NORMAN, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma Athletics Department announced on Friday that it has already received nearly $21 million in Sooner Club annual donations to date in 2012. That record-setting figure represents part of an eight-percent increase in annual donations to OU Athletics over the past two years. At present, the Sooner Club has more than 10,600 members, who have contributed to this record amount.
"We are extremely grateful and appreciative of the continuing generosity of Sooner fans," said Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione. "Members of the Sooner Club, donors, fans, and friends play an integral role in sustaining the success of OU Athletics. We are committed to attracting the best and brightest student-athletes to the University of Oklahoma, and the unwavering support of fans is vital in maintaining our competitive edge."
In addition to the watershed financial contribution figure released today, the University of Oklahoma football squad enters the 2012 campaign boasting a school-record streak of 80 consecutive sellouts at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. That sellout streak encompasses every home contest of the Bob Stoops era dating back to 1999. Over that 13-year span, OU has registered a season-ticket renewal rate of 90 percent or higher every year.
OU averaged 85,161 fans per home game last season, operating at 104 percent of the facility's official capacity of 82,112. Only four other college football facilities were filled at a higher percentage of their listed capacities a year ago. OU football home games against Notre Dame and Oklahoma State are sold out for 2012, and based on returned tickets from opposing teams, less than 200 tickets per game are still available for OU's home opener with Florida A&M, as well as each of the club's conference games against Baylor, Kansas and Kansas State.
The University of Oklahoma Athletics Department receives no state funds and is one of only six entirely self-sustaining athletics departments in the nation. Through their generosity, Sooner Club members help to provide OU student-athletes the resources necessary to achieve their highest athletic, academic and personal goals. Dating back to 2000, more than $300 million has been invested into facilities by the OU Athletics Department.
"I've enjoyed an unbelievable experience as a student-athlete at the University of Oklahoma," said Demontre Hurst, a senior student-athlete on the OU football squad. "The chance to receive a world-class education and compete in front of 85,000 fans on Saturdays wouldn't have been possible without my scholarship. I can't thank our Sooner Club donors enough for helping make my dream a reality."
With memberships starting at $100 annually, fans interested in becoming a Sooner Club member may do so by calling toll-free at (866) SoonerClub, locally at (405) 325-8000 or by visiting TheSoonerClub.com. Individuals interested in purchasing any remaining tickets for 2012 home football games may do so online at SoonerSports.com, by calling the OU Ticket Office at (800) 456-4668.