|The Athletics Center is a truly comprehensive sports complex,
and its auxiliary facilities are a model for all other venues in the
region. In addition to being the home of historic
Gallagher-Iba Arena and
Eddie Sutton Court, the Center features an academic counseling center, training
facilities for all sports, a strength and conditioning center, expanded
offices, a recruiting lounge, an auxiliary gym, wrestling facilities
and the Heritage Hall museum. Heritage
Hall features more than 5,000 square feet of displays highlighting
OSU's many athletic and scholastic achievements.
A total of 14 luxury suites stretch across the west side of
the facility, overlooking both the basketball court and the football
field. These are the only luxury skybox suites that allow fans to view
basketball or wrestling from the east side and football games from the
west side. At 30 feet above the ground, the concourse level is
illuminated with natural light from large window walls, where visitors
to the arena can look out across Stillwater in all directions.
One of the nation's largest collegiate strength and
conditioning facilities (30,000 square feet of space including the
weight room and oval running track) is housed in the first level of the
Athletic Center. The sports medicine facility boasts a cutting-edge
Hydroworks Therapy Pool with a variable-speed treadmill for
student-athletes to rehab injuries safely and effectively by running in
Construction commenced with a groundbreaking ceremony on January 12,
1999 and was completed in December of 2000 at a cost of $55 million.
Funding of the project was a total team effort, supported by Oklahoma
State students (through a self-imposed activity fee), private donations,
loyal season-ticket holders and a use tax voted on by the citizens of
“It was a great location,” said Gary Sparks, principal in charge with
SPARKS Sports. “It was my idea that we should expand and modernize the
facility that we had and make it a first-class facility without going
offsite. Also, at the same time, we really needed to update the football
What was once the basketball arena now has been expanded to serve
other athletics as well as linked to the adjacent football field,
creating one huge sports complex.
“We kept all the history and tradition on campus, but modernized and
doubled it in size,” Sparks said.
The arena grew from 60 feet high to 120 feet high and capacity was
increased from 6,381 to seat 13,611, making it the largest sports arena
in the state of Oklahoma at the time.
“I think its the first time anybody has done what we did by building
up and around an existing arena,” said Sparks. “We didn’t miss any ball
games. All the time this was going on, we were playing games inside the
Designers were able to save the original white maple wood court,
which was installed in 1938. While preserving the history of the old
arena was key, the new Athletics Center starts a new chapter for the
“Its been a big hit,” Sparks said. “Its a great place to watch
basketball. Its very intimidating for the other team, and that’s what
its all about.”