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Almost ready for the kickoff: OSU’s new Reser Stadium at "98%" completion

Football field
Brian Bull
The new Reser Stadium football field, August 8, 2023.

Oregon State University’s new Reser Stadium is expected to be ready for the Beaver’s football season next month.

A large group of journalists and OSU reps explored the $160 million facility, which replaces the Reser Stadium that was imploded last year.

OSU’s Athletic Director, Scott Barnes, led the group through the stadium’s various passages and stairwell. He said he especially likes the open, 360-degree space called Beaver Street.

Man talking inside stadium.
Brian Bull
OSU Athletic Director Scott Barnes answers questions from reporters while touring the Reser Stadium, Aug. 8, 2023.

“Unique to college football, an open concourse. You can be ordering food while you’re watching the game under cover,” explained Barnes. “And it connects the north and the south, which was a huge piece for us. We’d never had the ability to go all the way around the stadium.”

The stadium will seat roughly 36,000 people, and boasts six food options, a Kids Zone, and numerous clubs and lounges.

“This is the sports bar, here at the end,” continued Barnes. “We decided not to add stools because we thought people would be sitting there all game long, right? So we decided to not do that.”

Other features include local artists’ work, and a large section of lumber that recognizes the state’s timber industry and forests.

The UC Davis Aggies will be the first guest team to play in the new Reser Stadium, September 9.

Beavers mum on Ducks’ departure from Pac-12

Questions were quickly raised about last week’s stunning announcement by the University of Oregon that they were leaving the Pac-12 Conference.

Barnes acknowledged the development distracted from the stadium tour, which had been planned well ahead of the UO’s decision.

“We won’t be discussing conference realignment,” Barnes told KLCC, “other to say we continue to work daily, hourly, on putting us in the highest and best position for our student athletes, and our Beaver Nation.”

Last Friday, the U of O and the University of Washington both announced their shift to the Big Ten Conference starting next year. Last year, UCLA and USC announced their plans to move to the Big Ten. Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah are headed to the Big 12.

Now only four schools remain in the Pac-12, including OSU.

Sneak peek at Oregon State University’s new Reser Stadium

The move follows the Pac-12’s new media deal with Apple TV, which analysts say could limit games to a streaming paywall versus traditional broadcast.

It leaves OSU in a potentially complicated position, because $45 million in bonds were used to fund the new Reser Stadium construction, on top of over $90 million provided by donors. OSU must pay back those bonds over a 35-year period with revenues generated by football games and other stadium-related functions. With the Pac-12’s future and profile in question, it may challenge those efforts.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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