by Geoff Rushton
A Penn State Board of Trustees committee on Thursday recommended approval of a design and authorization to build a new stadium for the Penn State men’s and women’s lacrosse programs.
In May, Ken Panzer, a 1982 Penn State graduate and former lacrosse co-captain, along with his business partner Jordan Kaplan, made a $3.55 million gift commitment to build the new stadium at the site of the existing field off University Drive.
The full board will vote Friday during its meeting at the Harrisburg campus on approving the plans and construction.
Other donors, including Penn State lacrosse alumni, have given an additional $2 million to fund the project, bringing gifts for construction of the stadium to $5.6 million. The resolution before the board on Friday would authorize $8.4 million to build the venue.
It will include stadium-style seating for 1,300, with a total seating capacity of 1,430. The new stadium also will have permanent concession stands, more accessible restrooms and a ticket office.
A press box above the new seating will include broadcast capabilities for television and radio and a multi-purpose room will overlook the field.
Construction is expected to be completed by next summer.
Penn State expects Panzer Stadium to be among the top lacrosse stadiums in the country, which will allow the university to host the Big Ten Tournament, NCAA preliminary rounds and other events.
Both the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams have emerged among the nation’s top programs in recent years. The men’s team was ranked No. 1 in the nation at points during the 2017 season and lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The women’s team, meanwhile, reached the NCAA semifinals. Both are expected to be national title contenders in 2018.
The new stadium is among the first projects in Penn State Athletics 20 year facilities master plan.
Moody Nolan of Columbus, Ohio, and APArchitects, LLC of Boalsburg designed the stadium and PJ Dick of Pittsburgh will manage construction.