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Report: Penn State to Propose 1st Stages of Beaver Stadium Renovation Plans Next Month

EA Sports
Photo by Penn State

More than two months after word got out that Penn State planned to significantly upgrade Beaver Stadium, some specifics for exactly how the school hopes to improve the place have been revealed.

Penn State plans on proposing the first stage of its renovation to the school’s Board of Trustees next month, Nate Bauer of Blue-White Illustrated reported Thursday morning.

Sources told BWI that the proposal’s first phase will be presented to the Board of Trustees at it’s meetings scheduled for May 4-5, and the renovation could end up costing as much as $700 million.

Bauer wrote that the renovation will emphasis Beaver Stadium’s west side and will include a demolition of the stands and press box. The stands and press box would be replaced with lower-level seats that have expanded chair backs, along with “luxury amenities, suites and loge boxes.” This will also include seating for media and amenities for the press. Bauer wrote that the project will also work to improve other parts of the stadium, which include expansion of the concourses and better options that would allow fans to move around the stadium more comfortably.

The plan also includes expanded concessions, bathrooms and other “major maintenance” that will improve Beaver Stadium.

Penn State athletic director Pat Kraft has openly stated that he hopes for Beaver Stadium to be used for more events besides Penn State football games.

“That building should be used more than seven days (a year), in my opinion,” Kraft said at Big Ten Media Days last July. “And we have to find ways to do that. We’ve got to provide ourselves the opportunity to really generate more revenue off of it.

Beaver Stadium has been Penn State’s home since 1960. For the past 15+ years, the stadium has developed a reputation for having one of college football’s best atmospheres, with Penn State’s annual White Out game being something college football fans across the country look forward to every fall.

But as with most 60+ year old facilities, the building has its flaws. Fans have complained about, among other things, poor WIFI, sub-par concourses and a lack of escalators. Penn State first revealed its intentions to renovate the stadium Feb. 17.

University President Dr. Neeli Bendapudi said in a statement that “after extensive research and consultation, renovation for Beaver Stadium is the direction we walk to take as it is far more economical than a new build.”

Additionally, Bendapudi said none of the project would be “funded by tuition, student fees, or any of our educational budget.”

”I know there is a lot of interest in this project,” she said, “and we are still at the beginning of a multi-year journey, which still must include proposal review and approval by the board of trustees. Athletics also will need to put the project out for bid.”

Bendapudi said Penn State’s fans are “some of the most dedicated and loyal in the world” and “deserve a facility that has upgrades, amenities and improved circulation around the facility to enhance the fan experience.”

Bauer reported that additional estimates of how much the plan would totaled $1.2 billion for the entire stadium and $1.5 billion for a site that would have been adjacent to where Beaver Stadium currently is. Both options were turned down due to the steep cost.

For things to happen, the Board of Trustees will need to approve the plan and then put out a bid. There is no known timeline yet for when the project will be started or completed. Bauer reported that that timeline is “expected to be contingent on board approval and the bid process.”

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