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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.-- The No. 5 Penn State football team concludes a three-game homestand to open the season and plays its final non-conference contest when it faces Georgia State for the first time on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in Beaver Stadium.
The Panthers, members of the Sun Belt Conference, will become the 156th different opponent the Nittany Lions have played in their 131 seasons. Georgia State is the first team from the state of Georgia to play in Happy Valley since Georgia Tech in 1923.
Penn State continues to encourage fans to arrive early to Beaver Stadium and is offering several season long incentives for early arriving fans (see below). The combination of an increased number of early arriving fans, 31 new stadium entry lanes and additional staffing has seen entry wait times the first two games decrease from last season. Beaver Stadium gates will open at 5:30 p.m. for the Georgia State contest.
Before leaving home, fans should check their tickets to be sure the barcode and seat location is attached.
All-University Day; 12 High School Bands to Perform During "Blue Band Jam" in Bryce Jordan Center
The Penn State-Georgia State game will be All-University Day and also feature the fourth annual "Blue Band Jam." Students from Penn State's 25 Commonwealth campuses will be in attendance and each campus, including the World Campus, will be recognized at halftime for All-U Day.
A total of 12 high school bands, featuring approximately 800 students, from across the Commonwealth will perform at the Bryce Jordan Center alongside the Penn State Blue Band prior to the game. The event begins at 5 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
The high school bands scheduled to perform at the "Blue Band Jam" are from: Dunmore High School, East Pennsboro High School, Everett High School, Hollidaysburg Area High School, Lewisburg High School, Montgomery Area High School, Montoursville Area High School, Oley Valley High School, Saucon Valley High School, Shikellamy High School, Susquenita Area High School and Wyoming Valley West High School.
The contest with the Panthers also will include the Penn State Community Heroes recognition presented by Dietz & Watson and the annual Scout Celebration. Chief Master Sergeant Scott Woods was selected to be Penn State Hometown Hero presented by Dietz & Watson. A recipient of two Meritorious Service Medals, three U.S. Air Force Commendation medals, and two Air Force Achievement medals, Chief Woods serves as Superintendent for the 111th Operations Support Squadron, a component of the 111th Attack Wing in Horsham, Pennsylvania. He has completed three contingency tours to Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Chief Woods attended Penn State from 1996-99 and resides in Quakertown, Pa.
All of the scouts are invited to attend the Nittany Jamboree at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park -- a pre-game fair with Scout-related activities. All scouts who purchased the scout ticket packages through Penn State will be able to pick up their scout patches and t-shirts at Medlar Field.
Also during the game, Nittany Lion two-time NCAA Wrestling Champion Zain Retherford will be recognized for winning the 2017 Hodge Trophy, presented to the nation's top collegiate wrestler. The Penn State women's rugby team also will be honored for winning the 2017 USA Rugby 15s National Championship, the squad's 12th national title and sixth consecutive.
The Penn State-Georgia State game will air on BTN, the Penn State Sports Network (6 p.m. airtime) and GoPSUsports.com. The 2017 Penn State football season is presented by PSECU.
Stadium Parking Lots Open at 8 a.m.; Fans Can Enter Stadium Gates B-F at 5:30 p.m.
Penn State Athletics is reminding patrons that Beaver Stadium gates will open two hours before kickoff for all games (5:30 p.m. for the Georgia State game) and strongly encourages fans to arrive early to Beaver Stadium. Early arriving fans will have an opportunity to receive up to a 20 percent discount at the concession stands during the first 45 minutes after the gates are open, $5 off the official Penn State White Out short sleeve T-shirt, along with other incentives (see below).
The Beaver Stadium parking lots will open Saturday at 8 a.m., Fan Fest on Curtin Road begins at 12:30 p.m. and the Beaver Stadium ticket office, near Gate E, opens at 3:30 p.m. The team arrival presented by Lion Country Lodging is scheduled for approximately 5 p.m. and the stadium gates will open at 5:30 p.m., including the students' Gate A.
During the team arrival, the Nittany Lions' eight team captains will be handing out footballs signed by the captains and head coach James Franklin to eight fans lined up on Curtin Road.
Fans are reminded that they may enter Beaver Stadium at Gates B, C, D, E and F and use the ground level concourse to get to their seating section. At the Akron and Pitt games, fans who entered at Gates D, F and C (in order) have seen reduced wait times during the two hours the gates were open before kickoff, while fans who entered at Gates B and E experienced heavier volume and longer waits. ADA patrons should enter the facility at the ADA Gate near Gate B on the west side of the stadium.
Early Arriving Fans Able to Receive Concessions and Penn State White Out T-Shirt Discounts; Meet the Nittany Lion, Cheer and Dance Team members
Early arriving fans every Saturday will have an opportunity to receive discounts at the concession stands and watch other college football games on the stadium videoboards. Beaver Stadium gates open this Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
Some of the incentives Penn State Athletics implemented last year to encourage fans to enter the stadium early will be available on Saturday:
- Fans will receive up to a 20 percent concessions discount ($1 off a $5 purchase, $2 off a $10 purchase etc.) during the first 45 minutes after the gates are open. Creamery ice cream, Kono Pizza cones and Middleswarth potato chips are available at stadium concessions locations this season for the first time. Cash, credit card and LionCash purchases are accepted at the concourse concession stands.
- The official Penn State White Out short sleeve T-shirt will be $5 off at Penn State Bookstore locations inside the stadium during the first hour after the gates open.
- Another college football game will be shown on the stadium videoboards starting two hours before kickoff until approximately 70 minutes before the Penn State game.
- The Big Ten Championship trophy will be on display on the Pepsi Fan Zone (Above Gate A) when the stadium gates open until 30 minutes before kickoff for the Georgia State game. Fans are then encouraged to find their seats in time for kickoff.
- Fans also can meet the Nittany Lion and members of the Penn State Dance and Cheer team in the Pepsi Fan Zone during the first 45 minutes after the stadium gates open.
Fans reminded of Security Screening and Penn State Athletics Bag Policy
Penn State will provide security screening for all guests at the entry gates using metal detection wands. With this security measure in place, all public gates, including the ADA and student gates, will open two hours prior to kick off to provide ample time for all fans to pass through security. Fans will be asked to remove items from their pockets upon entering the stadium.
Backpacks, bags, and purses are not permitted in Beaver Stadium. Personal items can be placed in a clear bag that is no larger than 11" x 11" (one gallon) and wristlets (no larger than 4" x 6" x 1"). Patrons can expedite the entry process by not bringing a bag into Beaver Stadium. For fans with medical or childcare needs, please place those items in an 11" x 11" clear bag or a one gallon clear bag prior to arriving at the stadium gates. All items are subject to inspection. Any items left unattended at the gates will be discarded and unrecoverable.
For parking maps, the bag policy and a complete list of items prohibited from entry into Beaver Stadium, fans should go to Penn State Football Game Day Central: GoPSUsports.com/gameday.
Customer Relations staff available Saturday at 8 a.m. at 1-800-NITTANY
The Penn State Customer Relations Service Center (1-800-NITTANY) will be open on Saturday from 8 a.m. until one hour after the game. There also are two Guest Services booths located on Park Avenue at the intersections with Fox Hollow Road and University Drive that will open at 4:30 p.m.
Inside Beaver Stadium, guest services booths are located at Gates B, C, E and F on the field level. There also is a guest services booth on the North concourse, two on the South concourse and one in the North upper deck.
Fan assistance also is provided by the customer relations staff, by texting the word "Nittany"
Improvements and 31 New Entry Lanes Will Assist Fan Entry at Gates A, C, D, E and F
Penn State has added 31 entry lanes for fans entering the 106,572-seat Beaver Stadium that will greatly assist in getting fans through security measures, ticket scanning and into their seats.
Obstructions have been removed outside Beaver Stadium Gate A to improve the flow into the stadium for the Nittany Lions' passionate 21,200 student season ticket holders, again ranked as the nation's premier student section by ESPN/ABC college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit.
Gate C has increased from 17 to 20 entry lanes and visiting team overflow bus parking will be relocated away from the entry gate. Gate D has increased from nine entry lanes to 26 and Gate E has been extended from 16 to 19 lanes. A larger fan staging area has been constructed at Gate F, increasing the number of entry lanes from 10 to 18.
Lane Restrictions on U.S. 322 Southeast of State College to Impact Football Traffic
Penn State football fans traveling to Beaver Stadium via U.S. Route 322 from south-central Pennsylvania are advised to allow for extra travel time due to ongoing road construction in the area of Seven Mountains and Potters Mill Gap.
target="_blank">According to PennDOT, drivers will encounter a change in the traffic pattern through the construction zone, which stretches eastbound and westbound from the Mifflin County line to Decker Valley Road in Centre County. The construction is expected to continue until mid-October.
Traffic is restricted to a single lane in each direction in the work zone, as eastbound traffic will cross over into the westbound lane. Eastbound lanes are closed so that work can take place away from traffic. Westbound traffic will continue to use the right travel lane to move through the work zone.
RV Parking Sold Out; RV Spaces and Weekend Shuttle Available at Grange Park
Penn State Athletics has partnered with Grange Park, site of the Grange Fair, to provide an economical alternative with 1,500 RV spaces, hook-ups and shuttle service to campus on Friday and Saturday of home football weekends.
In June, Penn State announced that all game day and season RV and Overnight RV is sold out for the 2017 season. Fans who do not have a RV parking permit will need to make other arrangements and Penn State Athletics has partnered with Grange Park to provide an economical alternative with hook-ups and shuttle service to campus on Friday and Saturday of home football weekends.
Fans who have not already purchased an RV parking permit should not attempt to park in the official lots near Beaver Stadium. Those fans will be asked to turn around by police and traffic personnel, which will disrupt the flow of traffic heading to Beaver Stadium.
Fans interested in parking their RV at Grange Park can reserve a spot by calling 814-364-9212.
Advance Car Parking Available Until 6 p.m. Friday at Jordan Center Ticket Office
General car parking in the Beaver Stadium lots purchased in advance is $20 per car (plus $2.25 handling fee), while paying to park on game day when arriving at the general lots will cost $40. Fans are encouraged to purchase parking passes in advance to not only realize the savings, but to assist in smoother traffic and parking operations by displaying the pass as they approach roads to stadium parking. Fans can purchase up to three advance single game parking passes per account, per game.
Car parking can be purchased in advance by calling 1-800-NITTANY (weekdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.) or purchased at the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office (weekdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.). The deadline to purchase car parking to be sent standard mail is 15 days prior to the game; the deadline is four days prior for overnight shipping.
Fans are asked to please display their parking permit from their rear view mirror as they enter the traffic pattern. Cars are sorted in traffic by Stadium Traffic Control to lanes leading to appropriate lots. Patrons should approach their parking lot as directed on the back of their parking permit.
For more information on tickets, parking or other questions, fans should call 1-800-NITTANY, which also will be open this Saturday at 8 a.m. until one hour after the game ends. Fans can also send an email to Golions@psu.edu.
Fans can engage with Penn State Athletics via the Nittany Lions' social media accounts at: GoPSUsports.com/ot/socialmedia.html.