Penn State trustees approve massive $700 million Beaver Stadium renovation

May 21—The Penn State Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved the $700 million renovation of Beaver Stadium, which is scheduled to be ready for the 2027 football season.

After a 100-minute public discussion, the trustees voted 26-2 with three abstentions to go forward with the plan, which will make the longtime home for Nittany Lions football a year-round venue for sports and other events.

"I'm pleased that the renovation will benefit our student-athletes," said Board of Trustees chairman Matt Schuyler, "elevate Beaver Stadium's significance in driving local and state economies and ensure Beaver Stadium remains a premier facility in all of college athletics."

Penn State officials said the total project will cost no more than $700 million and that it will be financed and paid for entirely by the athletic department through fund-raising, concessions, naming opportunities, sponsorships and premium seating.

They also said that renovating the 64-year-old stadium will avoid $200 million in major maintenance expenses. The university ruled out building a new stadium because it would have cost more than $2 billion.

The trustees, who have discussed a renovation plan for at least two years, approved an initial $70 million expenditure last year to widen select concourses, install new escalators, replace video boards and winterize the stadium so it can host a College Football Playoff game in December of this year.

Work began in January on that part of the project, the cost of which is included in the estimated $700 million.

Penn State director of athletics Patrick Kraft estimated that home football games average $16.2 million in tourism and economic growth.

"The experience for our fans will be greatly enhanced while providing the facilities our football program needs to continue competing at the highest level," Kraft said. "I am grateful for the support of President (Neeli) Bendapudi and Penn State's Board of Trustees in making this investment for the future of our university community and athletics programs."

The west side of Beaver Stadium will undergo a massive facelift over the next three offseasons. A 21,000-square foot welcome center will be a major part of it, along with club seats, loge boxes, premium suites and a new press box.

Kraft said the capacity of the stadium, now the second-largest in the country behind Michigan Stadium, will remain at over 100,000.

The improvements are expected to result in a "small reduction" on seating capacity during the 2025 season.

Populous was selected last year as the architect of the renovation. Its recent projects include the renovated Kyle Field at Texas A&M and the new Buffalo Bills stadium, which is under construction.