two previous visits. They are extremely engaged and do make for a great college game atmosphere, though. Parking is not ideal near the stadium and there is not much to do within walking distance.
If you want to watch a team win at home, go see Oklahoma. Most of the fans are good, but some get quiet. Nothing extra during the game, just football. Great area though.
Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium has been the home of the Oklahoma Sooners football team since it opened on October 20, 1923. It is the 15th largest college stadium in the country and the second-largest in the Big 12 conference seating a full capacity of 82,112. The stadium has undergone numerous renovations in recent years, updating the jumbotron, restrooms, and concession stands.
My 3 trips to Norman have been special. My last trip was the Notre Dame game. The place was electric. Although the access before kickoff was very slow due to the stadium and event staff, not being prepared to hold the largest crowd, to attend a game at Memorial Stadium. The newly announced renovations should help in the future with better access to your seats. I believe visiting Norman, on a Saturday in the Fall, should be on every college football fan list.
577 Buchanan Ave
Norman, OK 73069
301 W Boyd St
Norman, OK 73069
3025 William Pereira Dr
Norman, OK 73072
120 E Lindsey St
Norman, OK 73072
607 W Boyd St
Norman, OK 73069
2401 Chautauqua Ave
Norman, OK 73072
2801 E State Highway 9
Norman, OK 73071
309 Norman Center Ct
Norman, OK 73072
301 Norman Center Ct
Norman, OK 73072