UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) — It was announced Friday that Beaver Stadium could be undergoing major renovations for significant upgrades that could expand use well beyond Nittany Lion Football.
The multi-phase renovation plan for Beaver Stadium is still being finalized, however, and will have to be taken to the full board for a vote in the near future. A date for the vote has not been released at this time.
It was determined that these upgrades and renovations would be much more cost-effective than building a new stadium. Penn State University President Neeli Bendapudi said this project will not be funded with tuition money nor by student fees or any of Penn State’s educational budget.
“After extensive research and consultation, renovation for Beaver Stadium is the direction we want to take as it is far more economical than a new build. In addition, it’s important to note that no part of this project will be funded by tuition, student fees or any of our educational budget,” said University President Neeli Bendapudi.
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Bendapudi went on to praise the loyal, dedicated fans of Penn State, saying they deserve a facility that has upgraded amenities to enhance the fan experience.
The president also said the University is not yet in a position to share financial projections for the renovation project. The president emphasized Penn State Athletics is a self-sustaining unit of the University – one of only a small number of self-funded collegiate athletics operations in the nation – and, as such, is still working out a funding model as well as a timeline.
Penn State Athletics has for decades been an economic powerhouse for the Centre Region and revenue from its football program is the main source of support for all 31 sports – allowing 800 student-athletes to compete, gain leadership skills and advance their education.
According to a 2022 study commissioned by Happy Valley Adventure Bureau, the annual economic impact in Centre County alone for football visitor spending is estimated at $87 million. Attendee spending for all Penn State athletic events generates $149 million in total economic impact in Centre County.
Beaver Stadium, one of the largest stadiums in the country, has undergone numerous renovations since 1960 with the most recent major renovation in 2001 with the addition of the 60 skyboxes in a three-level structure above the East stands.