Penn State Board of Trustees approves Beaver Stadium renovation before 2027 season

Beaver Stadium will soon upgrade areas and features during renovation over the next three years.

Penn State announced Tuesday that the Board of Trustees approved investments in renovating Beaver Stadium, allowing year-round use of the stadium. The board held a vote that resulted in a 26-2 outcome with three abstaining.

According to a release, the total cost is no more than $700 million and will be financed and paid for “entirely” by Intercollegiate Athletics. It will be completed before the 2027 season.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am delighted to share there is overwhelming support for the University’s recommendation to renovate Beaver Stadium,” Penn State Board of Trustees Chair Matt Schuyler stated in a release. “I’m pleased that the renovation will benefit our student-athletes, elevate Beaver Stadium’s significance in driving local and state economies, and ensure Beaver Stadium remains a premier facility in all of college athletics.”

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Through 2027, the renovations are expected to “grow revenue-generating opportunities, transform the fan and community experience, and fuel the future funding for all 31 athletics programs at Penn State.”

The renovations include “three distinct phases” over the next three offseasons and “will offer a new mix of seating options and improved amenities, such as restrooms and concessions.”

According to a release, the entirety of Beaver Stadium’s renovations “will be paid for through fundraising, concessions, naming opportunities, sponsorships and ticket sales, including new premium seating options to be added during the renovation.”

The initial $70 million expenditure for the stadium renovation was approved in January, and early construction has prioritized safety and accessibility through the widening of select concourses and installation of new escalators among other plans. Penn State plans to winterize Beaver Stadium, entailing “the insulation of pipes and other upgrades to allow the building to be occupied when temperatures are below freezing.” Additional steps “will continue leading up to the 2024 college football season.”

The Nittany Lions’ renovation of Beaver Stadium will allow it to host a potential College Football Playoff game as soon as this fall when the playoff field expands to 12 teams and provides the teams seeded Nos. 5-8 the opportunity to open the first round at home.

“With home football games averaging $16.2 million in tourism and economic growth in our region, the potential return on investing in a premiere football stadium is significant,” Penn State Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Patrick Kraft stated in a release. “Beyond the increased ability to host major events year-round as we winterize the stadium and build inventory, the experience for our fans will be greatly enhanced while providing the facilities our football program needs to continue competing at the highest level. I am grateful for the support of President (Neeli) Bendapudi and Penn State’s Board of Trustees in making this investment for the future of our university community and athletics programs.”

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Plans for a new welcome center “will include a 21,000-square-foot facility for events and many other uses, serve as a connection point for all in the community, and augment enrollment efforts for prospective students and future student-athletes.”

Beaver Stadium renovation plans are designed “with a high standard for energy efficiency, construction and eventual operation of the renovated stadium” and committed “to achieving LEED certification,” according to a release.

Penn State also has a “Beaver Stadium Revitalization” website with more information.

“Many recognize Beaver Stadium as the best stadium in college football, and we want to preserve the atmosphere that our fans, alumni and community have come to expect while building on this history of excellence for generations to come,” Bendapudi stated in a release. “The renovations will have a wide variety of positive impacts on our community, help us remain a national leader by attracting top student-athletes, and continue serving as a symbol for belonging and pride for students across the Commonwealth.”