The home of the Oregon State University Beavers has had $115 million in fiscal improvements completed since the 2005 season, including installation of a state-of-the-art video board, the largest in the Pac-10 Conference at the end of the 2007 season. The east side of the complex houses some of the finest amenities in all of college and NFL football, and was completed prior to the 2005 season.
Over the last three years the capacity of the stadium has increased by 11,000 and now features some of the best viewing in all of college football.
The OSU student-body sits directly behind the Beavers' bench along the east sidelines, with passionate fans in other sections. One of the unique aspects of the stadium is that the seating is close to the field, giving OSU a distinct home field advantage.
That home field advantage has equated into a 25-game non-conference home win streak (prior to the 2009 season). The Beavers have scored some of the program's biggest wins at Reser Stadium in recent seasons, including snapping USC's 27-game Pac-10 Conference win streak in 2006 and then defeating the No. 1 Trojans in 2008.
Reser Stadium was originally known as Parker Stadium until June 14, 1999. At that time Al and Pat Reser of Beaverton, Ore., made a personal seven-figure gift to OSU athletics.
The stadium, which is located on the south side of campus, was originally built in 1953 with a seating capacity of 28,000. Following the 1965 Rose Bowl, additional end zone bleacher seats were added to raise the capacity to 33,000. The stadium was expanded to 40,593 in 1967 with a new addition to the west side, including a new press box. Stadium capacity was reduced in 1990 as a result of the construction of the original Valley Football Center. In June of 1996, an enlarged Valley Football Center opened. The stadium's capacity is now 45,674.
Reser Stadium has become a shining monument for not only Athletics, but the entire University. "Beaver Nation" has embraced the upgrades to the facility that has become a source of pride for all of Oregon State University.
The school began making serious renovations to the stadium in 1987. A new 1,500-seat VIP section was added on the west side (press box side) of the stadium. During this phase a new artificial surface was installed at McAlexander Fieldhouse, the former facility that was used by the program for indoor practice. The phase also included installation of aluminum seating to replace 100 percent of the wood bleachers.
The second phase of the 1987 project wasn't completed until the conclusion of the 1991 season. That project produced an entire new look to the stadium, involving over $4 million in enhancements, including a new press box and 12 skybox suites. Other construction improvements made in 1991 included a graduated ramp that spirals to the west mezzanine, new restrooms, and concession stands and ticket booths, along with grading and paving around the stadium.
The 1991 addition also included a roof, which covers the press box and approximately 5,200 of the seats. The remaining end zone seats were also converted to aluminum in 1991. New scoreboards were added prior to the start of the 1993 schedule.
The stadium was originally named for Charles T. "Charlie" Parker, a Portland businessman and OSU graduate who played a major financial role in the construction. The Beavers defeated Washington State 7-0 on November 14, 1953 in the first game played at then-Parker Stadium. The facility was built at no cost to taxpayers, but rather through donations from OSU alumni and friends. The seating capacity of 28,000 was considered adequate in 1953.
Following the 1965 Rose Bowl, OSU added additional end zone bleacher seats to raise the capacity to 33,000. Then, in time for the 1967 season, a new press box was added and additional seats to expand the facility to 40,593. Charles Parker and others made sizeable contributions to complete this renovation, and Portland and Corvallis forestry executive Jack Brandis added his leadership to the effort. Chief architect for the the addition was Dan Zarosinki, a Portland engineer. Zarosinki received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in engineering from OSU and played three years of football (1949-51).
An overflow crowd of 41,494, at the time the largest crowd to witness an athletic event in the state of Oregon, was on hand to watch Oregon State hand national champion USC its only defeat in 1967, 3-0. The largest crowd in stadium history to watch a game was Nov. 15, 1980 when 41,600 attended the Civil War.
Artificial turf was first added to the stadium in 1969 in the form of AstroTurf. The original AstroTurf was replaced in 1974 and again in 1977. A fourth new carpet, All-Pro Turf, was installed in 1984. The cost of the l984 installation was $320,000, of which half came from the OSU Athletic Department. The latest turf replacement was completed prior to the 1999 season, when the AstroTurf 12/2000 was installed.
The future of Reser Stadium includes two more phases. Phase two will expand the stadium to approximately 47,000 and phase three to 55,000. The next two phases are to be scheduled in the future.
RESER STADIUM QUICK FACTS
First Game: November 14, 1953 vs. Washington State
First Victory: November 14, 1953 vs. Washington State (7-0)
First Touchdown: Chuck Brackett (OSU) 1-yard run vs. Washington State, Nov. 14, 1953
First Touchdown Passing: John Hermann from Douglas Bradley (UCLA), October 23, 1954
First 100-yard Rusher: Ralph Carr (OSU) 107 yards vs. Washington State, Nov. 14, 1953
Biggest Crowd: 46,319 vs. Oregon, November 29, 2008
100th Victory: Aug. 28, 2003 vs. Sacramento State (40-7)