Penn State’s athletic department announced Tuesday that Beaver Stadium and other campus athletic venues will be back at full capacity for the 2021-22 academic year.
The return of sellout crowds of about 107,000 at Beaver Stadium is especially welcome by the department, which suffered significant losses of ticket revenue as well as money from parking and concessions last season when only family members of players, coaches and staff were allowed inside.
The Nittany Lions have seven home football games on their 2021 stadium beginning Sept. 11 against Ball State. No date for the White Out, which was not conducted last year, has been set.
“We are excited to welcome our 107K strong back in Beaver Stadium and full capacity at our other athletic venues this fall with the adjustments in university, local, state, and CDC guidance,” vice president for intercollegiate athletics Sandy Barbour said in a statement.
“Our fans are a true home field advantage for all of our teams, and the 2020-21 season was not the same without them in our venues. We are so appreciative of the tremendous support of our donors and fans, especially during these challenging times, to allow us to continue to provide our more than 800 student-athletes with the conditions they need for success.”
The change to full capacity is based on Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to lift nearly all remaining pandemic restrictions on Memorial Day. With the guidance of CDC and the university, unvaccinated fans will be required to wear masks inside university buildings at all times after June 28.
In April, Barbour had announced that studies were proceeding on limited capacity options for Beaver Stadium utilizing 6 feet and 3 feet of social distancing, and also planning for a “full stadium scenario.”
The athletic department added that the return to full capacity will be accompanied by the usual pregame routines such as tailgating and team arrival, and that special traffic patterns would be back in force.