Beaver Stadium
Beaver Stadium is an outdoor college football stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania, on the campus of The Pennsylvania State University. It is home to the Penn State Nittany Lions of the Big Ten Conference. The stadium is named for James A. Beaver, a former governor of Pennsylvania (1887”“91) and president of the university's board of trustees. Beaver Stadium has an official seating capacity of 107,282, making it currently the second largest stadium in the Western Hemisphere and the fourth largest in the world. Beaver Stadium is widely known as one of the toughest venues for opposing teams in collegiate athletics. In 2008, Beaver Stadium was recognized as having the best student section in the country for the second consecutive year. The stadium is the first to have its interior included in Google Street View.


Until 1893, Penn State teams participated in sporting events on Old Main lawn, a large grassy area in front of the primary classroom building of the time. Beaver Field, a 500-seat structure located behind the current site of the Osmond Building, was the first permanent home for Penn State's football team, and the first game played there was a Penn State victory over Western University of Pennsylvania (now the University of Pittsburgh) on November 6, 1893. In 1909, New Beaver Field opened just northeast of Rec Hall, roughly in the current location of the Nittany Parking deck. It served as Penn State's stadium until 1960, when the entire 30,000 seat stadium was dismantled and moved to the east end of campus, reassembled and expanded to 46,284 seats, and dubbed Beaver Stadium.

Expansions in 1969, 1974 and 1976 increased capacity to 60,203. In 1978, 16,000 seats were added when the stadium was cut into sections and raised on hydraulic lifts, allowing the insertion of seating along the inner ring of the stadium where the track had previously been located. In 1980, maximum capacity increased to 83,770. An expansion was completed for the 1991 football season, placing an upper deck addition over the north end zone and raising capacity to over 90,000. A major and somewhat controversial construction project took place in 2001, raising the stadium's total capacity to 107,282. An upper deck was added to the south end of the stadium, blocking the view of neighboring Nittany Mountain (which had sentimental value for some fans), but making Beaver Stadium the second largest stadium in nation, behind Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, MI. When filled to capacity (as it often is on game-day), Beaver Stadium is the third largest city in Pennsylvania, beating out Allentown (population 107,250). In 2006, the stadium underwent major structural and aesthetic upgrades. Old steel beams supporting the upper seats in the east, north and west were replaced and strengthened, and new railing was installed, stronger than the old railing which collapsed following the 2005 Ohio State game. The stadium is home to what many fans, media and the university consider to be the best student section in the country. In 2007, over 22,000 student tickets sold out in 59 minutes. In 2008, when tickets were sold by grade, tickets allotted for junior students sold out in 90 seconds, and those for sophomores and freshmen sold out in under three minutes each. The appearance of the stadium has been enhanced with the addition of large blue letters spelling out "The Pennsylvania State University" on the west-facing suites, and a list of Penn State's undefeated, national championship, and Big Ten championship years underneath. On the opposite side of the stadium, letters spelling, "Penn State Nittany Lions" have been added to the press box, with "Beaver Stadium" running below. Nine markers depicting the various traditions of Beaver Stadium, including the Blue Band, the student section, and the blue buses which bring the team to the stadium, have been placed around the stadium as well. In late October, the walls surrounding the field were refaced with Pennsylvania limestone. An iron gate has replaced the old chain-link face at the players' entrance into the stadium. On the new gate the words "PENN STATE" appear in blue.

Beaver Stadium's record crowd of 110,753 witnessed Penn State's 40”“7 victory over Nebraska on September 14, 2002. In 2002, Penn State also set an NCAA record for largest season attendance, with 1,257,707 watching Penn State games over the course of the season. It is boasted by the Penn State community that during home games at State College the stadium is the 3rd largest city by "population" in the state. It follows Philadelphia (1,517,550) and Pittsburgh (334,563) and precedes Allentown (106,632).

Attendance records


Tailgating is very popular outside Beaver Stadium. Alcohol is permitted in all areas around Beaver Stadium on home football games, except inside Beaver Stadium and the Bryce Jordan Center (Alcohol is permitted inside Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, but only alcohol purchased inside the ballpark). Both the Bryce Jordan Center and Medlar Field at Lubrano Park are open for special events before kickoff during home football games.

Student Section "S-Zone"
The student section "s-zone" is another tradition at Beaver Stadium. A small section on the 20-yard line are all given white and blue shirts by the Pennsylvania State University Lion Ambassadors to create an "S" in the senior student section. For the 2008 Homecoming Game, the "s-zone" was black and pink, in honor of the original Penn State colors.

WhiteOut Games
After failed experiments with "Code Blue" during the down year of 2004, the "White Out" made national headlines during the famed 2005 game versus Ohio State. In this game, despite 40 degree temperatures and a misty rain, nearly every student, along with many other fans, wore a white shirt to the game, creating a sea of white. This was deemed a success, as the student section was declared "the best in the country" by ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit, and the Nittany Lions won the game in an intense defensive battle, by a score of 17-10. The student section was widely credited with aiding the defense, as they kept the Buckeyes' future Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, Troy Smith, in check, intercepting him once and recovering a decisive fumble in the final minutes. Smith was forced to call several timeouts during the game due to inability to communicate with his offense on the field. Former Ohio State Center Nick Mangold has openly admitted that Beaver Stadium was the toughest stadium he had ever played in. In 2007, for the Notre Dame game, a full-stadium "White House" was declared, in which every fan in attendance was asked to wear white. This was also deemed a success, as nearly every Penn State fan in attendance wore white, and the Lions won, 31-10. In 2008, the White House was met with similar success, a 38-24 win over Illinois. However, the White Out and White House games have not always resulted in wins for the Lions. In 2006, Penn State lost a White Out game against rival Michigan, 17-10. Since 2005, Penn State has lost twice to Ohio State at home, 37-17 in 2007 and 24-7 in 2009. Earlier in the 2009 season, the team also lost its "White House" game 21-10 to Iowa, a game that was played in a driving rainstorm.

Zombie Nation
Zombie Nation is a tradition carried out by the Nittany Lions usually after a big play. Zombie Nation is when the entire Penn State crowd jumps around, waves their rally towels or shakers wildly and shouts "WE ARE PENN STATE" during the playing of " Kernkraft 400" by Zombie Nation.

Tunnel Entrance
The current tunnel entrance for the team transpires as follows: The team, led by coach Joe Paterno, is brought from the locker room under the South side of the stadium to the tunnel, to a closed metal gate reading "PENN STATE" in bold Arial font. When the team is close, the Nittany Lion opens the gate and motions for the team to walk through it, as if welcoming the team to the field. The team lingers until four minutes are left on the pregame clock, and then Paterno leads the team through the tunnel created by the Blue Band.

Fast & Slow Wave
The Penn State Student section initiates slow speed waves during sporting events. The slow-speed wave was invented by the University of Wisconsin student section during the early 1980s and was a regular feature of games at Wisconsin's Camp Randall Stadium by 1985. After the wave passes around the stadium, the student section speeds the wave up to over twice the normal speed on the second pass. On the third pass the wave is then slowed down to about a fourth the speed of the normal wave. The Wisconsin Slow Wave was copied in 2009 by the front rows of Paternoville.

Band Traditions
The Flip After the Penn State Blue Band has entered the field, and played the first 8 bars of "Hail to the Lion," the Blue Band's Drum Major does a high-stepping, stiff-legged sprint in between rows of band members from the goal line to the 50 yard line, where he does a front flip. Legend states that if the drum major lands the flip, the team will win that afternoon. He then performs another flip while running towards the end zone. After he stands back up, he and the Nittany Lion, who is holding his baton, take 5 high-steps toward each other, meeting 5 yards deep in the endzone. The Lion and Drum Major both place both hands on the baton in alternating order (in the same manner children choosing teams with a baseball bat would) and then throw the baton into the ground. They then salute each other, embrace arms, and then both excitedly run towards the student section, where they are cheered enthusiastically. Floating Lions The Blue Band performs "Hail to the Lion" and makes its way from its "PSU" formation to roll into spelling "LIONS" as it marches across the field. Once reaching the other side, the band reverses the "LIONS" to be readable to the East side of the stadium, while playing "Fight On, State." This is known as the "trademark drill" of the Blue Band.

Rank Attendance Date Game result 1 110,753 Sept. 14, 2002 Penn State 40, Nebraska 7 2 110,134 Oct. 27, 2007 Ohio State 37, Penn State 17 3 110,078 Sept. 8, 2007 Penn State 31, Notre Dame 10 4 110,033 Nov. 7, 2009 Ohio State 24, Penn State 7 5 110,017 Oct. 18, 2008 Penn State 46, Michigan 17 6 110,007 Oct. 14, 2006 Michigan 17, Penn State 10 7 109,987 Nov. 6, 2010 Penn State 35, Northwestern 21 8 109,865 Nov. 5, 2005 Penn State 35, Wisconsin 14 9 109,845 Nov. 22, 2008 Penn State 49, Michigan State 18 10 109,839 Oct. 8, 2005 Penn State 17, Ohio State 10


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