John Hoover

With bad weather coming, Sooners move spring game to Friday night

With bad weather coming, Sooners move spring game to Friday night

Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley, right, calls for a review of play during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Iowa State, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, in Ames, Iowa. Oklahoma won 37-27. (AP Photo/Matthew Putney)

With Saturday wind chills expected to dip into the upper 30s and the possibility of rain, University of Oklahoma officials have decided to move the 2019 Spring Game to Friday evening, April 12.

Forecasters provided information that showed Friday evening’s temperature will be around 60 with light winds and no precipitation.

Stadium gates 2, 7, 10, 12, 14 and 16 will open to the public at 5:30 p.m., in time for the Lee Brice concert at 6:30 p.m. The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m.

“Naturally, our preference is to play on Saturday, but the weather was going to subject our fans to difficult conditions, and likely would have prevented many from attending,” said Vice President and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione. “We know that decisions of this kind may inconvenience some, and we regret that very much. At the same time, it truly was the student-athletes and fans we had in mind when we made this call. We hope most of our great fans can still attend the game in what should be much better conditions.”

Head Coach Lincoln Riley applauded the change.

“Saturday is going to be a tough day in terms of the weather so this helps our fans and also gives us better conditions to play the game,” Riley said. “I sincerely hope our fans can still support this event as they have in the past. It’s a huge recruiting weekend for us and we want to demonstrate the passion of OU football. The change gives us a little bit of a different atmosphere under the lights so we’re going to embrace that and get excited about it.”

Most campus parking lots will be open and free of charge for fans. Fans may also park at Lloyd Noble Center and ride the free shuttle buses to the stadium starting at 4 p.m. Tailgating will be permitted after noon on Friday.

Because many fans will be arriving after work and stadium gates are opening in the early evening, both the Spring Sale and Fan Fest have been canceled.

Tickets for OU football season ticket holders cost $8. Season ticket holders can log in to their season ticket account to order, or can call the OU Athletics Ticket Office at (405) 325-2424 during normal business hours. Tickets for non-season ticket holders are $10. Online orders are subject to a nominal convenience fee at the time of purchase, and additional fees may apply. Fans may also purchase $10 tickets Friday at the main OU Athletics Ticket Office on the west side of the stadium.

The OU Athletics Department is also still offering a limited number of $30 tickets that will allow fans on the field for the concert and provide reserved seating in sections 7 and 8 for the game. OU students will receive free admission to the game by showing a current OU ID at the gate.

All other seating is general admission, and normal game entry policies remain in place relative to permitted items, clear bag policy and usage of metal detectors. Most campus parking lots will be open and free of charge for fans. Fans may also park at Lloyd Noble Center and ride the free shuttle buses to the stadium starting at 4 p.m.

Due to construction projects in the north portion of the stadium, sections 9 through 27 will be closed for the Spring Game.

Brice, a two-time CMA/ACM/Grammy Song of the Year nominee who has a current Billboard top-25 hit in “Rumor,” will play his concert set on the stadium field from a four-foot-high stage that will be located on the turf, a change from last year’s setup when the stage was located in the north bleachers.

In-Game Activities and Events

POSE WITH THE HEISMAN

Want to take your picture with Kyler Murray’s 2018 Heisman Trophy? You can do it inside Gate 7 the day of the Spring Game from 5:30 p.m. until the end of the first half.

Heisman Memorial Trophy representatives will also be on hand to officially present the OU Athletics Department with its copy of Kyler Murray’s 2018 trophy during the game.

KIDS SKILL COMPETITION

Kids 12 and under can show off their skills at Fan Fest by participating in drills NFL Combine-style! Test arm accuracy, speed and vertical. The top kid in each drill will receive a free 2019-20 Sooner Jr. Kids Club membership.

RILEY AUTOGRAPHED FOOTBALLS

OU players will throw and kick Lincoln Riley autographed footballs into the stands during the game.

HELP CALL A PLAY

One fan will be randomly selected to head to the sideline to help head coach Lincoln Riley call an offensive play. Fans can enter to win the opportunity at the poster table inside Gate 7 on the stadium’s northeast corner.

KICK TO WIN TUITION

One OU student will have the opportunity to win free tuition for a semester, courtesy of the athletics department, by making progressive field goal attempts from 20, 30 and 40 yards. An autographed Riley football will be awarded for a 20-yard make, $500 will be awarded for a 30-yard make and free tuition for a 40-yard conversion. The student must make each kick to progress to the next level.

PUNT-CATCHING CONTEST

It’s not as easy as it looks. Two OU students will go head-to-head to see who can catch the most punts in 30 seconds for a chance to win a 55-inch TV.

ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS VS. CEEDEE

Rock beats scissors. Scissors beats paper. Paper beats rock. Do you think you can beat CeeDee Lamb? We’re bringing back one of last year’s favorite touchdown celebrations and giving one OU student a chance to be a part of it for a chance to win a free 2019 student season ticket.

John Hoover

Hoover wrote for the Tulsa World for 24 years before joining The Franchise, where he's now co-host of "Further Review" on The Franchise Tulsa (weekdays 12-3, fm107.9/am1270) . In his time at the World, Hoover won numerous writing and reporting awards, including in 2011 National Beat Writer of the Year from the Associated Press Sports Editors for his work covering the Oklahoma Sooners. Hoover also covered Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Oral Roberts and the NFL as a beat writer. From 2012 to 2016, Hoover was the World's lead sports columnist. As a columnist, Hoover won national awards in 2012 and 2014 from the National Athletic Trainers Association for reporting on sports medicine and in 2015 won first place in sports columns from the Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists. After receiving a journalism degree from East Central University, Hoover worked at newspapers in Ada, Okmulgee, Tahlequah and Waynesville, Mo. He played football at Ada High School and grew up in North Pole, Alaska. Hoover and his family live in Broken Arrow.

More in John Hoover

John E. Hoover: No. 1 recruit Brock Vandagriff commits to Oklahoma

John E. HooverJune 20, 2019

VIDEO: Baker Mayfield youth football camp

John E. HooverJune 19, 2019

John E. Hoover: It’s official: Josh Heupel, Roy Williams give Bob Stoops his first Hall of Fame candidates

John E. HooverJune 3, 2019

John E. Hoover: Softball World Series is a profound reunion for Gasso, Gajewski and Walton

John E. HooverMay 30, 2019

John E. Hoover: College football is so much better with Oklahoma-Georgia on the schedule

John E. HooverMay 6, 2019

The Franchise