OU spring game kicks off tonight

University of Oklahoma officials hope that moving OU’s spring football game from Saturday to tonight won’t hurt the crowd that treks to Owen Field in Norman.

As of Monday night, Oklahoma still planned to hold its annual spring football game Saturday. But Lincoln Riley spent an inordinate portion of his Tuesday analyzing the weather forecast.

It wasn’t worth it.

OU moved its spring football game up to 7:30 p.m. tonight due to expected rain and wind chills in the 30s expected Saturday, which would have made the experience difficult for fans, the school said.

The pregame Lee Brice concert will take place at 6:30 p.m., but the Spring Sale and Fan Fest have been canceled.

The game will last one half, as opposed to two halves like last year. Riley still expects it to be a high-traffic weekend in terms of recruiting.

“I think there may be some unofficial [visitors] that maybe weren’t gonna be able to come that are gonna be able to come now. I think we’ll have some response there. All of our official guys, we expect to be here,” Riley said.

It’s believed to be the first spring game in school history to take place at night. The Sooners had difficulty with last year’s weather too, playing through a light rain, frigid temperatures and high winds.

“Naturally, our preference is to play on Saturday,” OU athletic director Joe Castiglione stated in a release, “but the weather was going to subject our fans to difficult conditions, and likely would have prevented many from attending. We know that decisions of this kind may inconvenience some, and we regret that very much.

“At the same time, it truly was the student-athletes and fans we had in mind when we made this call. We hope most of our great fans can still attend the game in what should be much better conditions.”

Stadium gates 2, 7, 10, 12, 14 and 16 will open at 5:30 p.m. to the public.

Most campus parking lots are open and available for free. Fans may also park at Lloyd Noble Center and begin shuttling to the stadium at 4 p.m. Tailgating may begin after noon today.