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Penn State is Changing the 2021 Blue-White Game

Penn State is inviting first-year students to watch the final spring football practice in April. No tailgating, though.

Penn State isn't calling it a Blue-White game, but some students will return to Beaver Stadium in April to watch football in-person again.

Penn State is inviting first-year students to watch the football team's final spring practice session April 17. Parking lots will remain closed, tailgating will not be allowed and the general public won't get a look at the Nittany Lions.

But first-year students who have yet to see Penn State play at Beaver Stadium at least will get a chance to watch the team live. Further, Athletic Director Sandy Barbour said that Penn State is "hopeful" about hosting a full Beaver Stadium for the home-opener Sept. 11 against Ball State.

“We are pleased to be able to offer an opportunity for our first-year students to experience Beaver Stadium for the first time as Penn Staters,” Penn State President Eric Barron said in a statement. “Because of the pandemic, these students have missed out on this special tradition of cheering on the Nittany Lions, and we hope this will be a memorable way for them to gather together and celebrate the final practice of the spring. While we are excited to offer this in-person opportunity, students must continue to do their part by following health and safety guidelines to bring this opportunity to fruition.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf recently announced that outdoor events can be held at 50 percent of venue capacity beginning April 4. Penn State said the spring-practice decision is part of a "phased" plan to expand in-person activities and experiences on campus. Penn State also plans to hold in-person commencement ceremonies in May at Beaver Stadium.

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Families and guests of players, coaches and staff members will be allowed to attend the final spring practice as well.

Penn State did not announce whether the scrimmage will be televised. The athletics department said it plans to host a virtual event in conjunction with the final spring practice. Details will be announced later.

"While first-year students have not yet been able to experience Nittanyville or take their spot in the best student section in the country in Beaver Stadium, we are thrilled they will be able to participate in many other favorite traditions during this final spring practice, including the team entering the field, the Blue Band playing, cheer and dance squads performing, and the team singing of our beloved Alma Mater,” Barbour said in a statement. “We are hopeful for the fall and continue to focus on the health and safety of our community and on providing the best opportunity for a full capacity stadium for the Sept. 11 game against Ball State."

Eligible students will receive instructions via email for attending the spring football practice session.

Penn State began spring practice Monday. The team will conduct 15 sessions, culminating with the final practice at Beaver Stadium on April 17.