Friday, February 23, 2024

Oregon State mailbag: Gill Coliseum remodel, premium seating at Goss and Kelly, men’s basketball future

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You ask, and we answer about Oregon State athletics-related questions. We lead off with a couple facilities questions where athletic director Scott Barnes is gives answers.

Here goes:

Has there ever been talk of a Gill Coliseum renovation/demolition? – Ben B

Demolition? No. Renovation? An ongoing discussion. Reser Stadium’s remodel was an easier call because football generates significant ticket and premium seating revenue, particularly when the team is good. Basketball, not nearly as much.

Barnes said the school is taking another look at the Gill Coliseum facilities master plan, put in place five years ago. Reimagining Gill, as Barnes called it. Gill currently houses most of Oregon State’s athletic administration and many of its team staffs. The first step is constructing a field sports building, south of Western Blvd., that would serve as home for sports such as soccer, softball and track. Beyond that, Barnes envisions building an addition on top of P. Wayne Valley Sports Performance Center, serving as office space for athletic department administration and support personnel.

“That would free up Gill to make it more of a fan-friendly, competitive venue, as opposed to the old school, a bit of physical education building,” Barnes said.

If a Gill remodel takes place, Barnes says it will “preserve the intimacy while updating the amenities.” Think Alaska Airlines Arena at University of Washington, the old Hec Ed that kept its bones but had an interior gutting in 1999. Barnes admits amenities are sorely lacking at Gill. A refresh would include premium seating and other services currently part of modern arenas.

I recently received a survey from OSU regarding both baseball and softball stadium renovations. Any idea what changes would be made if they go through with it? — @2023SportsGuy

It’s all about premium seating. This survey comes on the heels of an incredibly successful sale of living room and loge boxes from Reser Stadium’s west side remodel. Why stop at football, if there’s an appetite for high-end seating experiences at Goss Stadium and Kelly Field?

Barnes said results of this survey will help guide any future decisions regarding redesign or enhancements to Goss and Kelly.

If he had to do it all over again, would Jonathan Smith change QBs at halftime or earlier in the USC game? – Jimmy

Doubtful. And if Smith wished he had, he probably wouldn’t admit it. Smith, and offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren – both former college quarterbacks — are incredibly supportive of their QBs.

Any noise about the transfer portal in/out for both men’s and women’s basketball? — @OrangeBlackand1

Nothing out as of today. It would be normal for one or two players from both teams to test the portal. Coming in? TBA. Lots of rumors and lists, but nothing concrete.

Anecdotally, it seems like local retailers have a shortage of Beaver gear…especially compared to Duck gear. I’m just curious if this is a real phenomenon or all in my head. — @Ballas_Info

Anecdotally, you’re probably right. But I haven’t heard from sources that it’s a problem. It makes sense that in spot situations, there are fewer options of Beaver gear than Ducks. Oregon gear has been in demand for quite a while, whereas the uptick in OSU gear is recent.

Who improved their draft stock most at Beaver Pro Day? Conversely, did anyone hurt their chances? — @ShortKingPhil

Tyjon Lindsey and Tre’Shaun Harrison probably improved their stock when it comes to measurables. But ultimately, it’s going to come down to performance. I’m not sure what they did Monday matters much in the larger scheme. Jack Colletto continues to impress. He has a lot of interest. While Colletto may not hear his name on the second or third day of the NFL Draft, he’s certain to get a shot through the undrafted route.

Which football players looked the best in practice so far? – Max C

It’s too early for me to make that assessment. I’ve been covering a lot of basketball the past two weeks, and have been able to watch only one of three open-to-media practices. I want to see a couple padded practices and probably a scrimmage before making that call. Obviously, freshman quarterback Aidan Chiles has wowed. But there’s a lot more to quarterback than showing off a big arm.

What are the minimum requirements of MBB next year for staff to be retained? Is it NCAA tournament bid or out? — @Sporttakes3

I asked Barnes that question this week, knowing he likely wouldn’t list minimum requirements. He never does, and publicly, he’s right in doing so. But it’s clear men’s basketball needs to win more games. What is that number? Probably something close to .500 or better. The Beavers also need to be competitive in most games, including Arizona and UCLA. An NCAA Tournament appearance isn’t mandatory, but the Beavers must give hope that they’re getting closer.

Women’s basketball 1-9 on the road, too. Young team trait? – Scott K

Asked and answered. If this roster stay intact for 2023-24, OSU won’t be 1-9 in road games.

Any update on football season ticket sales? Is there a breakdown of tickets still available/sold/committed? Numbers/breakdown for the east side, west side endzone and in each seating type, general, lower level, upper level, suites? Would like to know how full the stadium will be this fall with students based on season tickets alone.

Any chance there will be an open house of the stadium additions during the spring game or will fans have to wait? – Craig W

Your question on season tickets is valid, but it’s too early to dig that deeply into the numbers. Still much heavy lifting to do. Early this summer makes sense. As for an open house, there will be some movement on that front this summer. The west side will not be ready for public traffic by mid-April.

–Nick Daschel | ndaschel@oregonian.com | @nickdaschel

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