Unique changes coming for Penn State in 2011

By michaelbarasch

Penn State fans will get a sneak peak at their beloved Nittany Lion football team on Blue and White Weekend April 15-17, 2011 and what has changed since 2010. However, they will have to wait until kickoff September 3rd to see some unique changes that may have gone unnoticed and some that will be painfully obvious.

1. Penn State Fight Song Adjusted: The Penn State Blue Band performs “The Big Ten Medley” each year at their annual Bandorama concert. This year with the addition of Nebraska has caused Blue Band Director Dr. Bundy to tweak the medley to add the Nebraska fight song. The Blue Band will also be unveiling the block “N” for Nebraska during pregame on November 12th when the Cornhuskers come to Happy Valley. Make sure to check out the new Nebraska flag that the band will wave as they salute the Cornhusker fans too.

2. Handicapped Seating areas in Beaver Stadium change stadium capacity: In September of 2010, the board of trustees approved a $10 million project to add 294 ADA and companion seats around the front row of the Beaver Stadium stands. The project required Penn State to remove the first three rows of seats from areas of the North, West and East stands. New platforms have been installed to support the handicapped seating. This project resulted in a net loss of 416 seats to the stadium. This means that Beaver Stadium in 2011 will now have a seating capacity of 106,866 down from 107,282. That still makes Penn State the second largest college football stadium behind Michigan and ahead of Ohio State, but The Horseshoe now only sits 1,537 behind Beaver Stadium in third.

3. New Student Section Location: The Penn State student section will call a new area of Beaver Stadium home in 2011. The section will be moved deeper into the south end zone working its way from section EA to WA. Students sat in sections ED to just past the tunnel in the past. This move will also cause the “S” zone to relocate to an unknown area as of yet and the Penn State Blue Band to return to its location of the 2005 season, directly behind the tunnel. The student section will gain 800 seats through the move and also will be allowed to enter through gates A and B. This may help to curve the late arrival of students to the games. Don’t expect to see huge chunks of the student section missing on television anymore as it will be difficult to even see the section except when the teams will be playing deep in the south end of the field.

Here is a general layout of the stadium changes:

2010 layout:

2010 Student Section

2011 layout:

2011 Student Section

4. New Lion Mascot: The 2011 football season will have a new Nittany Lion. The current student, Max Levi, will be graduating which means a new Lion will make his debut in 2011. On February 28th, the university will choose the next Lion. It will be interesting to see what the new Lion brings to the Penn State atmosphere. Levi was known for his background in gymnastics. You will be able to meet the new Lion at the B&W game.

5. Full stadium “White Out”: In 2010, the Penn State faithful were up in arms when the university declared the Temple game a full stadium “White Out” or as they call it the “White-House”. In 2011 you can certainly expect to see at least one full stadium “White Out”. I expect it to be either for Alabama, but would not be surprised if it happens again for Nebraska especially if Penn State is 8-1 or 9-0 heading into the game. Two full stadium “White Outs” in the same season has never been done before at Penn State.

6. Visiting fans moved: The visiting fans coming to Penn State to see their teams play in Beaver Stadium will have a new view of the field. Last season and the many before, those fans were put in sections NL, NK and EJ. These are prime seats in the north endzone. Now those fans will find the same comforts that Penn State fans find when they travel to away games. Nose bleed seats. Look for visiting fans in the upper section of the north end zone only in 2011. I wonder what fans will do now with the “Boo” “Yeah” part of the wave?

The 2011 season will be Penn State’s 125th season of football and should be quite memorable.

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