Oregon State University announced a $153 million renovation to Reser Stadium on Thursday.
Following the 2021 football season, workers will completely demolish and rebuild the stadium’s west side. The university says the completed project will feature premium seating that’s closer to the field than any other college football stadium in the country.
The new facility will also include a health center for OSU students, as well as a welcome center for prospective students. The university said the goal is to turn the stadium complex into something that can be used year-round, rather than just for a handful of football games and commencement ceremonies.
But the driving force behind the project is undeniably football.
“When completed, this new west side of Reser Stadium will provide a university facility that will improve the OSU fan experience at games and will advance our competitiveness in the PAC-12 Conference,” said OSU President F. King Alexander:
The renovation is made possible in part by a $50 million gift from an anonymous donor, which equals the largest single gift in school history. The school also received a $10.5 million gift from a different anonymous donor for the project. OSU hopes to raise an additional $20 million from private donors. The remainder of the project will be financed by university bonds.
OSU said the project should be done by the start of the 2023 season. The football team will continue to play their home games at Reser Stadium during the construction.
"The 2022 season will be a bit tricky," said OSU Athletic Director Scott Barnes. "We have to accomodate construction while we're playing in the stadium."
The short-term inconvenience will be worth it, said OSU head football coach Jonathan Smith, who said the announcement demonstrates the university's continued committment to the sport.
"There’s no question that this project’s going to help this football program in recruiting,” Smith said. "The energy this creates in Reser Stadium benefits us."