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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.-- Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics announces $3.55 million in gifts for a new lacrosse stadium. Ken Panzer, a 1982 Penn State graduate, and his long-time business partner at Douglas Emmett, Jordan Kaplan, have committed a gift of $3.55 million to launch construction of the new facility on the University Park campus. As a former co-captain of the Penn State men's lacrosse team, Panzer has a long-standing history of giving to the Nittany Lions' program.
Panzer's latest and largest gift will help take Penn State lacrosse to a new level of excellence by transforming the current field into a world-class stadium. The new facility will be named Panzer Stadium.
"Our men's and women's lacrosse student-athletes are among the most talented and dedicated in the nation. We have exceptional leadership atop both programs, and Ken Panzer's gift will have a significant impact on their continued excellence," said Penn State Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour. "Penn State has a tremendous opportunity to be among the premier men's and women's lacrosse programs in the nation, and thanks to Ken Panzer and Jordan Kaplan, this stadium will be a catalyst to help get us there and maintain the excellence."
The addition of the sport to the Big Ten Conference in 2015 has shifted the landscape of Division I lacrosse, elevating the Penn State lacrosse programs' competitiveness and national exposure. Both of the men's and women's programs, led by head coaches Jeff Tambroni and Missy Doherty, respectively, are ranked in the Top 10 nationally entering post-season competition.
Positioned within view of Beaver Stadium, the Bryce Jordan Center and the Multi-Sport Facility, the new stadium will join these iconic landmarks as one of the top lacrosse facilities in the nation. Panzer Stadium will enable Penn State to host a variety of events, including the Big Ten Tournament and NCAA championship preliminary rounds.
With this gift, the stadium, which will be constructed in the same location as the Penn State Lacrosse Field, will benefit from the following features and capabilities:
- Expanded stadium-style seating for up to 1,300, significantly growing the permanent seating capacity and options available to fans.
- Greater comfort and convenience for fans with permanent concessions, more accessible bathrooms and a ticket office.
- A press box above the new seating with full broadcasting capabilities for television and radio facilitating coverage on the Big Ten Network and ESPN.
- A multi-purpose room overlooking the field which will be used for a variety of lacrosse-related events.
"We are so thankful for the generosity of Mr. Panzer, which has allowed us to move forward with the next phase of our stadium," said Missy Doherty, head coach of the Penn State women's lacrosse squad. "His donation, and Mr. Kaplan's, will allow us to create one of the nation's best venues for college lacrosse, and we are extremely excited to see all the plans come to fruition. Thank you so much to Mr. Panzer and all of our supporters, donors, alumni and fans for making this project become a reality."
Panzer Stadium will help usher in Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics' 20-year Facilities Master Plan which will build new, and revitalize selected facilities across the University Park campus. With the money now in place thanks to Panzer and Kaplan, the lacrosse stadium project is expected to begin this summer.
"I am thrilled to leave my legacy at Penn State and support the sport I love," said Panzer. "My time as co-captain on the Penn State lacrosse team was meaningful to me and I want to continue to support the lacrosse program by creating a facility that matches its tenacity and spirit. Penn State is known around the world for excellence across all endeavors, and the time is right to take Penn State Lacrosse to the next level."
"I am proud to support Penn State and the lacrosse program, a place that has been so important to my great friend and partner, Ken Panzer," said Kaplan. "Throughout our company, we are all accustomed to hearing analogies that are drawn from the teamwork, discipline, and focus he learned as a member of the Penn State Lacrosse team."
Gifts from Penn State's alumni and friends have been essential to the success of the University's historic land-grant mission to serve the public good. To fulfill that mission for a new era of rapid change and global connections, the University has begun A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence, a fast-paced campaign focused on the three key imperatives of a public university. Private support will keep the door to higher education open and enable students to graduate on time and on track to success; create transformative experiences on Penn State campuses and around the globe that tap the full potential of Penn Staters to make a difference; and impact the world through discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more, please visit www.giveto.psu.edu.