Replacing Beaver Stadium?
It might sound like madness to some Penn State fans, particularly those who value the program's tradition above all else — see the names-on-jerseys fiasco of the past few seasons.
But according to an Associated Press report, the university is trying to figure out what to do to modernize the increasingly outdated stadium, and options include renovating or even replacing the venue, which has stood in its present location for more than 50 years.
Penn State athletics director Sandy Barbour is having an architecture firm survey athletes, coaches, alumni and fans over the next few months to figure out what the best option would be.
Many of the facility's facilities are lacking, including an old plumbing system, small elevators and concourses and bleachers instead of seats. But Barbour is hoping to just be able to renovate the stadium rather than need to construct a new one.
"That would absolutely be my preference, no doubt about it, for a variety of reasons," Barbour said in the AP report regarding renovations over replacement. "Not the least of which is history and tradition."
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The aforementioned issues with the stadium due to age mean it can only be used for football games right now, a gigantic, 106,572-seat stadium sitting on campus for just a few days of events each year. There are many reasons to modernize the stadium — better experiences for fans and student-athletes, of course — but a big one would be to use the stadium for different things, be it other sporting events (Barbour specifically mentioned hockey in the AP report) or concerts.
It is important to note that Barbour has been through this recently. Cal's football stadium was renovated while she was the Golden Bears' athletics director prior to coming to Penn State.
It sounds like the very beginning stages of any process that might possibly happen, so there's no reason for tradition-loving Penn State fans to freak out just yet. Certainly a modernized environment would provide a better experience, though, and it's something Penn State is thinking about at the moment.