SBD/Issue 48/Collegiate Sports

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  • Penn State Football Seat Assignments To Be Based On Donations

    Under PSU's New Season-Ticket Policy, Fans
    Will Get Better Seats With Larger Donations
    Penn State Univ. (PSU) "will implement a new season-ticket policy" at Beaver Stadium that is "scheduled to debut for the 2011 football season," according to Tricia Lafferty of the Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW. Under the new system, a "larger donation to the Nittany Lion Club -- which is composed of Penn State alumni and supporters of intercollegiate athletics -- will result in a better seat," and those who make the "minimum donation of $100 may or may not be forced to relocate." PSU Associate AD for Business Relations & Communications Greg Myford: "Right now, someone's donation level determines the number of season tickets they want to buy and the type of parking spaces they get. What the plan will do is introduce a third ingredient, and that's where you want to sit in the stadium." Currently, all season-ticket holders are "members of the Nittany Lion Club," and they are "required to donate at least $100 annually, renew their season tickets and pay the $55 per ticket each game in order to be guaranteed a seat." Under the new plan, no season-ticket holders "will be stripped of the privilege to buy tickets," but they "may be forced to change seats starting in 2011." Myford "did not release specific figures regarding donations," but it is "evident that bigger donors will be sitting in better seats" (Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 11/18). In Pennsylvania, David Jones reported the "best seats between the 40 yard lines" will cost about $600 annually per seat, while "each seat between the goal lines and the 40s" will cost $300-400 annually per seat. Seats "wrapped around the end zones who are not in student or club seating" will cost about $100 annually (Harrisburg PATRIOT-NEWS, 11/17). Myford: "This will allow us to generate additional revenues in support of all 29 varsity sports. Secondarily, there is an element of fairness we're able to inject into the ticket allocation system. We're able to properly align the giving level with where someone wants to sit." PSU football coach Joe Paterno yesterday said he thinks the school is "doing the best it can." Paterno: "They ask me what I thought. I said you guys have got the responsibility for 29 sports. It's a lot different than when I was the athletic director [from '80-82]. ... How much are we charging compared to other people? I think we're probably at the bottom of the list" (CENTRE DAILY TIMES, 11/18).

    LIKELY TO DRAW COMPLAINTS: In Philadelphia, Joe Juliano writes the new system is "certain to generate complaints," as "swaths of empty seats could be found this season at Penn State's nonconference games." Myford indicated that 97-98% of ticket holders "renew annually, creating little opportunity to improve one's seat location." But Myford said that the new plan is "different from a personal seat license system because no long-term commitment is required," and ticket holders "may change their donation and seat, or decide to cancel, on an annual basis" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 11/18). In Pittsburgh, Ron Cook writes under the header, "Penn State Making A Good Business Decision." For fans who complain about the new plan, there is a "really easy way to deal with this particular price increase: Don't buy the tickets." Cook: "The point is, any sports entity has a right to charge what it thinks it can get for its product" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 11/18).

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  • Early Risers: St. Peter's, Monmouth Benefit From ESPN Exposure

    Monmouth-St. Peter's Game At 6:00am ET On
    ESPN Gets Programs Precious Exposure Time
    St. Peter’s College and Monmouth Univ. yesterday got “two hours of precious national exposure” when the schools’ men’s basketball teams played a 6:00am ET game on ESPN as part of the net’s 24-hours College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon, according to Dave Caldwell of the N.Y. TIMES. Neither team received money for participating, but St. Peter’s AD Patrick Elliott said that ESPN “covered the production costs,” which is “not always the case for midmajor teams who want their basketball games televised.” Monmouth coach Dave Calloway: “I would do it again, and I’d love for it to be a rematch at our place. Same Bat time, same Bat channel” (N.Y. TIMES, 11/18). St. Peter’s coach John Dunne: “It was a great idea. But when I woke up at 3 o’clock (Tuesday) morning I was like, ‘Ugh’” (NYDAILYNEWS.com, 11/17). In New Jersey, Steve Politi notes the crowd of 1,246 at St. Peter’s Yanitelli Center was “large for the school,” which was making its first appearance on ESPN since '79.  While marquee matchups Gonzaga-Michigan State and Memphis-Kansas filled ESPN's primetime slots last night, and West Coast teams took care of Tuesday's overnight slots, “some school had to play [at] 6 a.m., a time slot that had never once been filled by a college basketball team” (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 11/18).

    CLASS DISMISSED: Liberty Univ. Associate AD Kevin Keys said 5,380 of the roughly 7,000 students at the school attended yesterday’s game against Clemson Univ., which tipped off at 10:00am. In Virginia, Chris Lang notes Liberty’s administration “allowed students to miss their 9:15 and 10:50 a.m. classes to attend” the game. Students were “given passes that had to be time stamped at the Vines Center exits, and not one could leave until the game was over.” Total attendance at the game was 8,143, the “ninth largest in Vines Center history and the second time the arena has exceeded its 8,085-seat capacity since seating was reduced from 9,000 several years ago” (LYNCHBURG NEWS ADVOCATE, 11/18).

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