The Return Of Nittanyville
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - After a year of fan-less football games, some students are more eager than others to finally get back inside Beaver Stadium. Hundreds of restless students pitch tents and camp outside of Gate A for every home game from Wednesday till game time to get the best student section seats that they can.
This group goes by the name of Nittanyville and has been a Penn State football tradition since 1993. Even though Nittanyville didn’t happen last year due to COVID-19, president of the organization, Matt Soloman, says the spirit of Nittanyville is just as alive as it was pre-COVID. Soloman, a senior majoring in criminology, said “I think it’s even better.”
Soloman leads the group speech every gameday before they head into the stadium. “Every week I say the same thing. The noise in the student section starts with the group that’s at Nittanyville… that translates to the rest of the student section, then that translates to the rest of the stadium,” Soloman said.
With Nittanyville being an outside event, there hasn’t been any major COVID-19 restrictions or guidelines the group has had to follow. Stephen Campbell, a senior majoring in turf grass science and public relations manager for the organization, says it has been a normal operation so far.
“We’ve done a little bit of adjustments with the team,” Campbell said. “Other than that, it has been fantastic, a lot of fun, a lot of different events going on at night and we just keep it going."
The only tradition that has had to be eliminated in order to protect the football players and staff from COVID-19 is the football team stopping by Gate A to see the tent city in all its glory. However, they have been sending over videos of the team, as well as food and water to the campers as they wait for Saturday's kickoff.
While some students do Nittanyville once as a bucket list item, there are many students who camp out at Beaver Stadium every week Penn State plays at home. The campout is typically Wednesday to game time, but for the biggest game of the season, which is referred to as the “White Out” game, the students will be camping from Monday til Saturday.
This Saturday, the Penn State Nittany Lions face off against the Indiana University Hoosiers at Beaver Stadium. Last season in 2020, Indiana beat Penn State by just one point, with a final score of 36-35. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Gabrielle Teiner is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.