The Bryce Jordan Center is home to both the Nittany Lions and the Lady Lions basketball teams of Penn State. The Bryce Jordan Center has much more to offer than just basketball. The arena also houses a number of entertainment events each year, including music events, comedy shows, or children's entertainment.
The Bryce Jordan Center,
also known as the BJC, is in the heart of State College, Pennsylvania or Happy
Valley, for short. The Bryce Jordan Center is a part of the Pennsylvania State
University main campus. Thousands of students and fans flock to the Bryce
Jordan Center every year. It has become a staple of the community. The Bryce
Jordan Center is home to both Penn State’s men’s and women’s basketball teams.
The Bryce Jordan Center is much more than just a sports stadium, it is also
used for entertainment events, music concerts, and is home to the largest
student-run philanthropy event in the entire world.
The stadium itself is named after Dr. Bryce Jordan, the
fourteenth president of Penn State. Dr. Jordan played a huge role in getting
Penn State its admittance into the Big Ten Conference. Prior to becoming a
member of the Big Ten, Penn State was a member of the Big East Conference. Penn
State joined the Big Ten in 1990. Due to his dedication in the community, the
university, and its’ student athletes; Penn State dedicated the state of the
art facility to Dr. Bryce Jordan, as thanks everything that
he did for the university.
The building of the Bryce Jordan Center began in December
of 1993. The construction timeline took an early hit with harsh weather
conditions in the winter of 1994 which delayed the projected build time. As
spring came along, construction picked up and the operations ran according to
plan. The winter of 1995 was a mild one, and because of this, the construction
ran much smoother than the previous winter. Because of this mild winter, the
construction of the Bryce Jordan Center was ready and open for business by the
actual commencement ceremony on January 6, 1996. The result was a massive fifty
million dollars, three hundred and sixty thousand square foot facility that was
ready to open its’ doors to the public. Just to put this into perspective,
3,100 tons of steel, 26,000 cubic yards of concrete and 5,600 tons of precast
concrete were used to construct this massive venue.
The Bryce Jordan Center has also seen its’ fair share of
renovations over the years. Over the summer of 2017, Wholsen Construction made
renovations to the stadium. Some of these renovations include: a new roof,
upgraded electrical fixtures, restoration of masonry and replacing the stadium’s
concrete floor. Future renovations are planned. The goal of these future
renovations is to make the stadium feel like a more intimate space. One
possible idea is to move the seating closer to the court. These planned future
renovations are part of the university’s larger plan to make improvements to
its’ sports stadiums and facilities.
Penn State’s mission to improving their facilities is proof of the
university’s dedication to providing its’ fans with the best possible
The stadium itself has a maximum capacity of 15,261
occupants. Those attending concerts and events can buy seats on the floor.
There are also more traditional stadium seating options available as well.
These traditional seats include a full back and armrests. For those looking to
watch in style, VIP seating is also available. The Bryce Jordan Center offers
fans and event goers some state of the art audio and video equipment. The arena provides fans a high-tech sound system to go along with a television quality
scoreboard display screen. Fans are also offered the usual concessions such as
food and souvenirs.
Two of Penn State’s sports teams play at the Bryce Jordan
Center, the Nittany Lions men’s basketball team, as well as, the Lady Lions
basketball team. Both teams play in the Big Ten Conference. Both the Nittany
Lions and the Lady Lions play incredibly well at home. For these two teams,
home court advantage is a real thing. The last time the Nittany Lions made it
to the NCAA March Madness Tournament was in the 2010-2011 season. The team has
made it to the Tournament a total of nine times, while having one Final Four
appearance in the 1953-1954 season. The Lady Lions basketball team has also
enjoyed tremendous success. The last time that the Lady Lions reached the NCAA
Tournament was the 2013-2014 season. In total, the Lady Lions have made it to
the Tournament a total of twenty-five times, making it to the Final Four in the
Penn State has seen its fair share of great basketball
players and coaches throughout its’ time. Jesse Arnelle was one of the greatest
men’s basketball players in Penn State history. Arnelle was an All-American
that led Penn State to its only Final Four appearance. He would go on to play
for the Harlem Globetrotters. Talor Battle was a scoring machine for the
Nittany Lions. He is the all-time leading scorer in Penn State history with 2,
213 points. Battle currently plays for Petrol Olimpija in Slovenia. Rene Portland coached the Lady
Lions for twenty-seven seasons. During the 2006-2007 season, Portland became
just the ninth Division I women’s basketball coach to win six hundred games at
one university. Portland finished her coaching career ranked sixth all-time on
the total wins list for women’s basketball.
Penn State basketball players and coaches get the chance
to use some state of the art facilities at the Bryce Jordan Center. Both teams
have access to the locker room and player lounges. Also available to the
players are the film room, training and weight room, coaches’ offices and
full-size basketball court complete with six basketball hoops. The Bryce Jordan
Center is also media friendly. Members of the media are treated to the use of
multiple meeting rooms, as well as, a spacious press room.
The Bryce Jordan Center is also home to many different
concerts and shows. Various musical artists have performed here. Whether it be
Bruce Springsteen, Kanye West, or Luke Bryan, the Bryce Jordan Center offers a
wide variety of musical options. Events are not just limited to musical
artists; comedians like the cast of Impractical Jokers and Kevin Hart have
graced the stage of the Bryce Jordan Center. With multiple games and shows
being offered regularly, the Bryce Jordan Center is never lacking for
The Bryce Jordan Center is the home of the largest
student-run philanthropy event in the entire world known as THON. The formal
name of the event is the
Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon. Every year, Penn State students hold
a forty-six-hour dance marathon to raise money for children’s cancer research. This
event has been held at the Bryce Jordan Center since 2007. THON has raised tens
of millions of dollars for children’s cancer research. All proceeds of the
event and yearly fundraising efforts go to the Four Diamonds at Penn State
Children's Hospital. Some highlights of the event include yearly children’s
talent shows, guest speakers, and athlete hour. Athlete hour consists of Penn
State student athletes taking the stage and performing dance routines or
bringing kids up on stage to play an assortment of games. The event is all
about the kids.