The reasons a mirror design is best for the anticipated Phase 3 of Reser Stadium are many fold. First most is asthetics. Second, is building a structure to support needs for the next 50+ years. Just like A&M to the SEC is a 100 year decision, Reser Stadium can also be a many decade decision and if it supports our final endgame, it could still be in use 7 decades from now. Jack on Angrybeavs makes a case for more suites. While my favorite plan is the exact original master plan, with a whole level of suites and then a shorter ceiling extra level for media, BDC thinks that could perhaps be consolidated and states suite demand may not be super high.
If we do go with the one level approach I do think 85% of it should be for suites and just 15% for media. What we really need less of for the new side is club seats. It isn’t that club seats couldn’t be successful, but for our current new east side they tend to be overpriced and so there typically is hundreds of empty seats for many games in the club area. This is an area they may want to look at Groupon for to try to get more of those filled as real time needs justify. BDC’s Stadium Feasibility report though does sound mostly like a mirror which is a very good thing. We don’t want a lipstick fix. We know the project can be started with as little as $40 million down. BDC also says the new side will not have the same ‘bridge’ which will reduce costs. Structurally though it will be very similar and should support the later Reser Final Phase in say two decades which is important.
If we didn’t expand the seating at all, and built it in a way where we can’t easily add to it in a visually consistent and appealing way then we are cutting ourselves short. Reser was at over 99% capacity in 2010 and nearly as high in 2011 despite the poor season. This year could have seen small reductions based off that poor season, but because of the Nicholls St. tickets able to be used for other Pac-12 games we should now expect 43-44K+ at upcoming games. We also have to remember that we did adjust to fill a 45,674 Reser fairly well and especially once the Valley View pricing was implemented. There should be something for every type of fan. Plans do call for more loge seating which has been a success. I also like that the plans call for a standing area matching the opposite student section that should really make the atmosphere top notch.
It’s nice that people who want to help create that atmosphere will have the option for these excellent standing seats but will probably get them at reasonable prices because of the bleachers. Then behind that in still very good viewing seats the very comfortable and covered loge area seating can satisfy that demand. Reser can support an extra 3000 seats. The first year or two with the right marketing and hopefully with a successful rebranding should allow all of this to come together. 48,674 seats would fulfill Reser’s needs for probably atleast 12-15 more years. But at that point we atleast have options based on the success of the program and strengthening brand of Pac-12 Athletics.
I always have been a fan of Flushing Meadows and the US Open stadium design for tennis. Reser Phase 3 will have a similar grand design that will really look sharp on TV and boost recruiting. The angles of the mirrored stadium will be dramatic and in harmony. I believe if we have our final plan, are ready and start construction in 2014 then we should see it open by 2015 or 2016. Also with plans firmly in place and an eventually announced construction schedule our recruiting will not suffer much from the new stadiums at Cal and UW. With the mostly mirrored design with just some differences as far as make up of seating areas we will be in position around 2030 to see if there is any need to go beyond 48,674 seats.
Let’s not forget that Corvallis is growing and that both the University of Oregon and Oregon State University expect continued enrollment increases in the coming decades. Who knows, maybe in 2032 we decide to finish the horseshoe bowl and get to 54K seats. I want that option for future decades and don’t want to be stuck at where we are at now where we have very recently already shown ability to sell at 99+% capacity. Some fans say our down years were outliers, and if we assume Riley and OSU are serious about being a bowl team 80-90% of years, then we have to think that we can sell a 48,674 stadium most years as long as we are averaging atleast 7-5 seasons and some years do better.
Let’s do the rebuild right and make sure it takes care of longterm needs structurally for the next 50 years. A design that could be finished when perhaps in 15-20 years we are ready for going over 50+K and finishing the ultimate bowl that will be locked in as the final piece for many final decades later as long as the stadium is structurally in good shape. There should be some new suites and it will have to be decided how many is best. There also needs to be more value seats and those too will find demand as long as there is attractive pricing for those who need it. If the project is done right we will have a beautiful stadium that will serve our needs for a long time and provide a great boost to recruiting and the gameday experience for Beaver Nation.