Updated Union Tuttle Stadium A Showcase of the 2021 Season

GTR Sports Writer

A new look will take center stage for attendees at Union High School football games this year.
Fans, as well as coaches, administrators and media are nowsitting in new bleachers and suites in Union’s Tuttle Stadium.

GTR Media Group photo
HAPPY OVERSEERS: All smiles over the progression of the rebuilding of Union’s Tuttle Stadium are, from left, Superintendent Kirt Hartzler, Director of Athletics Emily Barkley and Chief Communications Officer Chris Payne.

At the close of the football season in 2019, demolition began on the west side of the stadium, paving the way toward a brand-new “home” side with improved accessibility, concessions and restroom facilities, and a revitalized east side.

Additional improvements in the four-year project include adding a Fine Arts wing to the north side of the stadium to better serve band students, and provide improved weight room and locker facilities for athletics, as well as new space for wrestling, volleyball, spirit, and golf.  

Construction of the $42 million stadium and fine arts addition was handled by Crossland Construction of Tulsa. The project is part of a $128.6 million five-year bond series that passed in 2018.

Union school officials got their wish that renovations would be completed in mid-August, having everything ready to go for the first home game Aug. 27. Union came out victorious in that opener, beating Lake Ridge Texas 48-20.  
Last season, with the old stands removed and the new under construction, Union only had the east side of the stadium for people to sit. Plus, room had to be made for visiting fans.

GTR Media Group photo
UPGRADED ENTRANCE: The main entranceway to the rebuilt Union Tuttle Stadium is located on the west side near the UMAC (Union Multipurpose Activity Center).

“We kind of joked about it, but we were at 50% availability in the stadium when COVID caused us to go to 25% seating availability,” Athletic Director Emily Barkley said. “So we weren’t able to have quite as many people in the stadium for our varsity football games, but we only played three home games last year. We flipped some of our bigger attended games so we could have them at home this year.”

At the Union games last season, most of the press box functions of the media were held in the UMAC at the south end zone of the stadium. “Our press box was really the UMAC” Barkley said.  

After the Aug. 27 opener, Union notched another home win over fellow Class 6AI rivals Broken Arrow 38-28 on Sept. 3. Next up is defending state champion Jenks (Sept. 10) and then Owasso (Sept. 24). 

With seven home games on the schedule, Union will make up for revenue missed in 2020. “It’s just a boost for the whole community and staff,” Barkley said. “I know our football coaches are just itching to get out there and use the new field and the new amenities that come with the press box. We started season ticket sales Aug. 5, so every fan that has come in to purchase their season tickets has been blown away by the progress that has been made and the enormity of the stadium. Once you see it in person it is so much bigger than you would even imagine just driving down Mingo.”

Barkely adds, “Our new press box has a suite at the end that is just for the media. It is air conditioned, there are restrooms, there will be food provided upstairs, so it’s going to be quite a bit of a different experience from the old press box.”

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