Penn State's first permanent home for football was Beaver Field, which stood between present-day Osmond and Frear laboratories in central campus. Before that, games were played on Old Main lawn. The first game at the 500-seat field was played on Nov. 6, 1893, against Western University of Pittsburgh (now University of Pittsburgh). The 32-0 Penn State victory was delayed two days because of bad weather and played on a Monday afternoon. This photo of the field dates from about 1900.
Penn State first charged admission for football when the Nittany Lions hosted Bucknell on Nov. 12, 1910, at New Beaver Field, shown here. Originally constructed of wood, the stadium was converted to steel in 1936. This was the Lions' home through the 1959 season, after which the 30,000-seat stadium was dismantled and moved in 700 pieces one mile to the east side of campus. The old stadium was reassembled with 16,000 additional seats to form Beaver Stadium.
Beaver Stadium found a new home on the east end of campus in 1960. The stadium is named in honor of James A. Beaver. A lawyer in nearby Bellefonte at the outbreak of the Civil War, he enlisted in the Union Army as a second lieutenant and rose to the rank of brigadier general before his discharge in 1864. Beaver, who died in 1914, served as a superior court judge, governor of Pennsylvania and president of Penn State's Board of Trustees. He is credited with being among the most influential leaders in the development of the University at the turn of the century.
Tickets to see the Nittany Lions have been coveted throughout Beaver Stadium's history. In the past 50 years, the ticketing process has evolved more than most fans probably are aware. In 1967, every aspect of the ticketing process was done manually with paper tickets, like the one seen here. Back then, Bud Meredith, director of ticketing operations, and his staff produced every ticket for every person in the stadium themselves.
Fans stormed the field after a last-minute, fourth-down tackle led to Penn State's upsest of North Carolina State, 13-8, in this 1967 game. Coach Joe Paterno called the stand "one of the greatest plays in Penn State history," as it not only upset the No. 3 team in the nation, but also thrust Paterno and his team into national prominence. It was Paterno's 18th game as Penn State's head coach.
The Penn State Blue Band performs during halftime in 1968. Both the band and the stadium have grown considerably since that time. This season marked the first of two consecutive perfect seasons for the Joe Paterno and his Nittany Lions. The 1968 team was Paterno's first perfect season. Despite going 11-0, the Nittany Lions finished behind 9-0 Ohio State and 9-0-1 USC in both college football polls.
A uniquely engineered expansion during the winter, spring and summer of 1978 added more than 16,000 seats, bringing the Beaver Stadium capacity to 76,639. The stadium was cut into sections, raised eight feet by hydraulic jacks and precast concrete seating forms inserted within the inner circle of the stadium, where a running track previously had been located.
This aerial view shows the Beaver Stadium expansion of 1978, which enclosed the south end zone and raised the east and west stands. This fourth expansion of the stadium increased capacity to 76,639.
In 1980, another expansion raised the stadium capacity to 83,770. Note that a major parking area for the games was across Curtin Road from the south end zone (upper left corner of this image), where the Bryce Jordan Center stands today.
Through the years, countless players in nameless jerseys have carried the ball across the goal line for Penn State. This photo illustration combines an image of Blair Thomas scoring for the Nittany Lions, with an image of fans in the east stands cheering the play in a game Penn State went on to win 45-19 against Bowling Green on Sept. 5, 1987 -- Joe Paterno's 200th career victory. Notice the location of the Blue Band at the front of the senior section, seen in the lower-left corner, and the flags atop the stands, which included the names of opponents in the pre-Big Ten era for the team.
This image of Beaver Stadium from 1994 shows the addition of the upper deck in the north end zone, which had been added in 1991. It was the stadium's sixth expansion, and increased capacity to 93,967.
The tradition of the Nittany Lions running through a tunnel as they enter Beaver Stadium started when societies such as Parmi Nous lined up to form a walkway from the old Water Tower (which still stands next to the Nittany Lion Inn) to old Beaver Field. The team locker room was housed in the tower structure. The human tunnel, which dates to the 1940s, guided their way from the tower to Beaver Field. The human tunnel tradition continued when the Nittany Lions moved to Beaver Stadium on the east end of campus in 1960 when it was formed near the temporary bleachers in the end zone. The first actual tunnel at Beaver Stadium is today's visitor's tunnel entrance. The current tunnel entrance, seen here, came into existence when a locker room was built under the south stands as part of an expansion of the stadium in 1978. Today, the human tunnel tradition continues, as the Blue Band forms one on the field during pregame.
Beaver Stadium was awash in white as fans participated in the first White House at Beaver Stadium on Sept. 8, 2007.
This aerial shot of Beaver Stadium taken during the football game vs. Temple, Sept. 20, 2008, shows the athletic complex that now exists on the east end of campus. Clockwise from left of Beaver Stadium is Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, the baseball park; the Ashenfelter Multi-Sport Facility; Holuba Hall; the Bryce Jordan Center; the Field Hockey Complex; Intramural Building; Nittany Lion Field, the former softball field which now is being replaced by the Nittany Lion Softball Park currently under construction; and Jeffrey Field, off to the right of Beaver Stadium in this image.
As he has done for so many years, Joe Paterno leads his Penn State Nittany Lion football team through the tunnel and out onto the field at Beaver Stadium before the start of the team's opening game vs. Youngstown State on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010.