Penn State reveals plans to renovate iconic Beaver Stadium

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Penn State plans to overhaul 23 athletic facilities, including its football stadium, though renovations to the program’s iconic facility won’t begin for at least five years.

Once completed, the 106,572-seat, nearly six-decade-old Beaver Stadium could include a brick facade and see its capacity decrease to 100,000 to improve fan comfort and increase its ability to host events in such sports as professional hockey and soccer.

“This is an aspirational plan,” Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour said Monday in a public meeting where concept art of the stadium and other facilities was revealed. “We’ll ultimately build what we can afford.”

Barbour said the athletic department would need to raise at least $120 million to fund an initial wave of five projects before work on the stadium can begin. Penn State does not have a start date for the stadium renovations and will continue to work with Kansas City, Missouri-based architecture firm Populous to implement the construction in phases.

The athletic department hopes to complete work on all 23 facilities within 20 years.

The football stadium has undergone seven expansions since moving from the other side of campus in 1960. But it remains relatively antiquated, despite additions of luxury boxes, high-definition scoreboards, new elevators and a refurbished press box.

Both the athletic department and NHL have expressed interest in holding a hockey game at the stadium and Barbour confirmed Penn State has spoken with FIFA representatives about hosting professional soccer in the venue. But antiquated infrastructure has prevented its wider use.

Outdated plumbing requires complete winterization each November, while narrow concourses, lack of chairback seating and limited concession options are areas the athletic department wants to improve in order to host those events.