Plans for Oklahoma State U.'s Athletic Village Are Still On Hold

June 08, 2009

Eleven months after Oklahoma State University lost $282-million from a facilities fund in the stock-market meltdown, plans for a 151,000-square-foot athletics village on its Stillwater campus remain at a standstill.

The Chronicle reported last fall that the project, which is to include indoor and outdoor football-practice fields, a baseball stadium, a tennis complex, a soccer-track complex, and an equestrian center, was on hold. At that time, a representative of the university said an indoor-practice facility for several sports team, which would cost $60-million, would be its first priority when money became available.

Not much has changed since then. The university still lacks the $60-million to complete the facility, as well as the funds to build the rest of the athletics village.

T. Boone Pickens, whose donations were largely responsible for the recent renovation of the football stadium as well as much of what was invested in the facilities fund, said a finished athletics village could now take as long as 10 years. The 81-year-old billionaire oil tycoon told the Tulsa World that he hopes it is completed before then.

The university is in the final stages of a $283-million renovation of Boone Pickens Stadium, which it financed with the $125-million that remained from Mr. Pickens’s initial gift, $63-million more that was donated by Mr. Pickens in October, a $35-million loan from the Oklahoma State University Foundation, and $10-million raised by the athletic director, Mike Holder.

The university spent about $50-million in 2007 to purchase and remove all structures within the 100-acre site slated for the village, a move that was controversial locally. The site remains empty. —Erica R. Hendry