Before every football game, Gate A at Beaver Stadium becomes home to Nittanyville, where students can camp out for the best seats in the house. In honor of the away game tomorrow, writer Hannah Ferenci is here to tell you about her time at the Ville a few weeks—because we wish we were camping there right now.
Here’s how it works: you’ll want to get together with up to 10 friends to form a group. From Wednesday night to Saturday morning, at least one of you has to be in the tent at all times. On Wednesday at 9 p.m. your group leader will register on Canvas. The faster you sign in, the better seats you’ll receive. By 11 p.m., tents are up and Nittanyville is hopping.
My group was made up of nine people, which meant that we always had someone available to do a shift at Gate A. However, Nittanyville kindly lightened up on tent checks from around 9 to 4 p.m. since they did’t want students to skip class in order to camp out. With enough people and the less restricted rules, camping was no big deal at all. Sydney Rednour, a sophomore forensics major, had a similar experience camping out.
“I like having somewhere to go and just hang out with my friends during the week,” Rednour says.
The Friday night before the game is Drum Line, which is the event in which everyone gathers together to sing Penn State songs, including favorites like “Fight On, State” and “The Alma Mater.” Since Nittanyville is a gathering of some of Penn State’s biggest fans, Drum Line gets really loud.
On Friday night, I slept over for my group. Between a sleeping bag and heavy sweatshirt, I wasn’t cold despite the late night lowering temperatures. I was pleasantly surprised at how well I slept despite being in a tent outside a stadium, surrounded by excited students. At 6 a.m., we were all woken up by a cowbell. Then, we had an hour to pack up our tent and belongings and head out. Before leaving, I had to get wristbands for my group from a Nittanyville officer. After that, the camp-out was complete.
Nittanyville campers have to be back at Gate A 3 hours before kickoff. So for Georgia State, my group met at 4:30 p.m. outside the stadium. We had to show our wristbands before swiping our IDs, but otherwise entering the stadium is the same, standard procedure. Right before we were allowed to go to our seats, the Nittanyville officers led one more Drum Line.
Then, after days of camping, came our reward. The game was even more exciting seeing all of the action up close. Getting there so early meant we got to watch the team warm up, which of course built our enthusiasm. One of my favorite parts was looking up behind me during the game to see rows and rows of students all crammed together in one section.
Nittanyville is a unique way to enjoy the football games that every Penn State student should consider doing at least once in their four—or five or six—years in Happy Valley.