Beaver Stadium capacity: The 5 biggest crowds in Penn State football history

Beaver Stadium is the second-largest stadium in the country only behind Michigan Stadium, but just how many Nittany Lions fans have packed in to see Penn State play?

Penn State students cheer on the Nittany Lions
Penn State students cheer on the Nittany Lions / Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK
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Completed in 1892, Old Beaver Stadium was the original home of the Penn State football team. It was named after Board of Trustees President, former Pennsylvania governor, and Civil War general, James A. Beaver. 

However, Penn State’s fanbase quickly outgrew the stadium and was forced to relocate in 1909 to New Beaver Stadium which held about 30,000 fans. That still weren’t nearly big enough to accommodate the growing crowds that the team was attracting to Happy Valley. 

So, in 1959, Penn State relocated its stadium for the final time, settling in the current Beaver Stadium, which has grown to a capacity of 107,282. Beaver Stadium is currently the second largest football stadium in the country only behind Michigan Stadium and is the fourth largest stadium in the world. 

With that astronomical capacity, Penn State has set some ridiculous attendance records. These are the top 5 biggest crowds in Beaver Stadium history. 

5. Penn State 40 vs. No. 8 Nebraska 7

. PSU Nebraska. unranked. 491. . Attendance: 110,753. No. 8. 488. September 14, 2002

Penn State was coming off back-to-back five-win seasons in 2002 and started the year unranked, but excitement was still sky-high amongst the fanbase who turned out in droves for a Week 2 matchup against a highly-ranked Nebraska team. 

Larry Johnson and Michael Robinson each ran for two touchdowns apiece in a Saturday night rout of the Cornhuskers. After a 7-7 start to the game, Penn State scored the next 32 points including a third-quarter pick-six from Rich Gardner. 

After the dominant 2-0 start to the season, the Nittany Lions faded and finished 9-4, but it was a much-needed bounce-back year for Paterno and was the team’s only winning season between 2000 and 2004.