- Associated Press - Thursday, November 5, 2015

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Penn State’s athletic director says she would prefer to renovate the university’s aging icon, Beaver Stadium, rather than build a new one on campus.

The announcement came Wednesday after Sandy Barbour addressed the Nittany Lion faithful during a town hall meeting organized by Penn State’s athletic program.

Barbour also said she wasn’t opposed to reducing Beaver Stadium’s seating capacity as part of a future renovation.

Beaver Stadium, with just under 107,000 seats, is the second-largest college football venue and the third-largest stadium in the world. But university officials said they’ve received complaints for years that the building was overcrowded.

Opponents of the seat reduction fear Beaver Stadium will lose some of its luster, but Barbour said the stadium is all about the environment and not the number of fans it holds.

Beaver Stadium is a very, very important part of who we are. And as I said before, the magic in Beaver Stadium is with it being full, and loud with passionate and connected Penn State fans,” Barbour said.

Barbour said she’s asked “all the time” if future plans for the stadium will include a tribute to Joe Paterno, but she sticks by the current administration’s “there will be a time and a place” philosophy regarding the former coach.

Barbour said a framework for renovation plans will be “cleaned up” by the first of the year. The athletic department has set a tentative goal of July 2016 for the submission of its facilities master plan.


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