Forgive the John McEnroe rip-off quote in the headline, please. I couldn’t believe what I had read about Penn State’s plan to hit up season ticket holders for a new ongoing annual fee of up to $600 per seat. They also intend to re-purpose (I cannot stand that word, but it somehow seems appropriate in this case) an entire section of student seats into big bucks revenue producers.
Penn-Live reports that the powers that be have pushed back the mailing informing season ticket holders of the new fees a couple of times, and that they will probably wait until after the regular season ends or perhaps, until after the bowl game.
Meanwhile, Athletic Director Tim Curley is playing it close to the vest.
“Our program costs a lot of money to support. We’re in times right now where finances are real important. If we’re going to maintain that program, we need to do creative things.”
Many season ticket holders are already pissed off at the money-grubbing policies of the athletic department. Adding a 12th game to further fill the program’s coffers didn’t go over big with people who were already spending a helluva lot of money to watch the likes of Akron, Syracuse, and Temple. It wouldn’t have gone over quite so badly if the twelfth game had been scheduled with the likes of Notre Dame, USC, Oklahoma, or Pitt. Instead, they found themselves throwing money down the toilet to waste weekends with Eastern Illinois and Coastal Carolina — in addition to the already soft out of conference schedule. The ticket cost is just the beginning. Local lodging establishments turn into highway robbers for football weekends. It is basic supply and demand. They charge big bucks because they can. However, with the currently extant sour economy, when will this institutionalized extortion arrive at the tipping point?
Here’s a quote from a Club Seat season ticket holder, one of my PSU contemporaries whom I shall call Toe Jam:
“Given this news, I can only guess that the Club Seat license fees will increase also. Next year is the tenth and last year on my contract. I was 99% sure I would not renew — now I am 150% sure.”
Before there were Club Seats, Toe Jam had four season tickets in section WC for about 25 years, more or less. It is a crying shame that the whole thing has come to this.
This Turkey thinks that the administration might have miscalculated on this latest proposed money grab. As the Lions wrap up a season of beating weak opponents, losing to reasonably strong ones, and demonstrating precious little improvement in crucial areas such as special teams and the offensive line by the penultimate game of the season, one has to wonder just what in the hell they are thinking up there in the ivory tower. We Penn State alumni and fans are a loyal bunch, but we’re also not idiots. The time to piss on season ticket holder by asking for mo’ money and piss off students by taking their desirable seats away from them sure as hell isn’t now, when they’re all already pissed off enough at the schedule, the coaching, and prior money grabs.
As for the students, they are being moved from the sidelines to the south end zone, reports the Daily Collegian, and they will actually gain 800 seats in the process. The prices will not be increased, so the students will merely lose their great location. Perhaps they won’t notice.
Read the full story here.