Football or festival, scrimmage or spectacle? Sooner fans might want to ask themselves that question ahead of this weekend’s spring game. There will indeed be a game of football played, but it is only a small part of a football-themed festival happening in Norman on April 14th. Aside from expected spring game extras like unveiling a bronze statue of Bob Stoops and the handing-over of Baker Mayfield’s Heisman trophy to the OU Athletics Department, fans who make a day of it can also go shopping, tailgate in a food truck park, and watch a country music concert.
Festivities kick off at 7:30 AM on Saturday morning at McCasland Field House, where fans can shop for Sooner gear at a popup shopping center at McCasland Field House. At 9:30 AM an official Fan Fest area opens up caddy-corner from the stadium that includes tailgating-themed food trucks, live music, a Jumbotron, and a bevy of things to do and see that SoonerSports.com calls “sponsor interactivities.” At 10:00 AM fans with kids can access a designated Kids Zone, across the street from the Fan Fest, that features carnival rides, exercise-themed activities, and a photo opportunity with the Boomer and Sooner mascots.
OU students wanting in on the action should migrate to the campus green space on the other side of the stadium, where from 10:30 to gametime they can join an official tailgate. Students who attend can sign up for a few fabulous prizes, including a chance to come on the field during a break in the spring game to race star wide receiver Marquis Brown in a 40-yard dash. If the student somehow happens to beat Brown (who gives up a 10 yard head start), they win a Sooner-themed swag bag and a lot of bragging rights. Another lucky student will have a chance to win a free tuition for one semester by kicking a series of field goals. Sponsored by head coach Lincoln Riley and OU Athletics, to win free tuition the student must kick three field goals in a row, from 20, 30, and 40 yards out.
The stadium opens at 11:00 AM, and fans entering through Gate 7 can have their picture taken with Baker Mayfield’s Heisman Trophy. Entering well ahead of the 1:15pm kickoff time means getting a better seat for the Trace Adkins concert. Adkins is a country music singer with hits such as Honkey Tonk Badonkadonk, (This Ain’t) No Thinkin’ Thing, and Every Light in the House is On. Prior to the official announcement that Adkins was playing fans speculated that Toby Keith might make an appearance. As reported by Crimson and Cream Machine, Keith will be in the area that Friday night attending a Bob Stoops event in Oklahoma City. The fact he is in town and doing OU football-related activities leaves room for speculation that he might attend the spring game as well.
All the hoopla is part of a push by OU Athletics to double the attendance from last year’s spring game. Bring your festival hats and shine up your boots, because it’s going to be a rockin’ party in Norman on April 14th.
Oh, and there will be a game of football played too. Kickoff is at 1:15 PM. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for season ticket holders. All tickets are general admission, but fans have the option to upgrade to reserved seating at midfield and stand on the field during the concert for $25. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest and through the OU Athletics streaming service.