Commentary: Lot Lines: Success of University of Oklahoma Football Team Is Beneficial to Commercial Real Estate

Article excerpt

With the start of the 2009 college football season just a couple of weeks away, excitement is building throughout the entire state of Oklahoma. Expectations are especially high in Norman as Oklahomans and the entire nation will be watching the University of Oklahoma Sooners as they pursue another Big 12 championship and possibly a national championship.

Over the past decade, the Sooners' amazing success on the football field under coach Bob Stoops has not only had a profound effect on the university, but on the entire community of Norman and in the surrounding area. In fact, Norman has been in the midst of a commercial real estate boom over the past 10 years in terms of new construction and has boasted some of the highest retail and apartment occupancy rates in the entire Oklahoma City area.

One specific way the dominance of the OU football program has benefited Norman's commercial real estate market is the national prominence that has been placed on the suburb. A majority of Oklahoma's games are shown in such coveted prime-time viewing periods as the Saturday night game on ABC. Plus, the school's multiple trips to the Big 12 championship and national championship games has resulted in the type of publicity and attention to Norman that is worth more than gold to a community that is in the process of growing.

Retailers and companies notice this kind of attention even if it may seem trivial. Successful football teams, whether college or pro, can mean big bucks for surrounding retailers and businesses. That is why many national retailers base their expansion efforts on the "NFL Cities List," which is a list of the 31 markets that host the 32 NFL teams. …