The University of Oklahoma has hired Legends Global Sales to sell new premium seats tied to the $370 million renovation of Gaylord Family-OklahomaMemorial Stadium.
The project covers a mix of suites, loge boxes and club seats to be built in the south end zone and along the west sideline. The revenue generated from selling the new seats will help pay for construction costs, said Larry Naifeh, OU’s executive associate director of athletics.
Legends comes on board after its sister company CSL International consulted with the Big 12 school to help determine the appropriate number of new premium seats and their market value.
School officials spoke with other sports marketers but felt comfortable with Legends based on its relationship with CSL, Naifeh said.
Legends is responsible for selling about 14 Founders Suites; 24 smaller, traditional suites; more than 50 loge boxes; and an undetermined number of club seats. In addition, Legends will take over all season-ticket sales as part of the project.
School officials won’t release pricing on the new inventory until Populous’ drawings are complete and the university’s board of regents approves the final design in the coming weeks, Naifeh said.
But it’s safe to say the Founders Suites, the most luxurious spaces, will cost seven figures over a long-term commitment, he said. Those 18-seat units, targeted for the west sideline, are modeled after similar high-end suites at fellow Big 12 schools Baylor and TCU.
In Fort Worth, the six Founders Suites, part of a major renovation of Amon G. Carter Stadiumtwo years ago, carry terms of $15 million to be paid over five years. In Waco, new McLane Stadium’s half-dozen Founders Suites all sold for at least $10 million over 20 years.
The difference is at TCU those patrons share a 6,400-square-foot lounge outside of their private boxes. At Oklahoma, there will be ample hospitality space in a common area for 250 to 300 Founders Suite ticket holders, Naifeh said.
To give all Sooners season-ticket holders a better idea of what the new premium seats will look like, including 11,800 donors at the top of the list, Oklahoma has opened a preview center at a building across the street from campus.
OU signed a five-year lease with the owner of the building, situated on “Campus Corner,” a busy intersection in town. Inside are a mock suite and models of loge boxes and the new club seats.
Upon entering the center, season-ticket holders walk down hallways containing a historical timeline of Sooners football before encountering an image of the renovated stadium and rooms showcasing the seat models. Touch-screen technology lends to the visual effects.
OU spent about $550,000 to lease the 7,700-square-foot space and build the preview center.
Legends ultimately will have nine employees working in the preview center alongside Oklahoma’s development staffers, said Mike Ondrejko, Legends Global Sales’ chief operating officer. Tim Statezni, the agency’s on-site general manager, previously sold premium seats at Rose Bowl Stadium.
OU’s premium-seat additions are expected to open during the next two seasons.