Thousands of Beaver fans will come to Corvallis on Saturday for Oregon State University's football opener, but to fully enjoy the excitement, they'll need to follow some simple rules, be patient with traffic and remember game day road changes.

Alcohol patrol

The easiest way to spoil the fun is to bring a beer or booze into Reser Stadium.

"That's an automatic ejection, where you won't be able to watch the end of the game," said Lt. Jeff Lanz, station commander for Oregon State Police at OSU.

Lanz doesn't expect many problems for Saturday's game against Portland State University because the kickoff is at 11:35 a.m., which gives tailgaters less time to get rowdy. College classes aren't in session, and that keeps things more sedate.

Still, students often aren't the troublemakers.

An average of about 30 fans are ejected at every Beaver home game, Lanz estimated, and most are over age 21 and caught sneaking in alcohol.

About 25 state troopers, as well as a private security firm, will watch the crowd and surveillance cameras will focus on the audience to spot people who are drinking or disorderly.

"If it's repeated behavior, it could be a situation where you're not allowed in the stadium for the entire season," Lanz said.

A few people also get cited for trespass every year when they try to get back into the stadium after being kicked out.

Fans 21 and older can tailgate on campus around Reser Stadium. But those drinking alcohol on a city street could be cited for having an open container.

Game day traffic

Corvallis roads aren't designed for the 8,500 extra cars that arrive for game days, so traffic can be heavy, especially afterward.

"The goal is to have all of the traffic out of the area of Reser and out of the city within two hours," said Sgt. Ben Harvey of the Corvallis Police Department.

One of Harvey's chief concerns is pedestrian safety at the intersection of Western Boulevard and 26th Street, just south of the stadium.

For the second season, a private flagging company, not traffic signals, will control vehicles at key intersections.

"They worked real well," Harvey said. "They helped stage the cars so we could get them out of the city more expeditiously."

State police and the Benton County Sheriff's Office will help direct cars.

Two changes are in store for motorists this year. Morris Avenue will be closed at its east end, so traffic won't be able to get onto 26th Street there.

Also, people who have parked at Avery Park won't be able to drive north to Highway 20/34. Instead, they must continue on Avery Avenue to Third Street, Harvey said.

As in recent years, Western Boulevard will change to a one-way eastbound thoroughfare from 26th Street to 15th Street after the game.

Also, 26th Street will close to most traffic between Washington Way and Western Boulevard during the game.

A game day shuttle starts three hours before the game and leaves from various spots along Second Street downtown and the Benton County Fairgrounds. The shuttle runs for an hour after the game.

Parking on front lawns generally is illegal within the city of Corvallis. Car owners who park on lawns could be cited.

Kyle Odegard covers Oregon State University. He can be contacted at kyle.odegard@lee.net or 758-9523.

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