By Danielle Daniels
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – After a competitive process, Penn State has announced its architect — Populous — and construction manager — a joint venture of Barton Malow, AECOM Hunt and Alexander — as selections for the multi-year, multi-phase Beaver Stadium renovation project. With significant expertise in stadium renovations, Nations Group served as a key consultant in assisting with these selections.
“We are excited to partner with these top-tier firms for the Beaver Stadium renovations,” said Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Patrick Kraft. “These companies have a strong history of both renovating and building college football and NFL stadiums and we know they will provide us with a great plan to make Beaver Stadium an even greater beacon for our University and department. We know these groups will preserve the history of Beaver Stadium while bringing it to a more updated and fan-friendly venue.”
As a global design firm with extensive experience in designing sports and entertainment venues, Populous was selected as architect of the Beaver Stadium renovation for its background in creating iconic shared human experiences that serve campuses and communities around the world. Other recent projects from Populous include the renovated Kyle Field at Texas A&M University and the new Buffalo Bills stadium, which is currently under construction.
“Populous is proud to partner with Penn State on a transformational renovation to Beaver Stadium, reimagining and innovating the fan experience of one of the most iconic venues in college football,” said Scott Radecic, senior principal and founder at Populous, and a Penn State graduate and former captain of the football team. “Our team will work hand-in-hand with the University to design and bring to life the spirit and tradition of Penn State, while setting up Beaver Stadium to continue to serve fans for the years to come.”
Spearheading the construction of the stadium’s multifaceted renovations will be a joint venture among Barton Malow, AECOM Hunt and Alexander Building Construction. The three companies have a rich history of working together on multiple athletic facilities over the past 20 years. As construction manager, the joint venture team will oversee the on-site renovation work happening at Beaver Stadium.
Scott Mull, project executive from Barton Malow, who is also a Penn State alum and State College resident, said he is thrilled to lead this exciting project.
“This project has been years in the making; to renovate Beaver Stadium is a passion project for many of us,” said Mull. “Our team is eager to deliver a revitalized facility with fan-facing innovation and premium amenities while still honoring and preserving the legacy and traditions of Penn State football.”
Nations Group, a national owner’s representative firm specializing in assisting universities with the project development and construction management phases of athletic projects, has been retained by the University as a consultant for the project.
“Our team is honored to be a part of the Beaver Stadium renovation project,” said Nations Group President Chris Nations. “In conjunction with Penn State athletics and University administration, we will create a transformational stadium project to enhance the game day experience for all fans, generate revenues that are necessary for Intercollegiate Athletics and create multiuse space and development. In doing so, we will be setting a new standard for college football stadiums.”
Bill Sitzabee, vice president for facilities management and planning and Penn State’s chief facilities officer, said, “External partners and internal team members are now fully equipped and excited to get started on this large, complex project.”
Sitzabee noted that initial construction will focus on improving priority safety and security, including crowd traffic control, and addressing field lighting performance. Winterization work will also be completed, which entails the insulation of pipes and other upgrades to allow the building to be occupied when temperatures are below freezing, giving Penn State the ability to host a College Football Playoff game beginning in 2024 and other potential events beyond football games in the winter months, increasing revenue at the University and in the Centre Region.
At the conclusion of the 2024 football season Penn State will begin a multi-year effort to reconstruct the west side of the stadium, which will maintain traditional bowl-style seating while adding anticipated club and loge seats and executive and founder’s suites. Additional anticipated renovations throughout the facility include ongoing code upgrades, accessibility improvements and upgraded fan amenities. These involve improved circulation to ease spectator congestion throughout the stadium, improved restrooms, upgraded concessions, Wi-Fi and cellular upgrades, and additional seating options. Construction is expected to begin in January 2025 and wrap up ahead of the 2027 football season.
This multi-year project is financed and paid for entirely by Intercollegiate Athletics, using no tuition dollars or educational budget.
COURTESY PENN STATE ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS