Newswire Extra

Behind the scenes
at Beaver Stadium

November 9, 2002

A lot more goes on in Beaver Stadium on the University Park campus on a football Saturday than is immediately apparent to the average football fan. Amy Neil, assistant manager of the News Bureau in the Department of Public Information, and senior advertising/public relations student Courtney Beisel spent the day at the stadium this past Saturday and captured some of the other activities that were going on off the field while the Nittany Lions battled Virginia.

Here’s some of what they found:

-- Between 100 and 120 volunteers sell roughly 15,000 copies of the Beaver Stadium Pictorial, the official game day program, at each home game.

-- There are 65 emergency medical technicians, paramedics, physicians, nurses and nonclinical support on hand for every home football game.

-- There are 52 concession stands in Beaver Stadium, and the nonprofit groups manning them receive 13 percent of their concession stand profits.

-- Roughly 40 tons of trash are collected at the stadium and the surrounding areas after each home game. About 5 tons, or approximately 13 percent, of all football waste is recycled.

Photos were taken by Amy Neil and Courtney Beisel.


Gary Watson is among the 264 people who work to park more than 30,000 vehicles at Penn State's Beaver Stadium on a football Saturday. Watson has been parking cars on game day for the past six years.


Cars fill the landscape surrounding Beaver Stadium on game day.


Before every home game, The Bryce Jordan Center is host to the largest tailgate party in the country --Tailgreat -- featuring the 300-member Penn State Blue Band, the Penn State Cheerleaders and Dance Team as well as the Nittany Lion. In the BJC's initial 6.5 years of operation, more than 1,000 events drew almost 5 million people into the 16,000-seat facility, making it the No. 1 grossing venue overall in the mid-size category in the nation, as well as the No. 1 grossing university venue, of any size, in the world.


Sophomore Mary Grigas, a student in animal bioscience, is one of 100-120 volunteers who sell the Beaver Stadium Pictorial, the official game day program. On average, 15,000 programs are sold at each home game.


There are 65 emergency medical technicians, paramedics, physicians, nurses and nonclinical support on hand for every home football game. Some come as far away as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia to help out. Left to right: David Paul Brown of Gilbertsville traveled three hours; James Chittester of Seneca traveled two hours; and Ralph Backenstoes of Bellegrove traveled three hours. A majority of the paramedics have been working at Penn State football games for 10-15 years for the EMTs. The most common medical problem responded to: cardiac trouble.


Portajohns are placed in strategic locations outside the stadium. There are 225 in tailgate areas and outside the stadium on a gameday.


Freshman Jazmine Abadia, a student in international politics, is a regular volunteer in the Christian Student Fellowship concession stand. She is among the 1,100 volunteers working in the concession stands on game day. The volunteer groups' nonprofit organizations of choice receive 13 percent of the concession stand profits.

There are 52 concession stands in Beaver Stadium. During a typical football Saturday, 12,000-18,000 hot dogs are sold. On a cold game day (like the Nov. 2 game against Illinois), chilly fans purchase 20,000-40,000 cups of hot chocolate. When the weather is warmer, like this past Saturday, more than 100,000 cold beverages (water and soda) are sold.

How many pompons does it take to cover a freshman? Chris Corl (business), Nick Driban (DUS) and Daniel Victor (journalism) each donned 100 pompons as they joined the 21,000 students who showed their school spirit this weekend.

This week's game attendance of 108,698, broke the NCAA season attendance record for home and away games. Penn State game attendance, with two games remaining: 1,450,164.

During the game, people are up and about in the stadium, and many of them are headed to one of the many restrooms. Beaver Stadium now has 24 men's rooms and 27 women's rooms (with 38 to 40 stalls per room) available. In addition, there are 12 restrooms in the three floors of the suite area, five in the Club Lounge, five family ADA restrooms and two ADA-only restrooms.

Roughly 40 tons of trash are collected at the stadium and the surrounding areas after each home game. Penn State intercollegiate and club teams -- about 30 people -- take turns picking up stadium trash the Sunday following the game. About 5 tons, or approximately 13 percent, of all football waste is recycled.


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This page developed by Annemarie Mountz in the Office of Public Information at Penn State.

Last updated November 11, 2002.