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Onward Debate: Should Beaver Stadium Have A Dome?

As winter approaches, it’s hard not to wonder if Penn State is too close to the North Pole for most students and fans’ liking.

Last weekend was our first truly cold football game of the season, highlighted by brief snow flurries and countless layers. The experience, which some people are still defrosting from, raised an important question: What if Beaver Stadium had a dome to protect players and fans from the elements?

While our staff has brainstormed various additions to Beaver Stadium before, we’ve never considered something as big as a dome. But would it even be a good decision? Our staffers decided to bring this debate to light.

Dana Nunemacher: Dome

Growing up in the North Pole of Pennsylvania (aka Northeastern Pa.), I have had my fair share of wind, snow, sleet…really all of the elements. Do I hate bad weather? No. Do I love it? Also, no.

Before any alumni attack me for being a snowflake or whatever, I have been a Penn State fan since I was 12. I have forced various family members (sorry Mom and Aunt Jan) to sit through the snow and rain because I refused to leave until the damn game was done.

I get that “football weather” is supposed to be those freezing cold games where I can see my breath, but I want to know: What about that sounds good? Being able to watch a game without being weighed down by parkas or wearing very fashionable trash bag ponchos that are made last-minute in the parking lot. A dome may offer some protection for a comfortable atmosphere. I’m just saying.

Haylee Yocum: No Dome

Beaver Stadium has provided us with fantastic views for years. This year especially, fans have seen the Goodyear Blimp over Beaver Stadium to capture legendary photos of White Outs, Stripe Outs, and more. Although you might be able to get around it with a retractable roof, those images and captured memories wouldn’t look the same if Beaver Stadium had a dome.

Also, let’s talk about fireworks! It’s not like they put on a whole show for every game, but I still think they’re a very nice addition for touchdowns. I’m no pyrotechnician, but it seems unsafe to set off fireworks indoors.

The most obvious reason not to put a dome on Beaver Stadium is the cost. The project would cost millions of dollars. Beaver Stadium seems to already have several renovations in the works, so this would likely get tacked on to the end of the list. By the time it happened, I probably wouldn’t care anymore.

Above all else, losing out on a cold environment would remove one of the most iconic parts of Big Ten football. These gritty, low-scoring conference battles belong in the tundra. Things just wouldn’t be the same in a balmy arena.

We have the Bryce Jordan Center for concerts, THON, and other events throughout the year. Its capacity is obviously not comparable to Beaver Stadium, but is anything at Penn State as popular as football?

While a dome has the potential to create a better experience for fans in cold, late-season games, I think we can all agree that Penn State should continue to invest in other things, such as renovating old dorms and upgrading older classrooms.

For now, we all should go out and buy a few more layers before the Rutgers game. It’s looking like it’ll be chilly again, but you already knew that.

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