CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — State College’s largest economic drivers, sports and entertainment, are the center of a new commission to elevate Happy Valley tourism and events.
“The energy and the passion we all have toward this, it’s gonna be infectious,” said Joe Battista, chairman of the Happy Valley Sports & Entertainment Commission.
With over 300 similar commissions in the U.S. and 15 in Pennsylvania already, the organizers of the initiative said it is past due for State College.
“We’ve always attracted events here in Centre County, we’ve always had a robust effort, but this is about escalating the effort, taking it to another level,” said Fritz Smith, president & CEO of The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau.
In addition to amplifying existing events, the organizers said it can create new opportunities for Beaver Stadium, such as concerts.
“We’re actively pursuing, planning, trying to get ourselves a position to attract a big name to come to Beaver Stadium to have a concert,” said Scott Sidwell, vice chairman for the Happy Valley Sports & Entertainment Commission.
“It’s not just about the economic impact, I think about all the different things we’re going to be able to do for youth in the state, in the region, and the things we’ll be able to do nationally, the types of event’s we’ll be able to attract here,” said Battista.
Other members of the commission and the formal structure will be announced in about five months after a third-party analysis is complete.