Cover image for Lair of the Lion: A History of Beaver Stadium By Lee Stout and Harry  H. West

Lair of the Lion

A History of Beaver Stadium

Lee Stout and Harry H. West


$29.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-07776-5

Available as an e-book

196 pages
10" × 9"
74 color/126 b&w illustrations

Keystone Books

Lair of the Lion

A History of Beaver Stadium

Lee Stout and Harry H. West

“One could not find better, more authoritative authors to collaborate on [this] book than Lee Stout and Harry West.”


  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Bio
  • Table of Contents
  • Subjects
Football is an unmistakable part of the culture of Penn State, though the experience of a Nittany Lions home game—from the crowds and tailgates to the spectacle of the game itself—has changed significantly over the years. This richly illustrated and researched book tells the story of the structure that has evolved along with the university’s celebrated football program: the iconic Beaver Stadium.

Historian Lee Stout and engineering professor Harry H. West show how Beaver Stadium came to be, including a look at its predecessors, “Old” Beaver Field, built in 1893 on a site centrally located northeast of Old Main, and “New” Beaver Field, built on the northwest corner of campus in 1909. Stout and West explore the engineering and construction challenges of the stadium and athletic fields and reveal the importance of these facilities to the history of Penn State and its cherished traditions.

Packed with archival photos and fascinating stories, Lair of the Lion is a celebration of the ways in which Penn State fans, students, and athletes have experienced home games from the 1880s to the present day, and of the monumental structure that the Lions now call home.

“One could not find better, more authoritative authors to collaborate on [this] book than Lee Stout and Harry West.”
“Fans of PSU sports as well as the university in total should find this volume impressive and a worthwhile history and reference text in keeping with the overall significance of a Big Ten university. Highly recommended.”
Lair of the Lion is the seminal work on the beginnings of Beaver Stadium, on the west side of campus, to its modern-day state on the opposite end.”
“Stout and West’s narrative offers insights into the Penn State character that extend far beyond the gridiron. They present a wonderfully entertaining story that’s likely to interest even those University alumni and friends who have never attended a football game at Beaver Stadium.”
“Sport teams often inspire a kind of devotion in their fans and their communities that, to the disinterested, can be difficult to comprehend. The fervor can approach the religious, and if the team itself represents the religion (or the god, if you prefer), then the stadium they play in is the church. In Lair of the Lion, authors Lee Stout and Harry H. West throw open wide the doors of one such church to look at its history, its engineering, and its construction: Beaver Stadium, home of the Penn State Nittany Lions, for decades one of the marquee teams in college football.”

Lee Stout is Librarian Emeritus at the Penn State University Libraries. He is the author of Ice Cream U: The Story of the Nation’s Most Successful Collegiate Creamery and A Matter of Simple Justice: The Untold Story of Barbara Hackman Franklin and a Few Good Women, also available from Penn State University Press.

Harry H. West is Professor Emeritus of Civil Engineering at Penn State University, co-recipient of the 1970 Moissieff Award of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and recipient of the 1996 Teaching Fellow Award of the Penn State Alumni Association.




1 Old Beaver Field

2 “Wish-Wack, Pink and Black, Go State Go”

3 New Beaver Field: The Wooden Era

4 New Beaver Field: The Steel Era

5 Football Games at New Beaver Field

6 Beaver Field Becomes Beaver Stadium

7 “The Big Lift”

8 The North-End Upper Deck

9 Beaver Stadium Becomes a Building

10 A New Era: Heritage Recognized

11 Continuity and Change on Game Day

12 Beaver Stadium’s Importance and Future

Afterword: The Power of Place


Selected Bibliography



Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list and be notified about new titles, journals and catalogs.