Saturday, September 18, 2010

Oregon State Beavers Gameday Experience - Parking and Tailgating

When you come to an OSU Beavers football game, where do you park? Where do you tailgate? I'll offer up some of my thoughts, and I'd like Beaver Nation to chime in and let me know your favorite spots. This post is the first in a series that I'll post on the game day experience and how to make it awesome even if you're a first timer.

Official OSU Gameday Central


There are quite a few places to park and it can get pretty overwhelming.  Here are a few I've tried or know of.  Please leave a comment if you have thoughts or additions.

* Oregon State University Campus

Many of Oregon State's lots are reserved for BASF donor parking. However, there are a few lots that you can get in off Monroe Ave. that are $10 to park (not too far to walk). The lots closer to Reser Stadium bump up to $20 a spot.

OSU has put together a nice parking map showing lots color coded by price and location on campus:

OSU Parking Map - PDF
Not sure how the tailgating is on all those locations, but if you get there early enough, many lots have alleys or grassy areas to set up.  If you're not big on tailgating and don't mind a bit of a walk, Monroe Ave. has tons of great restaurants and a little shopping to hang out before and after the game.

There are other places that you can park that are very close or have shuttle access.

* Downtown

Parking downtown is convenient and there is a shuttle to Reser Stadium to take you to and from the game.  There are tons or great food, shopping, and kids play options downtown.  However, there isn't any tailgating.  Another downside is the buses tend to get caught in traffic going downtown after the game, so don't expect a speedy exit.

* Avery Park

Avery park is just across Highway 20/34 from campus.  Its a really quick walk to the stadium and has tons of grassy areas and great tailgating spots.  Its usually about $10 to park and would be great for a big group.  Its not really close to much in the way of restaurants or shopping, but there are a few really great kids play areas and playgrounds and a rose garden to enjoy.  Getting out after the game is actually not too bad as well.  If you're going home to Eugene this would be ideal if you need to get home after a game semi-quickly.

* Benton County Fairgrounds

The Benton County Fairgrounds has a HUGE parking lot with room for RVs and plenty of cars.  So this would also be great for a big group.  There is a shuttle to and from Reser Stadium.  There isn't really any food/shopping within walking distance (a mini-mart), but it would be great for tailgating.  I've never parked here so I'm not sure about traffic, getting out, etc.

* Private Lots

I don't have any secret lots, but I know business owners and home owners all around campus tend to have parking available for a price.  If anyone has some good spots, let me know and I'll list them here.  I'd like this to be a growing document.


The first option is to just setup next to your car/RV and go for it.  I've seen some pretty amazing setups around campus.  Satellite TV, massive BBQ, and countless games like washers, ladder toss, beer pong, and more.  If you've never really tailgated, then find a friend who has done it for a while and invites a few people and enjoy.

If you aren't into tailgating or just want to experience Corvallis or the game day festivities, here are some other options:

* Fan Fest

Fan Fest sets up 3 hours prior to kickoff and is a fun time for the kids.  There around a bunch of bounce house type structures and sports games.  There's also a fan shop and the pregame show going out there.  Definitely worth checking out if you have kids.

* Beaver Walk

From the official site:
Approximately 2 hours before each home game, the entire team and coaching staff will walk through the Fan Fair, accompanied by the band, cheerleaders, and Benny. Keep the tradition alive!
* OSU Alumni Center

The Alumni center is a good place to eat and drink beer before the game.  its right across the street from Reser Stadium and has decent food options (not just burgers) and usually a good beer on tap (microbrew). It costs $5/person to go inside, but the outdoor eating area on the south side is free.

* Restaurants

I'll admit I haven't done much of this in Corvallis so I'm not sure where the hot spots are pre-game. I generally tailgate or go to the Alumni Center for pre-game.  However, as a local I would recommend trying these places:

Monroe Avenue:

Clodfelter's - Burger joint with good beer, TVs, and has been around forever.  Good local place.

McMenamins - If you live in the Pacific NW you know about MeMenamins.  Cool decor and games.  Decent beer and food.


Block 15 - Great new brewpub in town.  Great beer and food.  A bit small, so stake your claim early.

Flat Tail Brewery - Great Beavers decor.  Lots of flatscreen TVs.  Good beer.  Great fries.  On the waterfront. 

University Hero - An awesome local Beaver themed sandwich shop.  They server beer and have TVs too!

Any other spots you like?  I plan on doing a guide just for food, so look for that coming up.

Go Beavs!

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