Tailgating at Penn State is a huge deal! So much so that Tailgater Magazine added Penn State to the 2019 Top 25 College Tailgates list, with the University landing at number 15! These Nittany Lions fans really know how to enjoy themselves before a big game. Beaver Stadium is also the 2nd largest stadium across the nation with the capacity to hold over 100,000 fans, so you can be sure it will not only be big, but also one of the best tailgating experiences in the country.
Here’s the best tips for a memorable game day at Penn State!
Before Gameday at Beaver Stadium
It’s always best to purchase your tickets in advance to guarantee you get the best seats for the best price. Check out Penn State’s ticket office online for the latest information.
Alternatively, there are other ways to get tickets and information:
- By phone – Contact the Penn State Ticket Office at 1-800-NITTANY
- In person – The Athletic Ticket Office in the BJC, Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- By email – [email protected]
- For 2022 season tickets, fill out a request form and someone will get back to you.
For Penn State students, tickets are sold on a first come, first serve basis outside Beaver Stadium at Nittanyville, a makeshift tent town, a week leading up to home games.
Note: Print-at-home PDF tickets are no longer accepted for entry at Beaver Stadium. Make sure you have your mobile ticket prepared on your device before arriving to the stadium.
Here’s the Nittany Lions 2022 Football Schedule at Beaver Stadium:
Sept 10 – Ohio
Sept 24 – Central Michigan
Oct 1 – Northwestern
Oct 22 – Minnesota
Oct 29 – Ohio State
Nov 12 – Maryland
Nov 26 – Michigan State
Travel, Accommodation, and Transport
Where to Stay
State College, also known as Happy Valley is a beautiful town in Pennsylvania. Considering Football season aligns with autumn, it would be a great idea to make a weekend of the game to enjoy the crisp weather and the stunning fall foliage. If you’re coming from out of town, there are many hotels close to the stadium that provide a shuttle service to and from the stadium on game day. Here is a list of some of Happy Valley’s top rated hotels.
Alternatively, you could choose to stay at an Airbnb, which can be very useful as you’ll have a kitchen to prepare food and snacks for the tailgate.
To make the most of your game weekend, here’s a guide on how to spend 48 hours in State College.
Getting to Beaver Stadium on Game day
If you’re driving, it’s important to note which lot you plan to park in so you can make sure to access the right zone. On game days traffic goes to a one-way pattern. If you enter the wrong zone, you could end up getting stuck in a long line of traffic. Check the parking map below to find where all the lots are located and how to enter each one.
Parking Lot Openings
For a 12:00 pm kick off, parking lots open at 7:00 am, and the one-way traffic pattern will begin at 8:30 am. For all other game times, parking lots will open at 8:00 am and the one-traffic pattern will begin 4 hours before kick off.
Single game parking permits can be purchased in advance for $25 in lots 11 and 36. These passes are available online up to 15 days before game day. You can also purchase advanced parking permits by calling 1-800-NITTANY (1-800-648- 8269) or in person at Bryce Jordan Center Ticket Office between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. If you choose to buy your parking permit on game day it will cost $60 cash only and you run the risk of the lots being full so we strongly recommend to buy it ahead of time.
Preferred parking lots are available in paved and grass lots at beaver stadium. Please contact the Nittany LionClub at 1-800-648-8269 or [email protected] for more information or to reserve a lot.
If you decide to tag along to someone else’s tailgate or skip the tailgate all together, ride share services like Uber and Lyft are available to and from the stadium. Hastings Road is the official drop off and pick up location for all services.
Shuttle Bus (CATA)
There are a number of shuttle buses that provide service between many of the hotels on South Atherton Street, downtown State College, and Beaver Stadium. Shuttle services begin three to five hours before kickoff, depending on the game time. They operate both to and from the stadium approximately every 10 minutes. After the game, they will only operate one-way from the stadium for one hour, every 20 minutes. The fare is $2.00 exact change per ride.
Shuttle Bus (Fullington)
There is also shuttle bus service provide by Fullington Bus Lines available for those near North Atherton St. Visit their website for more information.
Tailgating at Beaver Stadium
Tents, tarps, and canopies, as well tables and chairs are only allowed directly in front or behind your vehicle. To make sure you have a seamless tailgating experience and don’t end up having to move any tailgating equipment, don’t block any roadways or parking lanes. Charcoal grills and fire pits are not permitted so if you want to barbecue, make sure you bring a propane grill instead.
As part of a University wide recycling program, Penn State provides complimentary trash and recycling bags at many locations throughout the tailgate lots. Clear bags are reserved for trash, while blue ones are for recycling. All you have to do is make sure the right items go in the right color bags and the trash and sanitation crew will collect them for you.
Alternative Pre-Game Activities
Fan fest on Curtain Road has interactive display and giveaways before every home guy. They also host the Dietz & Watson Tailgate Show that discusses the day’s game and answer questions from fans.
Whether you choose to pre-game before or continue the festivities after the Lion’s big win, there are tons of great bars right around the corner from Beaver Stadium.
Here are some of State College’s legendary bars:
The Phryst – 111 East Beaver Ave
An iconic bar of Penn State and a local favorite, The Phryst is an absolute must for any bar crawl.
Local Whiskey – 107 East Beaver St
One for the liquor lovers. This bar has the best selection in town of cocktails and of course, whisky.
The Saloon – 101 Heist St
Home to the famous Monkey Boy cocktail, which is literally a pitcher of a delicious liquor concoction.
Liberty Craft House – 346 East College Ave
This bar features the largest range of beers, so many in fact, you have to order them by number.
Bar Bleu – 112 South Garner St
If you pre-gamed too hard and don’t make it to the stadium, this is the best place to watch the game on the big screen.
Champ’s Sports Grill – 139 South Allen St. & 1611 North Atherton St
The two locations have some of the best food around, not to mention a ton of beers on tap.
Cafe 210 West – 210 West College Ave
If the weather is nice, this is THE place to go.
The Shandygaff – 212 East College Ave
The Gaff, as it’s called to those in the know, is an icon of Penn State and where you’ll end up dancing the night away.
Entry into Beaver Stadium
Stadium gates open 2 hours before kick off and re-entry is not allowed. No outside food or drinks are allowed inside Beaver Stadium. It’s important to note there is a clear bag policy for entry. All of your belongings must fit into a one-gallon plastic bag. A coat, blanket, camera, mobile device, binoculars, and seat cushion are the only permitted non bagged loose items.
Tip: Don’t forget to try Penn State’s famous Berkey Creamery ice cream at the Stadium!
With the new season fast approaching, it’s time to get some new Nittany Lions game day gear to rep at your tailgate.
If you want to rep Penn State with your pop-up tent, this is a great option from Rivalry that you can find on Amazon. Linked here. Or if you want to opt for a plain colored tent, and spruce up your tailgate with other Penn State items, check out our Best Tailgate Tents: 2022 guide.
For the grill master in your group – these are a great way to rep your team all summer! They’d make for a great Father’s Day gift, too. Linked here.
If you want to start showing your team spirit soon, this is a great daily hat. You can find it here.
For all things attire, Fanatics: Penn State is a great place to start. They have something for every member of the family. Be sure to only buy when they have promotions running, which is quite often!
Fanatics also has a fun Tailgate & Party section that has cute decorations, car decals, and tailgate games. Outside of cornhole (bags) games, I’d stick to Amazon for your bigger tailgate items like tents, tables, chairs, etc. Or your actual team’s ticket office.
If you’re thinking of upgrading some of your basic equipment, be sure to check out the following blogs:
If you have any other suggestions for tailgating at Penn State, be sure to leave them in the comments below for other fans to see! Or if you have any questions, throw them down there too so our community can help.
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