What Penn State Can Learn From Other Stadium Renovations

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With renderings of the renovations released last year, the iconic Beaver Stadium will undergo some pretty serious changes in the coming decades.

It’s not everyday that we compliment the Buckeyes, so don’t get used to it, but the Ohio State Stadium is really at the pinnacle of what a college football stadium should be. As James Franklin and company head to ‘The Shoe,’ this week provides a perfect time to think about some iconic coliseums and successful renovations across the college football landscape.

Ohio Stadium certainly provides one example, as do several others like Texas A&M’s Kyle Field, which was seriously and massively redeveloped in the past few years to the same quality Beaver Stadium could reach.

What Ohio State Got Right

Ultimately, the renovations to Ohio Stadium — both throughout the decades but more specifically from 1998-2001 — kept the iconic horseshoe shape of the stadium. Around the south end zone, parts of the stadium remain open giving the home of the Buckeyes the unique curved shape and feel you could only find in college football.

The renovations from 1998 to 2001 focused on improving seating by adding club seats and suites, putting in a permanent section for the student section, improving the scoreboards, and improving the seating and concourse area in general. Certainly, Ohio State could have closed off the corners of the stadium to hold more fans, but chose to stay with tradition.

Although the stadium doesn’t boast quite the same capacity as Beaver Stadium, the focus on improving the fan experience has certainly paid off. The concourse areas and seating make the games very enjoyable for the average fan.

Through the years of renovations, Ohio Stadium has kept its Roman-style exterior very much intact. Although Beaver Stadium is beautiful, the analogy to an erector set is pretty much spot on. Focusing on an especially appealing exterior may actually be pretty important in terms of creating a stadium that feels like the ultimate show in college football.

Keeping the iconic features — as Ohio State did with Ohio Stadium — is essential in renovating Beaver Stadium.

Moving Past The Shoe

The Beaver Stadium renovation renderings make it pretty clear the stadium will be evolving beyond a big bowl of metal bleachers. For that reason, taking a look at the recent renovations to Kyle Field, home of the Texas A&M Aggies, could be helpful.

In fact, the architecture firm that renovated Kyle Field also came up with the renderings for Beaver Stadium.

The allure of a new remodel is something that cannot be overlooked. Texas A&M officials worried that boosting the capacity from 92,000 to 102,512 could mean some empty seats. All 102,000 tickets sold out in 18 minutes. Not that Beaver Stadium has much of an attendance problem.

The look of Kyle Field following its renovation is pretty similar to what Beaver Stadium could look like in the future. Kyle Field was totally asymmetrical before renovations, but now, the stadium is a sight to behold. The stadium now truly has that bowl feel.

Photo of Kyle Field before its renovation via CBSSports.com

Photo of Kyle Field after its renovation via SportingNews.com

Kyle Field also has significant areas of individual seating, as Beaver Stadium will. The Aggies’ home field renovation kept the most iconic aspects of the field — like the home of the 12th Man — intact, but brought the stadium into the 21st century with improved seating and amenities, as well as making it a more visually appealing stadium overall.

As improved amenities, seating, and concourse areas are a given, a few tweaks to the Beaver Stadium design and focus on the exterior could really go a long way for fans in Happy Valley.

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Derek Bannister

Derek is a junior majoring in Economics and History. He is legally required to tell you that he's from right outside of Philly. Email Derek compliments and dad-jokes at [email protected]

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