What will change with Beaver Stadium — and when? What to know about $700M renovations

The $700 million Beaver Stadium renovation project will include three phases over the next three football offseasons.

Penn State’s board of trustees approved the rest of the $700 million renovations for Beaver Stadium Tuesday, just over a year after approving the first $70 million of the project.

The final design of the stadium is not complete, according to athletic director Pat Kraft, but there were more details about the plan unveiled at the board of trustees’ meeting — including a welcome center.

“The welcome center will also serve as a home for the thousands of prospective students who visit our campus every year,” Penn State president Neeli Bendapudi said. “...It is a known fact that the campus visit experience is the most important driver for decision making for all prospective students. With the new welcome center, we hope to augment our enrollment efforts by providing a better choreographed visit experience for prospective students.”

While the stadium will still primarily serve as the home of the football team on gamedays, the renovations could also open the door to other revenue-driving events like more concerts.

“It’s not just a football project, it’s a Penn State project. It’s a Penn State Athletics project,” Kraft told the Centre Daily Times.

Here’s everything you need to know about the renovations and when they will take place.

What will change at Beaver Stadium?

The welcome center was the biggest new detail to arise out of Tuesday’s meeting, with it serving as a “front-door experience” for prospective students. The center would include a 21,000-square-foot facility for “events and other uses” and would also help customize visits with the use of technology.

Beyond the welcome center, the renovations would include:

  • Improved circulation to alleviate congestion (increase of 24 elevators, 12 escalators and 4+ stair towers)

  • Concourse expansion

  • Improved press box (addition of a broadcast level)

  • New restrooms (an increase of 15%+)

  • Upgraded concession offerings (increase of 102 points of sale)

  • New premium seating offerings (increase in suites and addition of loge boxes)

  • Improved field lighting

  • Allowing for state-of-art and future of entertainment

  • Enabling for year-round events and entertainment

The changes would also still maintain the current parking and tailgating experience, but would include the demolition of the west side of the stadium.

When will the changes happen?

The demolition and rebuild of the west side of the stadium would begin in its first phase following the 2024 football season in 2025. The second phase of the demolition and rebuild would take place in 2026, while the third and final phase would take place in 2027 and is set to be wrapped up in August of that year — prior to the beginning of Penn State’s season.

Because the west side would be demolished under the current plan, the athletic department plans to install temporary bleachers for the 2025 and 2026 seasons.

What has happened so far?

The latest approval is the second in the process, with the board of trustees approving the previously mentioned $70 million last May. That first financial outlay was to pay for design costs, winterization of the stadium and other pressing issues.

The winterization of the stadium is currently underway and is an important aspect of the renovation in the immediate future. The process, which includes insulating pipes among other upgrades, would allow the for the facility to be used when the temperature drops below freezing — like for a College Football Playoff game the Nittany Lions could host this December.