NORMAN, Okla. – More than 85,000 fans packed OU’s stadium Saturday, a near record number and near record heat. It felt like 108 degrees at game time.
“Everyone was so close so real hot,” said Alec Iacovelli.
That can be a real problem. OU Spokesperson Pete Moris says doctors saw 47 football fans who suffered heat exhaustion.
“So really out of 85,000 people, most people did a great job of really preparing and taking care of themselves,” said Moris.
However, some fans wonder, did OU prepare its stadium so more people could take care of themselves?
The school encouraged fans to bring bottles for free water from the fountains, but e-mails from angry fans have poured into our newsroom. Each person complaining about a lack of water at the fountains.
Paula wrote, “Why didn’t the OU stadium facilities have all their water fountains working in the south end?”
“Unfortunately, nobody made us aware of it until after the game,” said Moris. “And as soon as we were notified, we got it working again.”
NewsChannel 4 checked, and three days after the game, water only worked at two fountains on the south end zone. Four were bone dry. Reporters let Moris know.
“I’ll go ahead and let our folks know. I know they were working to get all these back up and running,” said Moris.
So what’s a fan to do? You come to the water fountain to fill your empty water bottle and find the fountain doesn’t work. You would have to walk to the other side of the stadium through the crowds to find another fountain. Your other option would be to pay up at the concession stand.
“It was a long line,” said Iacovelli. “I didn’t want to stand in it.”
Some who did buy the bottles weren’t happy. They sent NewsChannel 4 pictures of what they say shows pallets of hot water bottles waiting in the heat just before workers dump them in ice to be sold.
“I pointed out to the young man that the water was hot!” said Ed Harris. “This is unacceptable considering the record dangerous conditions.”
Bottom line for Iacovelli, “Hopefully it works next time.”
OU says the water fountains will be up and running by Saturday.