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  • Paul Hilchen

Reser Stadium - Oregon State Beavers

Photos by Paul Hilchen, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.29

Reser Stadium SW 26th St & SW Western Blvd Corvallis, OR 97331

Year Opened: 1953 Capacity: 45,674


Beaver Nation

Reser Stadium – formerly known as Parker Stadium, is and has been the home for Oregon State Beaver football since 1953.Originally holding 28,000 fans, the stadium has had expansions and upgrades to the point that it now holds 45,674. The most recent upgrade that was completed in 2016 was to the north end zone, which is home to the Valley Football Center, houses coaches’ offices, meeting facilities, and a weight room. The 2016 expansion dubbed “Victory Through Valley” included a new auditorium, locker rooms and rehab facilities, and Hall Of Fame. Reser Stadium doesn’t seem as big as it is when you enter, although it is among the smallest stadiums in the PAC-12. In spite of its size, when the game begins, it feels twice as big, and yet keeps the warm and cozy feeling. There have been more than a few major upsets at Reser Stadium over the years.In 2006 & 2008, the Beavers beat the top ranked USC Trojans and also had a 5 game winning streak over rival University of Oregon Ducks in their annual Civil War game from 1998–2006.

Food & Beverage 4

Underneath the west side bleachers, there are few specialty vendors.NY Style Sandwiches offers cheese steaks, hot pastrami & pulled pork sandwiches for $10.On the east side (the more recent addition), there is much more variety. Qdoba offers burritos & nachos, both at $10.Cheesy Stuffed Burgers serves a 3 cheese burger $10, Sriracha Meltdown burger $10.50 and a guacamole BBQ bacon burger $11.50. DeMaggios Pizza has slices for $6. Both east and west sides offer the standard fare; hot dogs $4.25, polish $6, nachos $5, popcorn $5.Coffee lovers need not fret, being in the northwest Dutch is available $4-6. By far the most interesting offerings here are behind the south end zone. Ice cream nachos or s’mores panini’s are available for $6. Can’t say I’ve ever heard of either of these, but the lines were pretty long so they must be popular.

Atmosphere 5

The student section is down in front, which makes things very loud for the visiting team. Reser is very much underrated as far as home field advantage is concerned. There is high energy throughout the game. After every Beavers first down, the PA announcer says “And that’s another Oregon State…”and the crowd finishes with “…first down.” It gave me chills hearing that. There is a large video board on the east side of the stadium that helps keep the crowd up to date on game stats. Despite a few down years, the fan base is as strong as ever and the energy inside the stadium is proof of that.

Neighborhood 4

Reser Stadium is located on the campus of Oregon State University right next to Gill Coliseum, which is the home of OSU’s basketball & volleyball teams. Corvallis has a small college town feel to it and seemingly the whole city shuts down on game day.Despite being a city of around 55,000, Oregon State football has a huge following. If you are looking for an after game destination, there isn’t much that’s really close, but if you travel about a mile away, on SW 3rd & 4th Streets you have a fair amount of choices to choose from. The Sunnyside Up is a good breakfast spot, and the Big River Restaurant & Bar is a good spot for the rest of the day’s meals. Out-of-towners looking for a place to stay have a few options within a mile or so. Hilton Garden Inn is within walking distance of the stadium. There are a few other hotels within a mile and a half of Reser.

Fans 4

Oregon loves its football, and Beaver fans don’t take a back seat to anyone. “Beaver Nation” is as passionate a fan base as any in college football. That passion doesn’t go too far like some fan bases where visitors are taunted and sometimes hassled. The stadium feels very inviting for everyone, the same feeling you would get in most “small town” settings, even though Corvallis isn’t a small town. Beaver fans are very classy and set a good example for others to follow. I didn’t see many fans that were there because “it was the place to be and be seen.” True, hardcore, OSU Beaver football fans filled the stands.

Access 4

Like a lot of locales in Washington, Oregon & California, Corvallis is off of I-5 although not directly. If you are not much of a fan of freeway driving, route 99W is the scenic option.Approximately 10 miles west of I-5, Reser Stadium’s parking situation is actually very good. There are plenty of places to park going to the stadium, and that doesn’t include the parking lots specifically for football fans. Lots advertise $15 – $20 for parking, which is reasonable. Once inside, the east side stands and concourse have plenty of room for fans to get around. Bathrooms are big enough for high volume. The east side also has plenty of space for handicapped fans. On the west side (the older part of the stadium), there is room to get around although not as much as the east side. I suspect that the west side will be the next phase of expansion. The one thing I see as lacking is a walkway going around the stadium. The east and south side share a common walkway but to get to the west side you have to go outside to the concourse and then walk up a circular ramp to get there.

Return on Investment 4

Single game tickets for OSU football range from $35 – $99 depending on opponent. The average cost of a ticket is in the range of $45 – $55. (Note: these prices are a few years old. Was unable to get current prices, but would assume they have increased). Looking out from my vantage point, it doesn’t appear to have a bad seat in the house. Oregon State appears to have a less is more philosophy, and it works. Football fans get just that, football, and it’s refreshing to attend a sporting event that is for that type of fan. Family friendly and exciting, a football game at Reser Stadium is well worth the investment.

Extras 5

Tailgating before a Beaver game is an incredible sight. The parking lots surrounding the stadium are filled with tailgaters and that seems to be as much of an event as the game itself. Whatever food you can’t find in the stadium, you can probably find outside before the game. I was offered a beer and a brat before the game by a total stranger. That’s part of that small town feel. They paid tribute to the 1964 OSU Rose Bowl team between quarters and brought them out on the field. The Beaver marching band marched at half time and also played before the game in the parking lot. The band and cheerleaders also led the crowd during pregame. Traditional stuff, but it all adds to the whole experience. Fans wanting hats or shirts to remember their visit to Reser Stadium fear not, there are numerous places to get these items. Hats range from $20 – $38, jackets – men’s $55-120 women’s $36-100, and knit hats $24 as well as other items for sale in black and orange. There is a statue on the east side of the stadium donated by the last living member of the legendary eleven ironmen of the 1933 OSU football team.

Final Thoughts

Corvallis was selected as the Best College Town In The PAC-12. There’s a lot at Reser Stadium for the avid football fan and it’s a top notch experience; good fans, good atmosphere, it is the total package.

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