Football fans encouraged to arrive early at Beaver Stadium this season

Football fans who don't want to miss the start of the game are strongly encouraged to arrive at Beaver Stadium gates at least 45-60 minutes before kickoff. Credit: Annemarie Mountz / Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Since the conclusion of the 2016 Penn State football season, Intercollegiate Athletics has been working to improve the efficiency and experience for fans and students as they enter Beaver Stadium.

The most significant improvement for the 2017 season will be the addition of 31 entry lanes for fans entering the 106,572-seat facility that will greatly assist in getting fans through security measures, ticket scanning, and into their seats.

“The fan experience is extremely important to us, and it was vital that we take a step back in the offseason, review the data, and consider all options in order to improve the entry process,” said Phil Esten, deputy director of Athletics. “Our new partnership with Whelan Event Services will provide enhanced staffing and consistency, and, combined with more entry lanes, should improve the fan experience entering the stadium.”

With the No. 6 Nittany Lions’ season opener against Akron set for noon on Saturday, Sept. 2, Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics is strongly encouraging fans to arrive at Beaver Stadium early. Stadium gates will open two hours before kickoff for all games this season.

Fans are reminded that they may enter Beaver Stadium at Gates B, C, D, E and F and use the inner concourse to get to their seating section. ADA patrons should enter the facility at the ADA Gate near Gate B on the west side of the stadium.

Early arrival incentives return

Some of the incentives Penn State Athletics implemented last year to encourage fans to enter the stadium early will return this season:

  • Fans will receive up to a 20 percent concessions discount ($1 off a $5 purchase, $2 off a $10 purchase, etc. with no limit) during the first 45 minutes after the gates are open. Cash, credit card and LionCash purchases are accepted at the concourse concession stands.
  • Other college football games will be shown on the stadium videoboards starting two hours before kickoff until approximately 70 minutes before the game. For noon games, highlights of previous Penn State games will be shown on the videoboards.
  • In addition, Penn State championship trophies will be on display in the Pepsi Fan Zone (above Gate A) when the stadium gates open until 30 minutes before kickoff. Fans are then encouraged to find their seats in time for kickoff.
  • Fans also can meet members of the Penn State dance and cheer team in the Pepsi Fan Zone during the first hour after the stadium gates open.

2016 data shows surge of fans in final 30 minutes

Entry-gate data from the 2016 season shows that more than half of all fans arrive at the stadium gates 30 minutes or less before kick. The data shows on average, one hour before kickoff, just 19 percent of the total crowd entered the stadium. With just 15 minutes until kickoff, only 64 percent of the audience passed through the gates.

Fans who wish to see the start of the game are strongly encouraged to arrive at the stadium gates at least 45-60 minutes before kickoff to be ahead of the late rush and have adequate time to get through security check and to their seats.

Improvements to assist fan entry at Gates A, C, D, E and F

Obstructions have been removed outside Beaver Stadium Gate A to improve the flow into the stadium for the Nittany Lions’ passionate 21,200 student season-ticket holders, again ranked as the nation’s premier student section by ESPN/ABC college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit.

Gate C has increased from 17 to 20 entry lanes, and visiting team overflow bus parking will be relocated away from the entry gate. Gate D has increased from nine entry lanes to 26, and Gate E has been extended from 16 to 19 lanes. A larger fan staging area has been constructed at Gate F, increasing the entry lanes from 10 to 18.

Fans who have ideas on incentives to encourage patrons to arrive earlier to the stadium are encouraged to share their ideas at

Patrons reminded of security screening and bag policy at entry gates

Fans are reminded that Penn State is providing security screening at entry gates using metal detection wands. Patrons will be asked to remove items from their pockets upon entering Beaver Stadium. Personal items also can be placed in a clear bag that is no larger than 11" x 11" (one gallon) and wristlets (no larger than 4" x 6" x 1").

Patrons can expedite the entry process by not bringing a bag into Beaver Stadium. Fans with medical or child care needs are asked to place those items in an 11" x 11" clear bag or a one gallon clear bag prior to arriving at the stadium gates.

For parking maps, the bag policy, and a complete list of items prohibited from entry into Beaver Stadium, fans should go to Penn State Football Game Day Central at

Last Updated August 29, 2017