BDC recently announced in an article with Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune that 2015 plans for the Valley Football Center would include a new concourse from the east side grandstand to the VFC. That sounds like it could either be a concourse that goes into one end of the expanded and improved VFC or it could be more of a Gameday councourse for fan movement that would allow access to somewhere useful. The most useful place to maximize program energy, revenue and prestige would be to a new rooftop pavilion that OSU will have experience with as soon as late this spring when upgrades to Goss stadium are expected to be completed. Goss plans include a new barbeque pavilion on the 3rd base line out in the outfield region. The pitching bullpen will be moved out to beyond the homerun fence. Casey in great leadership fashion has been busy fundraising for these improvements for his reigning Pac-12 champion team.
I expect such a pavilion will look awesome on TV and attract more fans for the gameday experience and continue to keep Oregon State at the top of the Pac-12 baseball programs in dedication to fielding an elite team and program with a premier atmosphere. If really successful it provides plenty of time for lessons learned to be implemented for VFC 2015 plans. A 2 tiered rooftop pavilion could include a barbeque area, a possible beer garden and a few seats on the lower level. 2 tier is recommended so there is plenty of sightlines for game action. Maybe just 5 steps could lead to the lower level once fans enter by way of the new concourse. Options would include having the lower area be booster only for additional revenues and the top area which is open to all fans would require an additional $10 for entry for anyone already having seats at any other part of the stadium. This would be a little bit of a “club” area where fans could go at halftime, any time during the game or before kickoff and mingle. Once you have paid your $10 you can come back if you go back to your seat but want to return later.
Money made at the rooftop pavilion and booster lower level can go directly into Reser Phase 3 and trying to get it done by 2019. Membership in the booster club with full freedom to move around in the lower level could be sold for $250 a season. Those that want exclusive seating in the booster area would be able to get a limited number of season tickets there that include the booster club membership. The other members paying the $250 could use some of the available lounge style seating but would have their normal seats elsewhere in the stadium. The upper open area available to all fans would have a few barbeque grills set up that can be rented and reserved, a beer garden with a firm 3 drink limit, some benches and tables for seating and plenty of open space to move around and mingle. Let’s hope Oregon State and DeCarolis are considering such plans and will enhance VFC in such a way that it can support some extra load. This new area will also have great views of the surroundings. Like the festivities at Truax the rooftop pavilion could open a few hours prior to kickoff and close within an hour after the game ends.
I believe Casey’s upcoming pavilion at Goss will be a smash success and with BDC announcing there will be a new councourse, a rooftop pavilion at Reser makes a lot of sense. It could be a little like the Mac club in Portland at Jeld-Wen field but much more spacious. By incorporating a new fun area for fans to see and be seen and have a drink, there are ways to more quickly earn some fundraising for a number of years and get Reser Phase 3 built by 2019 rather than 2020 or later. On TV this would look quite a bit cooler than the new Crimzone that Wazzu and Bill Moos are opening next year. With the team finding more success this year BDC needs to find the ways to organically grow the program and continue to enlarge support and the fanbase. Plans something like these could keep OSU primed for the top third of the conference and merge very well after being used for several seasons as the new West Side finally gets built. OSU would have a premier facility and atmosphere to start landing more elite recruits and stay at the top of the Pac-12.
With Oregon likely to make more national title runs, the opportunity will continue to be there for the next best to get a Rose Bowl invite. With Reser complete and a much enhanced VFC, Oregon State is plenty capable of being that team. By committing to OSU Football with strong plans the Beavers would be in prime position to make a Rose Bowl or two once some of these upgrades to the program become reality.