Poor weather closes Penn State parking areas

UNIVERSITY PARK — Fans who park in the grass parking lots should find another option for Saturday’s game between Penn State and Wisconsin.

Penn State announced this week that historic wet conditions on the University Park campus have resulted in significant damage to drive aisles and grass parking lots.

For the safety of fans, and to prevent further damage to intramural fields and Ag fields, as well as fans’ personal vehicles, the majority of the grass parking lots will be unavailable for Saturday’s noon contest with Wisconsin.

The ORV, Pink lots and a portion of the reserved Stadium North (Green) lot are the only grass lots that will be available for the Wisconsin game.

Six free shuttle routes, in addition to CATA from Lot Red A, will be available from off-campus lots to Beaver Stadium starting at 8 a.m. Saturday until 60 minutes after the conclusion of the game. The shuttles will drop off and pick up fans on University Drive.

“I understand why they have to do it. The last time we parked at Innovation Park and took a bus in. This time they are using it for people who are paying more to the Nittany Lion Club than me,” said Andy Walter of Hollidaysburg.

“We will go up Route 45 and park near the blue golf course and take shuttle in. This will save us time. I totally understand why they are doing this. This is no problem at all.”

Tom Smith of Altoona, who parks at the intramural fields, said he is not upset but said it is an inconvenience.

“They are well-groomed fields, I can see Penn State’s point. It is a super inconvenience. People pay a lot of money to park. Maybe Penn State should consider offering a refund, but they have to pay to run the shuttle,” Smith said. “This will preclude a lot of people from tailgating. I am not mad about it. I am trying to be objective.”

However, a blogger on Blue White Illustrated’s message board is not happy.

“After 20 years of paying for preferred RV parking myself then times that by the 100s of others, I’m sure we are talking in the hundreds of thousands of dollars paid in to the university, and I have never seen one thing done to the parking lot so what the hell is the money being spent on? The money should have been spent to make sure that in conditions like this there would be no problems. The fans. once again. are the ones who foot the bills and have nothing to show for it,” the blogger wrote.

Fans who normally park a car or RV in paved lots will be unaffected. Permit holders with a white stripe through their permit have a paved parking space, which are not impacted by this Saturday’s lot closures.

Fans who have a gameday (yellow) parking permit will not be permitted to park in the lots near Beaver Stadium or in any campus parking lots. Fans who still need gameday parking should park in a downtown parking lot/deck or park at Grange Park and take a shuttle.

Penn State is asking patrons for their patience and understanding. Fans are being asked to avoid bringing an RV for the Wisconsin game, unless the RV parking is on pavement or in the ORV lot, and urged to carpool or use the CATA, Fullington and Penn State shuttle services. Those fans who can walk to the stadium — particularly students — should do so.

PSU utilizes several intramural fields for football parking among its game day lots, and parking vehicles on those fields will continue to cause more damage with fall intramural sports still in progress for students. Additionally, ICA utilizes multiple fields operated by the College of Agricultural Sciences for game day parking, which also have been damaged over the course of season, with the greatest impact occurring during the Oct. 27 Iowa game.

It has been a historically wet year, summer and fall in the State College area, with all the rainfall leading to the decision to close grass parking lots for the Wisconsin game.

According to Penn State’s Department of Meteorology, whose records date to 1887, the University Park campus has experienced the wettest year on record as of Nov. 1, wettest summer on record and third-wettest fall on record as of Nov. 1.

University Park campus received 13.13 inches of rain in September and October, nearly double the normal amount of 6.6 inches, according to AccuWeather.

All parking lots, on and off campus, will open Saturday at 7 a.m. Prepaid parking permits will be honored at all off-site lots.

Fans can find game day information, including the shuttle drop off and pick up locations on University Drive and an interactive parking map for the Wisconsin game at: GoPSUsports.com/gameday.

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank contributed to this story.