Penn State Athletics: Beaver Stadium Renovation Plans Targeting Late February Release
Penn State's long-awaited facilities master plan is slated for release at the end of February, according to Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour.
"We need to finish the master plan for Lasch [Football Building] itself," Barbour noted on Wednesday morning. "And then of course the public is waiting very patiently or maybe impatiently for our overall facilities master plan to be unveiled at the end of the month. A lot of work to do, but it's all about conditions for success."
The plan, which is reportedly slated to cover a span of up to 20 years of infrastructure and branding upgrades across all of Penn State's athletic buildings, was originally tentatively scheduled for a release sometime in October according to previously made comments by Barbour. That date came after Penn State initially anticipated a release sometime during the summer of 2016. Barbour noted in an interview with StateCollege.com in July that the plan would be completed by August of 2016.
Why the plan's completion and public release has faced multiple -- but perhaps predictable --- delays is a detail Barbour hasn't divulged. Also commenting on the project, Deputy Director of Athletics Phil Esten has previously stated that it has been a process of due diligence.
In either case the plan likely will bring with it a massive price tag, funded both privately and publicly. As of early February no public fundraising campaign has been announced.
"The sequence that will follow is; complete the master plan, which are concepts, they will be concepts probably with some gross order of magnitude of cost," Barbour told StateCollege.Com in July.
"Then we need to sit down and go, which are the priorities, which ones are completely philanthropic, which ones are debt serviced, which ones are some combination, which one will we ask our students to participate in from a student fee, a facility fee standpoint, and which ones will lend themselves to public/private partnerships? The answer for each aspect of this might be a little different, what discretionary revenue we have to maybe do debt service is a piece of it, but it’s only one piece of it, and frankly the new media revenues are only a piece of that. The new media revenues are going to help us catch up. Whether it’s increased expenses or decreased revenues that we’re still trying to recoup, we’re about 15 million real dollars behind where we were five years ago, so whatever the incremental is with the Big Ten media rights money, that just helps us get back to whole."
Among the many anticipated projects, the renovation of Beaver Stadium is top of the list of changes to on campus facilities. Barbour has previously commented on seating changes as well as fan experience upgrades from improved bathrooms and concessions.
"The beauty of how we will hopefully go about this is number one, everyone is going to benefit," Barbour noted previously. "The renovation of Beaver Stadium isn’t going to be 100 percent about club seats and premium seat and suites. It’s going to be about improved restrooms and egress and concourses and concessions and a wide seat. So I believe everyone who cares about Penn State football is going to benefit from these renovations."