As “The House that Joe Built” gets ready to turn the Big Five Oh, Penn State Football’s unofficial historian said there's no doubt Nittany Nation will be sending its wishes.
“You could say that beaver stadium is recognized maybe after Joe Paterno and the Nittany Lion as the Penn State symbol, but it wasn't always that way,” Lou Prato, former Director of the Penn State All Sports Museum, said.
If you want proof, only a little more than 22,000 fans went through the turnstiles for the first game at the Stadium back in 1960
The school first built the stadium to replace Beaver Field near Rec Hall.
Since that first game, there have been more than a half dozen expansions. Those have raised the capacity from 46,000 to more than 107,000.
“They probably said ‘You never know how it's going to be, and if Penn State Football ever becomes really popular, it could attract a lot of people.’ I think there were a lot of people who thought that way back then,” Prato said.
ESPN has dubbed the Student Section at the stadium the best in the country.
The 22,000 members of that white throng say the stadium has something special others across the country lack.
“When you walk in, it's just so exciting, and having like a special section for students is like really great, and I think we all really appreciate it,” Sophomore Nikki Schultz said.
“I just like the way it's built up, where all the noise piles in, it really gives a great kind of environment,” Freshman Kevin Mazolla said.
“The size, just the design of it, the way it looks,” Michael Manley, a Senior, said.
If you do not have tickets for Beaver Stadium's Golden Anniversary Season - Just wait.
“In the future they're going to have to improve the press box. You know, you talk about the charm, they're planning on this- they're going to improve the press box, and probably can add even more seats so the seating capacity can probably continue to grow,” Prato said.