University Park

Concession stands earn funds for student groups, local charities

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State's economic impact on the region during home football games has been well-documented. However, the impact reaches beyond the obvious money spent on hotel rooms and at restaurants and shops downtown. Even the souvenirs and food purchased at Beaver Stadium have an economic impact beyond the University, thanks to a give-back program that returns 13 percent of the proceeds from sales at concession and souvenir stands at Beaver Stadium to the student and community organizations that operate the stands.

In addition, groups can earn an extra percent (14 percent total) if they hawk food and drink products in the seating areas, according to David L. Baker, assistant athletic director at Penn State.

"Running the concession stand is our major fund-raiser for the year," said Penn State employee Betty Roberts, who with her husband, William "Buzz" Roberts, senior campus minister with the Christian Student Fellowship on campus, runs the concession stand on the patio behind section NA in Beaver Stadium. Because the University gives them a percentage of the profits from their sales, the group makes about $1,000 per game, and uses those funds for conferences, retreats, mission trips and general operating expenses. The Christian Student Fellowship has run a stand at Beaver Stadium for about 15 years.

When Beaver Stadium expanded about five year ago, additional community groups were able to run stands. One such group is organized by Penn State employee and Mountaintop resident Chris Koleno. For the past five years, Koleno has managed a concession stand in the upper deck of the south endzone on behalf of the Clarence United Methodist Church. Her workers, which range in age from 16 to 81, designate various charities on the Mountaintop, and at the end of the season, Koleno distributes the money they make -- which ranges from $550 to $1,200 per game -- to those charities.

Outside the stadium, Circle K is one of several groups to run souvenir stands. According to Circle K member Margaret Brennan, the group -- which runs two stands -- expects to earn $5,500 to $6,000 this year. "At the end of the semester, we'll pick an organization to donate the money to," Brennan said.

For pictures of these and other groups at work at Beaver Stadium, go to

For pictures of the game action, go to

Chris Koleno, a Penn State employee who lives on the Mountaintop, has run a concession stand in the upper deck of the south end zone for the past five years. For more photos, click on the image above. Credit: Annemarie Mountz / Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated November 18, 2010