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Official Review by Alex Shoemaker, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Reser Stadium has been the home for Oregon State Beavers football since 1953. It was known as Parker Stadium prior to 1953. Despite being one of the smallest venues in Pac-12 football (45,674 seating capacity), Reser is one of the most underrated home field advantages in college football.
After the Beavers had down seasons in 2010 and 2011 (following two seasons one win short of a Rose Bowl berth in 2008 and 2009), Oregon State appears to be back in serious conference contention with a remarkable 9-3 regular season in 2012.
Reser has been expanded in 1958, 1965, 1967 and 2005 and has featured renovations in 2005 and 2007. It had natural grass from 1953-1968, then astro turf from 1969-2004 and has had field turf ever since.
Some notable games in the history of the stadium include huge upset victories over top-ranked USC Trojan teams in 2006 and 2008, as well as five consecutive Civil War victories over the rival Oregon Ducks from 1998-2006.
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".
There really isn't anything all that exciting about the food at Reser Stadium. The food consists of hot dogs, popcorn, burgers, and of course Reser products. The one thing that keeps this a "three star" and not lower was that the food tasted really great and was not all that expensive. Popcorn started around $4 and got up to $6.50. That's about what you'd expect to pay.
The real food, however, is in the parking lots outside. Tailgating is incredible at Oregon State. If you're going in August or September, bring a lot of liquids to keep hydrated because, despite misconception, it does get hot in Oregon. If you're going in October or later in the season, bring layers and rain protective gear. Like the perception, it does rain a lot in Oregon.
The tailgating at Reser spans way past the official parking lots. Walking to the stadium, you're bound to see lines and lines of tailgaters. Bring a six-pack and join the party.
As was mentioned earlier, Reser Stadium is one of the most underrated home field advantages in all of FBS college football. The Oregon State student section wraps close to the field to bring the noise level close to the action.
The fans show up early ready to go and bring the same energy all game long. They bring signs and show that true unique college spirit.
After every Beavers first down, the PA says "And that's another Oregon State..." and the crowd finishes with "...first down." It's pretty cool to see nearly 50,000 in harmony like that.
Reser Stadium is located on the Oregon State campus, next to Gill Coliseum (basketball/volleyball arena) and close to the student dorms. Cities like Corvallis, OR embody that small college feel. But despite being a town of 55,000 (smaller than some universities) the Beavers have an incredibly strong fan base.
The whole town shuts down for Beavers football games. I recommend, if you're not from around the area, taking some time to explore the campus and maybe visit a basketball game a day or two before if there's one playing and you're already there.
You're not going to find food very close to the stadium because of being on campus. However, if you go east about a mile to SW 3rd and 4th Streets, you'll find a plethora of grub spots. You have the Sunnyside Up for your breakfast food and Big River Restaurant and Bar for lunch/dinner. Explore the area to find the type of food you like. There'll be something there that fits your needs.
I talked about this in atmosphere, but the fans at Oregon State are some of the most passionate in all of collegiate athletics. You will, of course, find your standard drunks who will be loud, obnoxious and simply rude, but that's at every stadium.
Beaver fans, in my experience, have been incredibly welcoming and enjoyable. You can feel safe coming as a visiting fan...but Ducks fans should be careful. Beavers take their rivalries seriously.
Access is a tricky one to decipher. From what I experienced, parking was not all that hard to come by. With that said, the people in charge of directing parking had no idea what they were doing. I was redirected three times before I was finally shown the right lot I was supposed to be parked in.
Corvallis is also not the most conveniently placed town. It's not off of I-5 like all of the major cities in Washington, Oregon and California. You can either get on Highway 99 which is a diagonal shot there, but much slower than an interstate or take I-5 and make a 90 degree turn and head west until you hit it.
You don't just stumble upon Corvallis. You have to know how to get there beforehand.
Ticket prices, if bought in advance are not that expensive. You can find good seats (20-yard line mid-way up) for around $60 for an important game. For games against weak opponents, you can probably even find GA tickets for $15 or less.
But remember, you get what you pay for. I always recommend putting in an extra few bucks to get closer to the 50-yard line. Nothing worse than being stuck only watching when the ball is on one side of the field.
- Reasonably clean restrooms.
- All seats are good seats.
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