Grizz Dome athletics facility deflates, collapses completely


Matthew Scheidel

Doors to the Grizz Dome are all that’s left standing following the collapse of the facility.

Amid winter weather conditions early Saturday morning, on-campus athletic facility the Grizz Dome collapsed completely. While the situation is still being investigated, it is believed that a campus-wide power outage combined with high winds caused the collapse. 

Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities and Event Management Andy Adrianse provided the following statement concerning the incident and current state of the Grizz Dome facility:

“Information is still being gathered but there was a campus wide power outage shortly after 3 a.m. It’s currently believed that the backup generator which is intended to provide continuous air pressure during outages may have not turned on, however there were also very strong wind gusts at the time which also may have been a contributing factor.  Power was not restored until approximately 5:30 a.m.”

“The full extent of the damage is unknown but we are working with the Grizz Dome manufacturer to deploy a service team to the site,” Adrianse continued. “The Grizz Dome can’t simply be inflated again as there are electrical, cabling, and other structural components that were likely damaged. In the meantime we are also working to identify other solutions for the multiple varsity athletics programs and community groups that rely heavily on the space during the Winter season.”

A recent photo the Grizz Dome prior to its collapse. (Dijon Stigger)
The collapsed Grizz Dome. (Matthew Scheidel)

Multiple OU sports teams including: baseball, softball, soccer, golf, track and field and cross country all make use of the facility for practice. It is unclear at this time how the collapse of the dome will impact the baseball and softball teams as they start their seasons.

Oakland Men’s Soccer Head Coach Eric Pogue said the team currently doesn’t have a backup plan for a practice facility. The team starts their spring season soon.

“We are exploring all options to see what makes the most sense for us financially and logistically as we don’t see the Dome going up anytime in the near future,” Pogue said. “The Dome is a major loss for our sports teams, so we are hopeful to get it back up and operational sooner rather than later.”

Head Baseball Coach Jordon Banfield said he’s “not that worried” about how the Grizz Dome’s collapse will affect his team.

“We often use an offsite facility and will be traveling most of the next two weeks,” Banfield said.

Cross country Head Coach and Director of Track and Field Paul Rice lended his perspective to the dome collapse situation over the weekend.

“For the past two years we have learned to deal with many challenges,” Rice said. “Losing our indoor training facility a week before our indoor championships … just add it to the list. We’ll figure it out. So thankful that this happened in the middle of the night and the place was empty.”

While the dome is owned by OU and located on campus, the facility is leased to private company Total Sports. The Post reached out to the main office of Total Sports about the collapse, and as of writing has not heard back.