Penn State’s board of trustees has approved the first phase of a planned $700 million makeover of its football stadium.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that phase one of the Beaver Stadium upgrade willl cost $70 million and will include maintenance projects and architectural development. Future phases will involve a complete reconstruction of the stadium’s west side, premium seating options, improved restrooms and upgraded concessions.
The full renovation is projected to cost $700 million. University officials hope it will be finished by 2027.
The long-term plan is to pay for the project through dedicated revenues from football ticket sales, including new premium seating options, concessions revenue, naming opportunities and a fundraising campaign aimed at raising $200 million.
During the first phase, crowd traffic control measures will be improved, field lighting performance will be addressed, and pipes will be insulated so the stadium can be occupied when temperatures are below freezing. This could enable the University Park stadium to host college football playoff games and other events during the winter.
Construction of further phases is expected to begin in January 2025. After renovations, the stadium will still be able to house over 100,000 fans, university officials say.
The university decided to renovate rather than rebuild the stadium for economic reasons, the university says. Constructed in 1960, Beaver Stadium last underwent a major renovation in 2001. That renovation added 60 skyboxes to the stadium.