The Oregon State University football team will be packing up its gear and bussing out to spend a week in Bend. For the Beavers, the first week of August practice, "Hell Week," as it is commonly referred to, will be spent in paradise. With their home field undergoing significant renovations, a new, temporary practice location was necessary. After evaluating their options, Bend stood out as the ideal place.
According to Steve Fenk, associate athletic director for OSU, "We looked at other areas across the state, but we chose Bend for reasons that include facilities, housing, and location." The OSU football team will be housed for the week in the Central Oregon Community College dorms. On-field practice will take place just two miles away at Summit High School.
Bend has earned a reputation as an attractive vacation destination, but for OSU football, it will be strictly business. On or off the field, the majority of the athletes' time in Bend will be scheduled, with detail, down to the minute. Being away from "home" will limit distractions and offer "a great bonding opportunity for the team," says Fenk. Preseason football practice is a fast paced and strenuous function, sometimes involving multiple practices per day. NCAA guidelines allow "two-a-days" as long as only one of those practices includes live contact.
Back home in Corvallis, construction workers will be completing a stage of the $42 million renovation to Oregon State University's Reser Stadium. Come time for the Sept. 17 home opener against Idaho State, OSU's Valley Football Center will have an expanded locker room, new sports medicine and equipment facilities, and a stunning 13,000-square-foot terrace overlooking the playing field. According to Fenk, another benefit of spending a week in Bend is "giving construction crews a few extra days to get things ready for the team."
While the team is in town, the community will have a couple of opportunities to interact with the team and watch the Beavers in action. On Aug. 5 kicking off the visit to Bend, Beaver Nation will hold a gathering at Deschutes Brewery from 5 to 8 pm. Anyone in attendance will be able to witness OSU's Ideation Team in its virtual reality presentation of Valley Football Center's $42 million renovation. This will also be the first opportunity for fans to obtain "Orange Passes," which grant access to the many perks of Reser Stadium's newly constructed terrace.
The following day, Aug. 6, the team will hold an open practice at Summit High School. Free to the public, practice will begin at 10:15 am and run until approximately 1 pm. In support of the event, OSU mascot, Benny Beaver, and Beaver Nation personnel will be available to answer any questions.
For the OSU football team, the stay in Bend will be short and sweet. After the 10th of August, the Beavers will head back to Corvallis to continue their preparation for the season opener on Sept. 1, when they will take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers in hostile territory.
For anyone interested in further exposure to the Oregon State University football program and its preparation, OSU is offering a Family Fun Day on Aug. 12 at Reser Stadium. Beginning at 5 pm, the Beavers will conduct their second preseason scrimmage. The day of fun will also include autograph signing and a featured movie night showing "Remember The Titans." The team's final preseason scrimmage will go down at Reser Stadium on Aug. 18 at 10:30 am.
Head Coach Gary Andersen will lead the Beavers football team through a tough PAC-12 conference schedule, beginning Sept. 1. With seven scheduled home games, OSU and its fans will get plenty of use out of the revamped Reser Stadium. The highly anticipated Civil War rivalry game, where OSU will take on the Oregon Ducks, will be held in Corvallis on Saturday, Nov. 26. For tickets or information call the OSU ticket office at 1-800-GO-BEAVS, or visit beavertickets.com.