Penn State, Barbour Discuss Hosting More Than Just Football In Beaver Stadium
Penn State is working hard to make sure the Beaver Stadium and other facilities renovations are fit for all stakeholders, and after a number of town halls and surveys, the university expects Populous to present its findings in July. Pending these results, the athletic department, in coordination with the global architecture firm, will begin its second phase of the renovations.
Barbour is now further expanding on some of the ideas originally presented when first word of the rennovations came out. According to the Associated Press, the athletic department is looking for ways to take advantage of Beaver Stadium for more than just football games.
“I think that’s what we’re taking a look at as administrators, the business aspect of what we do — using Beaver Stadium for more than seven Saturdays,” Barbour told The Associated Press. “That makes perfectly good sense to me.”
This could apparently include everything from summer concerts to FIFA events to the Pennsylvania high school football championships (which, seeing as Penn State is located in the geographic center of Pennsylvania, would make a heck of a lot of sense).
Though at one point it was rumored that an outdoor game between the Flyers-Penguins could be held in Beaver Stadium, which Barbour confirmed the NHL inquired about, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported today that the two teams are instead finalizing plans to play a home-and-home series in Heinz Field and then later Philadelphia. While the Penguins declined comment to the Post-Gazette, the paper reported one official said, anonymously, “my guess is it will happen.”
In order to make some of these things a reality, however, Barbour noted that the renovations must be completed first, citing the winterization that takes place for the plumbing, small elevators, narrow concourses, and uncomfortable bleachers all hinder these possibilities.
“Where Beaver Stadium is today from an infrastructure standpoint, it would be very difficult to do that,” Barbour said.
While the results are being analyzed, the athletic director is still entertaining the possibility the stadium may need to be completely rebuilt from the ground up, but doesn’t believe it will end up being necessary.
“I believe very strongly that renovation is going to fit the bill with a lesser bill and with meeting the needs of what our fans want,” Barbour said. “[A new stadium] certainly could [have to be built] because of structural issues, but I doubt it though.”