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Official Review by Alex Shoemaker, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Despite an average basketball team in a small town market (population: 54,462), you quickly discover that the people of Corvallis, OR care a lot about Beavers basketball.
At most stadiums you'll find large groups of fans wearing whatever they happened to have thrown on that day. Not at a Beavers basketball game.
In an attendance of over 5,000, you may find 50 or less not decked out from head-to-toe in orange and black. It may not be Cameron Indoor Stadium, but it's still a sight to see.
The arena hasn't changed much from its original design, and a minor face-lift is in order. The first would be to install a nice video board. The one down the road in Eugene puts the Beavers' two tiny screens to shame.
A few small additions can put Gill Coliseum near the top in the Pac-12.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Anyone who regularly attends sporting events knows just how ridiculous it is to buy food at the venue. While the food at Gill Coliseum is expensive, you have to know that going in.
Everything ranges from around $4-$5 and a few fans told me they really enjoy the food. The food ranges from sausages, hot dogs, popcorn, candy, and much more.
There aren't many restaurants next to the arena, but if you venture out a mile or so you can find a lot more variety.
The atmosphere is about what you'd expect at a college basketball game. The students are loud and relentless, and the crowd gets very animated with a bad call by the referees.
Just before game time, flocks of fans line up for tickets waiting to see their Beavers play. Crowds of fans will be conversing about the game, making projections and predictions on how to game will turn out.
The seats are orange and black, and pictures and banners of famous Beavers are placed all around the arena. The history of the program and the arena is displayed throughout it.
Gill Coliseum is located right in the heart of the Oregon State campus, right next to Reser Stadium (the Oregon State football stadium). The dorms are not too far way, giving students more incentive to go to the games.
The campus is quite nice, so if you have some time to spare it is advised to explore before or after the game.
The fans are focused on the game and have a solid understanding of their role in the game, getting loud when the Beavers are on defense or an opposing player is shooting free throws.
As is mentioned earlier, the "Beaver Believers" are not afraid to show their school pride and wear it on their sleeve.
The fans are generally very nice and will strike up a conversation. As is to be expected, opposing fans received a fair share of heckling, but you'll find that at any game.
The one downside to the fans is that attendance isn't always encouraging. The fans stay loyal to their team, but they often clear out during a blowout whether they are winning or losing.
The "access" of the arena is a tricky one to grade. While it's located next to campus, the campus isn't exactly an easy place to get to. Corvallis isn't exactly a place you happen to stumble upon; you usually have it predetermined that it's your destination in order to find it.
Add to the fact that parking is $10 you may want to park a ways and walk to the stadium. While there are stores and restaurants nearby to park at, it is not advised unless you would prefer to get a ticket or towed.
Tickets for bench seats go for $15 while seats with backs go for $25. Depending on how picky you are on comfort, it seems like $25 seats are the better value.
Sitting on the hard wooden chairs for two hours can get to be pretty uncomfortable. Plus the chair seats are located much closer to the action. Seats up at the top are almost impossible to see the game without binoculars.
If $25 (per ticket) is in your price range, then it is the best deal.
There are the standard games for the fans between commercial breaks and halftime like every other stadium. The entertainment includes kids riding on tractors to a basketball and the first to make a basket is the winner. Then there is a musical chairs contest between four fans.
The thing that was maybe most disappointing is the cleanliness of the bathrooms and stairwells. While it's never going to be glorious, the amount of garbage lying around was quite disgusting.
With that said, Gill Coliseum as a whole is a great basketball venue and one that would be a treat to visit. The fans are great and the atmosphere can get pretty electric.
Member Review by CigarBoy on Dec 24, 2011
It is a nice venue, I have a soft spot for old arenas. The food prices are a little steep and the ticket prices are average to a little high, but it is a very good venue to catch some very good college hoops.
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