Penn State hires Populous for Beaver Stadium overhaul


Penn State University has announced its architect, Populous, and construction manager(s), a joint venture (JV) of Barton Malow, AECOM Hunt and Alexander, as selections for a lengthy renovation of Beaver Stadium. Nations Group served as a key consultant in assisting with these selections.

The populous choice

Populous was selected as architect of the Beaver Stadium renovation for its  extensive experience in designing sports and entertainment venues, and its 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.

Radecic is a Penn State graduate, and emphasised the upkeep of spirit and tradition as the design phase begins in full.

Facilities manager Herbert Combs appeared recently on The Stadia Podcast to speak about the iconic stadium, and the plans already in place to develop it as a multi-use venue, and it appears these plans are now well underway. Image: Penn State Athletics

“We are excited to partner with these top-tier firms for the Beaver Stadium renovations,” said Patrick Kraft, VP for Intercollegiate Athletics.

Kraft added, “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.”

Project details

Spearheading the construction of the stadium’s multi-faceted renovations will be a JV among Barton Malow, AECOM Hunt and Alexander Building Construction. The three companies have a history of working together on multiple athletic facilities over the past 20 years.

As construction manager, the JV 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, 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.

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. Image: Penn State Athletics

“Our team is honored to be a part of the Beaver Stadium renovation project,” said Nations Group president Chris Nations, who added, “In conjunction with Penn State athletics and University administration, we will create a transformational stadium project to enhance the gameday experience for all fans, generate revenues that are necessary for Intercollegiate Athletics and create multiuse space and development.”

  • Penn State Athletics
Bill Sitzabee, Penn State’s chief facilities officer, said 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. Image: Penn State Athletics

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.

Further renovations

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. Penn State says this multi-year project is financed and paid for entirely by Intercollegiate Athletics, using no tuition dollars or educational budget.

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Benedict is editorial assistant, social media manager and staff writer across several aviation, automotive and performance technology titles published by Mark Allen Business. He is a graduate of the University of Southampton and spends his free time organising comedy shows, playing basketball loudly and guitar quietly.

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