Hockey at Beaver Stadium? Maybe

Hockey at Beaver Stadium? It’s possible.

Penn State officials are actively considering booking Big Ten or even NHL hockey at one of the country’s largest stadiums, according to a  WJAC-TV report. With hockey fever building in Happy Valley as the $88 million Pegula Ice Arena is constructed, this would be a logical move, but also one that has been discussed for years.

Michigan Stadium has famously broken hockey attendance records and will serve as a NHL Winter Classic venue in 2014, certainly something that Penn State’s athletic department has taken notice of.

In a news segment, Associate Athletic Director Joe Battista suggested Notre Dame, Boston College and Michigan as possible opponents for the Nittany Lions, but did not specify a particular date. He also expressed optimism at seeing the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers and/or Buffalo Sabres facing off.

At a Coaches vs. Cancer golf outing last week, head football coach Bill O’Brien said  that he has told Athletic Director David Joyner he “would be all for” a puck drop on his team’s turf.

“I feel very strongly about our basketball programs and our hockey programs,” O’Brien said. “To play a hockey game in Beaver Stadium in January or late December obviously would be great for this area.”

Battista noted that he’d like to see a hockey game in early December, before winter weather restricts parking in grassy areas and right after football season ends.

So, what do you think? Could 100,000+ fans pack the stadium during a cold Pennsylvania winter?

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Mike Hricik

Senior in the College of Communications

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