As they plot the future of Beaver Stadium, Penn State officials are indicating that fundraising efforts will be crucial to moving forward with renovations.
In March 2017, Penn State released its Facilities Master Plan. There were multiple components to that plan, but it was perhaps highlighted by the university’s vision for a renovated Beaver Stadium. The concept included new chairback seating–contributing in a reduction in capacity from 106,572 to roughly 103,000–upgraded concourses, new concessions and restrooms, and overhauled premium areas. In addition, the proposal included a face lift to Beaver Stadium’s exterior.
No firm cost estimate was released with the proposal, and it was noted that it could take years for a Beaver Stadium renovation to begin. For right now, Penn State officials–including including athletic director Sandy Barbour and head football coach James Franklin–believe that fundraising efforts will be crucial to allowing the university to modernize Beaver Stadium. Ultimately, the goal of renovating Beaver Stadium would be to bring it up to the standard of more modern facilities used by competing programs. More from Centre Daily Times:
Now, as Barbour and James Franklin headline a three-stop Coaches Caravan, both understand where Penn State stands in the college football arms race fueled by facilities spending. The Nittany Lions are “way behind” their Big Ten foes and fellow College Football Playoff contenders, the head coach said, and they need to catch up.
Still, Franklin and Barbour remain confident in the department’s fundraising efforts — Caravan stops included — and its intent to put Penn State football in the best position possible moving forward.
“We have a lot of work to do,” Franklin said. “But I truly believe that having all these people — the board, the president, the AD, the coaches, the alumni, the lettermen — all pulling the rope in the same direction, that we can do something really special.”
Added Barbour: “We’ve got the plan for what we need to do. …We just need to raise more money and get it done.”
The concept for a Beaver Stadium renovation does follow some trends in recent college football facility projects, particularly with its focus on reducing seating capacity in favor of installing more comfortable seating options. Previous examples include Texas A&M’s overhaul of Kyle Field, a broad-scale project that has been cited as a model for potential Beaver Stadium upgrades.
Rendering courtesy Penn State University.