West-side Reser Stadium renovations to help bring ‘living room environment’ to OSU

The+Corvallis+Police+Department+looks+over+the+implosion+of+the+west+side+of+Reser+Stadium+on+Jan.+7%2C+2022.+The+renovation+is+planned+to+be+finished+in+November+2023%2C+and+home+games+will+still+be+played+in+Reser+for+the+2022+season.

Matthew Mckenna, OMN Photographer

The Corvallis Police Department looks over the implosion of the west side of Reser Stadium on Jan. 7, 2022. The renovation is planned to be finished in November 2023, and home games will still be played in Reser for the 2022 season.

Sam Misa, Sports Contributor

While the Reser Stadium implosion that occurred on Jan. 7 may be remembered for waking up half of the campus, others see it as so much more for Oregon State University.

Steve Clark, vice president of University Relations and Marketing, said the reconstruction of the west side of Reser Stadium will not only benefit the football program, but the greater Corvallis community.

“What we’re doing is completing Reser Stadium by completely redoing the west side,” said Clark.“This provides for one of the nation’s most modern, state of the art college football stadiums in the nation.”

Though only one part of the Completing Reser Stadium project, which is set to be completed by Fall 2023, the implosions in early January set the stage to complete the rest of the renovations. According to Clark, this stadium will not just benefit the attendees of Beaver football games, but will also benefit every student at OSU.

“It provides not only a best-in-show, best-in-class football stadium, but it also is going to provide for year-round activities around Reser Stadium,” Clark said. “The new Student Welcome Center, it will operate year round, and the Wellness Center will operate year round. I think those kinds of features bring the intersection of community, bring the intersection of sports, bring the intersection of education and wellness together. That is, to my knowledge, really unheard of.”

Scott Barnes, vice president and director of Athletics, shed more light on other benefits of the Completing Reser Stadium project, such as the Student Welcome Center and Wellness Center.

“It will add direct value because a foundational goal for Completing Reser Stadium is year-round use,” Barnes said. “This includes a new Wellness Clinic for students and staff, a Welcome Center for general student recruitment and additional space that will be used for conferencing and meetings. This project will also contribute to the growth and stability of our athletic program.”

Elaborating on the athletics perspective, Clark said the newly renovated Reser Stadium will hopefully have the benefit of attracting OSU Beaver prospects.

“It really provides a showcase for OSU nationally,” Clark said. “In regards to athletics, to have a modern facility such as Reser completed will help in the recruitment process of student athletes. It provides a showcase for football players in the team as a whole. And it brings students and spectators of all ages together in what will be almost like a living room environment.”

While the majority of the funding for the Reser Stadium renovations came from one anonymous donor who donated $50m, Clark wants it to be known that the donor was far from the only one to fund the venture.

“A short while ago, I learned that our fundraising for Reser Stadium has now exceeded $90 million,” Clark said. “The goal was $85 [million]. Yes, there’s one anonymous contribution of $50 million, but there are many, many other contributions that have come in that have brought that total to more than $90 million… [Having] more than $90 million in philanthropy for a project that’s going to cost $133 million indicates that donors are willing to be part of the transformation… It isn’t just about athletics for them.”

Barnes emphasized the long-term impacts that will come from OSU’s investment in the Completing Reser Stadium project.

“The implosion marks a new era for Reser Stadium including significant opportunities to improve the fan experience, the growth and stability of our football program and athletics in general,” Barnes said. “This project signifies a bold and thoughtful investment in our athletic program and addresses general campus needs.”

Oregon State is set to host the Boise State Broncos on Sept. 3 for the 2022-23 home and season opener while Reser Stadium is still under construction before its finish date planned for Nov. 2023.