A mirrored Reser West Side by the best estimates would add about 3000 seats. BDC has stated it wouldn’t add many seats, but should add some and a few thousand seems about right. It would be under 50K though almost for sure. 48,674 is a ballpark estimate after adding 3K. That to me sounds like an appropriate number to have for awhile and a mirrored West Side gives us the long term flexibility. Perhaps it would take us another 17-20 years to do the upper deck of the south end zone but we atleast have that ability to eventually fill in an ideal horseshoe and get to 54K in 20 years should we choose. I believe in that timeframe we would definitely support that number.
Under BDC’s current suggestion of just sprucing up the existing West Side it sounds like he wants to do some styling and update the seats and such things. However we would not gain one seat and could actually lose several hundred because of nicer seats. So maybe we end up with 45K seats only which works good for Riley, since he can’t get any more fans than that, but then we are stuck with just that number for probably atleast 25 years or longer.
Remember BDC’s quote, “there is hope this will be less costly and disruptive.” So this could potentially even cost 70-75 million or who knows how much and they aren’t going to rip it all up because they want a 50K stadium 5 years later. We would be stuck. I know Larry Scott prefers Pac-12 venues to all get close to 50K in case of a Pac-12 Championship game, so a mirrored West Side with 48,674 would be just large enough for OSU’s needs for 15+ years if we want, gives us the future flexibility and is Pac-12 worthy, including for a Pac-12 Championship that we should have confidence to bring to Corvallis in the next 10-12 years.
An exciting coach could easily fill 3,000 more seats over the next 10-15 years. If Riley can’t that tells you something right there. UNLV is moving forward with their new stadium that will seat 52-60K. It will cost 500 million. BDC stated a mirrored West Side would only need 40 million raised to begin construction and the rest would be bonded. That doesn’t sound like that difficult an effort and it sure beats being locked in at only 45K seats for the next 3 decades.
What would we do after that 30 years then when we absolutely wanted more seats and a better looking facilty? Spend 375 million instead of 150 million to do in 2046 what we should have done in 2016? Don’t forget that is after spending maybe 75+ million for whatever “alternative” improvements we do instead. So that total cost would be perhaps 450 million instead of 150 million to end up with a similar end product and not having what we really want or flexibility for another 30 years or so, all while it potentially negatively affects the perception of our program over that time.
Just because Riley isn’t good at attracting fans are we now supposed to let him hurt our future for another 30+ years by locking down a minimal vision in cement? Even if we have to get creative for one year, it will be well worth it to do the West Side right. That is the image of an OSU Gameday atmosphere that has the best chance to be successful. Recruits will walk into the stadium and see a modern facility with a reputation for getting loud and festive on Gameday. Fans will look across from one mirrored side to the other chanting Ohhh-Esss-Uuuu back and forth or in dynamic unison.
If we mirror the sides as was always the plan then the stadium will make sense and give OSU fans what they deserve. A great facililty that down the road we will have options with but that stands strong on its own as a workable solution for many years. The sightlines with the dramatic angles of both upper decks will also look very good on TV and well represent the university. If we can do this by 2016-17 it will make a statement that OSU is serious about competing in the upper half of the conference every single year and attracting more top recruits to Oregon State.