The University of Oklahoma, also known as OU, is a top-quality school in the Big 12 Conference, whose championship-winning football team is beloved in the state. Their home stadium, the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (sometimes called Owen Field or The Palace on the Prarie) seats 80,000 fans. On the sidelines are the Sooners’ mascots, Boomer and Sooner, two ponies that pull the famous Sooner Schooner, an old-time wagon. Costumed versions of Boomer and Sooner are there, too.
The Sooners, while beloved by most Oklahomans, have a fierce rivalry with another Oklahoma team, the Oklahoma State Cowboys. OU’s rivalries are something of a legend, and their rivalry with the University of Texas Longhorns is often one of the most talked-about matchups in college football. The two passionate fanbases meet in Dallas every year, where the teams duke it out in what is known as the Red River Shootout at the Cotton Bowl Stadium.
With no professional sports team, the Sooners are Oklahoma’s next-best-thing, and the crowd loyally shows up to support their boys. Tailgating is welcomed here, and so is RV tailgating. OU has some of the best amenities for RV tailgaters, which makes it a great place to visit. Apart from football, OU is competitive in many other sports, which should not go unnoticed.
While 80,000 seats seem like a lot, tickets sell fast in Sooner country. The more affordable tickets cost around $30, but you could be spending upwards of $100 or more, especially if the game is against a rival or high-ranked opponent. Historically, the OU football tickets have been priced at about $80 on average, but that changes from year to year.
Men’s basketball is another popular sport, and tickets sell at an average of $15. Tickets for other sports, such as women’s basketball, baseball, gymnastics, and wrestling, are also available.
The University of Oklahoma is in Norman, Oklahoma, which is a 30-minute drive south of the state’s capital, Oklahoma City. Dallas is about a three-hour drive south of the university via I-35. Several other interstates run near Norman, which should make the drive easier for out-of-town guests. I-40 connects the U.S. almost entirely from coast to coast and runs about 20 miles to the north of OU Stadium. Toll roads are to be expected in the Oklahoma City region, mostly along I-44. Several streets close around the stadium four hours prior to the game, so plan accordingly.
Sooner Village at the Lloyd Noble Center is the home of RV parking and tailgating. Buying a parking pass for Sooner Village is the way to go, and there are multiple options. If you’re staying for a weekend to see one game, an RV Single Game Pass is fine, but you might want to opt for an RV Weeklong Stay Pass, which lets you camp at Sooner Village in between home games. Water is provided, and there are dump stations. Electric hookups are available as well, but not for all sites.
Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium is a mile down the street from Sooner Village, but there is a shuttle available for guests who prefer not to walk. The shuttle begins three hours before kickoff, and it ends one hour after the game ends. Fans are allowed to park one tow vehicle in your RV parking spot, which gives you more freedom to travel around the city.
An RV Single Game Parking Pass grants you access to Sooner Village from Friday morning to noon on Sunday. The RV Weeklong Stay Pass gives you access from game day to game day, but only if the games are back-to-back. If you just wish to stay at Sooner Village during the week, you could purchase a General Stay Pass, which excludes football weekends.
Sooner fans will find plenty of RV campgrounds to choose from along I-35, but plan ahead to find the one that best suits your needs. Oklahoma City East KOA, for example, offers Wi-Fi, electricity, cable TV, a pool, and a dog park within a 40-minute drive and is near I-40. Lake Thunderbird State Park welcomes campers, trailers, and motorhomes of all sizes to stay near the water and only about a 20-minute drive from Sooners Stadium.
Your best bet to get to and from the stadium is to ride the shuttles provided by the University of Oklahoma. Sooners fans can begin boarding the shuttle as early as three hours before the game, and it will take you back to the parking lot after the game ends. There are elevators and escalators throughout the stadium.
While it isn’t mandatory, OU fans are expected to wear crimson and cream clothing, the school’s colors, which results in the stadium looking like a crimson sea. Of course, you also have to consider the temperature, too. Pack for warm weather at the beginning of the season, and bundle up when November comes around in Norman.
If you plan on staying at Sooner Village for multiple nights, consider bringing a generator, since parking spots with electricity are reserved ahead of time and limited. When the tailgating comes around, you’ll need a grill, seats for your guests, and a table for your spread. It’s also worth packing a tent to help you stay out of the sun, but remember to secure it well.
Oklahoma is known for severe weather in the spring, and it’s best to be prepared. Make a mental note on the best place to seek shelter if needed during your stay. For any minor medical issues, it’s always good to carry a first-aid kit. A smaller kit is perfect for a bag or backpack, but a larger kit should be stored in your camper.
When grilling at a tailgate, you can never go wrong with the classics such as hamburgers, hot dogs, and other finger foods. It’s always a good idea to make easy-to-prepare food, and having one or two dips on hand can’t hurt. If you want to take it a step further, make BBQ, kabobs, and a few favorite dips for your guests.
The restaurant scene in Norman has many dining locations, and if you want more options, you can make the short drive to Oklahoma City. In Norman, however, OU fans can expect typical American fare with plenty more to discover. Apart from burgers and BBQ, there are Mexican, Italian, Chinese, and Thai restaurants.
If you need to purchase OU-branded gear, the stadium offers crimson and cream galore. Through OU’s partnership with Fanatics, the sports clothing retailer, the stadium has merchandise stores throughout, and there are two Sooner Shops located on opposite sides of the stadium. When halftime rolls around, head to the nearest concession stands for a bite. ATMs can be found throughout the stadium.
To recover any lost items, check with the Norman Regional Gomer Jones Medical Facility, which is also a first-aid station. All items that are not claimed are handed off to OU’s facilities management. If you plan on bringing a bag into the stadium, make sure it’s the clear kind that fits size regulations.
During football season, temperatures are warm and tend to drop as the season progresses. During December, the average low temperature is 32 degrees. Wind and severe storms happen frequently in Oklahoma, often springing up randomly. In the case of a tornado, stay off the roads, and seek shelter immediately.
Near section 19 of the stadium, Sooner fans can find the Norman Regional Gomer Jones Medical Facility, which can assist with any medical needs. For anything more severe, dial 911, or make your way to the nearest hospital. The Norman Regional Hospital is 11 minutes away by car.