The Big 10 Conference has no shortage of great teams, and the Nittany Lions of Penn State are a prominent team in the conference. With rivalries against Ohio State, Michigan State, and the University of Michigan, Penn State’s fans are treated to amazing match-ups each year.
Not only can you expect big crowds at all the Penn State games, but you’ll also see the Nittany Lion, the team’s mascot, which was created in 1907 by H.D. “Joe” Mason after he realized that Penn State needed its own mascot. Ever since then, the Nittany Lion has been a sideline staple, doing one-handed push-ups, his signature move, after every touchdown.
The team’s home stadium, Beaver Stadium (named after the late-1800s Pennsylvania governor, James A. Beaver), seats 106,000 fans, making it the second-largest stadium in the western hemisphere behind Michigan Stadium. Fans often refer to the stadium as “The White House,” or “The House that Joe Built,” referring to legendary coach, Joe Paterno.
On football game days, you can host your RV tailgate party at Grange Park, which is only a few minutes from the stadium. Apart from football, Penn State is also known for its basketball, hockey, field hockey, soccer, and lacrosse teams.
With such a passionate fan base, Pennsylvania State Nittany Lions tickets tend to sell out fast, especially the best seats. While tickets are sometimes available for less, the average ticket price has been between $100 to $120 in recent years. To secure the best, most affordable seats, it’s best to purchase tickets before the season begins. If you want to support the Nittany Lions in other sports, tickets are usually priced lower.
Penn State University is located in State College, Pennsylvania, which sits in the center of the state. Beaver Stadium is close to cities such as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and New York City, all withing within four hours of Penn State. On game days, traffic becomes one-way only and is divided into four zones (north, south, east, west).
Nittany Lions fans have a few RV parking options when visiting Penn State. The Overnight RV Parking Lot is one option, but spaces typically sell out before the season starts. There are other RV parking lots on campus, but they don’t offer an overnight stay.
Grange Park is another option for overnight RV parking, and it is often more affordable. Better yet, a shuttle can transport you between Grange Park and Beaver Stadium.
The Cole Transportation shuttle service provides passengers with transportation from Grange Park to Beaver Stadium, starting three hours prior to kickoff. After the game, the shuttle drops off passengers at Grange Park for 90 minutes. Passengers need a wristband to ride on the shuttle, which usually costs about $10.
Did the Overnight RV Parking Lot fill up near Beaver Stadium? Grange Park is also among the best places for overnight parking and is only about 12 miles from the stadium. Penn State directs people to park there when their Overnight RV lot fills up. For about $60 a night, you can arrive on the Thursday before the game and leave on Sunday. Weather pending, electric and water hookups may be available, and you also get a spot for your tow vehicle if you have one.
Grange Park is a great place to stay overnight, but if you're looking for something with amenities, consider staying at a local campground. Less than 15 miles away, Bellefonte / State College KOA may be the next closest RV campground near Nittany Lions Stadium. Black Moshannon State Park is nestled into the nearby forestlands and tends to stay open year-round. At Kettle Creek State Park, which is only 40 miles from the university, you can stay overnight, hike, and enjoy nature.
Cole Transportation shuttles are often the best way to get to and from the stadium from Grange Park. The university offers ADA shuttles at various stops for guests with mobility issues. There is also an ADA gate for entering the stadium, which is conveniently placed near the elevators.
The beginning of the season is full of sunshine and warm temperatures, though rarely above 90 degrees, so you’ll want to pack shorts and breathable tops. When the temperature drops drastically in the winter months, pack warm clothing. Pack as much blue and white Penn State apparel as you can for whatever season or sport you choose to attend.
Grange Park has electric hookups, so you may not need to use a generator. If you want to cook outside, bring a grill and some other tailgating essentials, such as a cooler, table, chairs, and a tent. To stay on top of all the college football news, consider bringing a portable TV or radio.
Chilly temperatures in the winter mean that some of your blue and white gear should be warm and snuggly for gameday activities near Beaver Stadium. Bundle up and pack some Vitamin C to fortify your immune system. To prepare for any medical emergency, bring a first-aid kit, which should have all you need in the case of a small accident.
With several supermarkets and grocery stores in the area, Nittany Lions fans should not have trouble stocking up on groceries and supplies for tailgating. The trick to a stress-free tailgate party is to prepare food as early as possible so that you’re not running back to the store once the grill is going. If you just want to have a good time with friends and family, keep the menu simple, and consider showing team pride with blue corn chips or lion-shaped cookies.
The small community of State College has some decent dining options for fans to explore. There is a diverse selection of cuisines, such as Mexican, Italian, and Chinese restaurants, and there are a few waffle restaurants, too, which is perfect for an all-day breakfast experience. A small handful of eateries are within walking distance of both the Overnight RV lots and Grange Park as well.
Before cheering for the Nittany Lions, you’ll have to look the part. And, as luck would have it, there are merchandise stores inside and outside of Beaver Stadium. If the act of rooting for your team works up a thirst, purchase a refreshment from the concession stand or a vendor. If you’re drinking alcohol, remember to note the authorized areas.
Before you enter the stadium, leave all bags behind, except for clear ones. Any bags bigger than a clutch purse are not permitted unless they are clear. It’s also worth noting that smoking is not allowed, and that includes e-cigarettes. A full list of prohibited items can be found on Penn State’s website.
You’ll be glad to know that summers are mild in the State College area, which is great when the football season starts. Winter, on the other hand, can be cold or rainy, and you can expect freezing temperatures as early as November. Games in the latter half of the season are bound to be cold. Snow is somewhat rare, and when it does fall, it’s typically light.
At Beaver Stadium, look for the EMS building, which is located under the east stands, if you need medical assistance. There are medical professionals, wearing fluorescent green and orange vests, at the EMS building and throughout the stadium. Mothers who are nursing and would like a quiet nook can head to the Lactation Room, which is located near section NL.