NORMAN — Football fans are sticklers for details and tradition. They’ll call you if your statistics are wrong and they’ll let you know if something changes on game day that they don’t particularly like.
Even before it happens, the fans will usually speak. Proposed changes in the Pride of Oklahoma’s pre-game show were shelved long before this Saturday evening’s kick-off.
Now, the university’s athletic department is changing a few policies that will alter some traditions in the name of safety and comfort. No more backpacks, even string backpacks, or fannypacks will be allowed inside the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.
Personal seat cushions won’t be allowed either, but rental cushions will be available. Some fans rented the seats for the entire season. Clear, empty water bottles still will be allowed, but merchandise sacks will not be.
We think the bigger change might be the size of purses allowed in the stadium. All purses must be smaller than 10 inches by 10 inches. Retailers tell us they were supposed to receive some sized boxes similar to those devices at airport gates showing how large a bag would be allowed in. Just getting to the stadium may be problematic this year and next year. Construction on the Main Street bridge continues, thus pushing more traffic to the already congested Lindsey Street and State Highway 9.
Athletic Department officials are recommending fans consider the Flood Street exit and Sooner Road as alternatives. They suggest drivers book an extra hour for travel time Saturday. We’re not sure that’s going to be enough.