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Amid 'Save Our Spikes' Effort, Team Set to Kick Off 15th Season with SpikesFest

by on March 10, 2020 1:50 PM

Update: SpikesFest has been postponed until further notice, the team announced on March 11.

"In light of Penn State University’s announcement today regarding a series of coronavirus protection efforts on campus, and at the university’s request, SpikesFest 2020, which was scheduled for this Saturday at the Penn State Indoor Multi-Sport Facility, is being postponed until further notice," a Spikes press release said.

"We support the university’s leadership role in prioritizing the safety of our community, and pledge to do our part. We continue to look forward to celebrating our upcoming 15th season this summer.

Penn State announced earlier in the day that it was suspending in-person classes and moving to remote instruction through April 3 in response to the global coronavirus outbreak. The school also said it was limiting attendance at all home athletic events, with no fans permitted through April 3.

Original story:

The State College Spikes kick off their 2020 season celebrating 15 years of bringing summertime family fun to Happy Valley. It all begins with SpikesFest 2020, taking place 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday at the Penn State Indoor Multi-Sport Facility.

“SpikesFest is our traditional, indoor, family carnival, inside the Penn State Indoor Multi-Sport Facility,” says Joe Putnam, director of communications for the State College Spikes. “We have the inflatable games, community spotlights. Plenty of community organizations will be out with information on getting involved with different things here in the community. We have plenty of kids activities. There will be batting cages there at the Multi-Sport Facility, so you can practice taking your cuts. 

“Really, it’s the atmosphere of a Spikes game inside the Penn State Indoor Multi-Sport Facility... as we celebrate the end of winter and take the turn toward spring…”

Families always enjoy the free event’s games and silent auction, as well as appearances from multiple Spikes mascots, but Putnam notes there are a few new things to expect at this year’s SpikesFest.

“We will have full-size inflatable activities from C3 Sports, in association with Penn State Health. Of course, Mount Nittany Health is the presenting sponsor of this event. Discovery Space will be bringing an interactive science display. It’s actually pretty cool. It resembles a large ship that people can walk through,” he says.

Like last year, the silent auction will make use of the LiveSource app, to allow bidders to place their bids right from their mobile devices. There are more items in the silent auction than ever before, Putnam notes, with more than 40 items up for bid. Items of note include a Saquon Barkley autographed football, Trace McSorley autographed jersey, mini helmets signed by Jack Ham and Carson Wentz, a baseball autographed by Pete Rose, a soccer ball signed by Women’s World Cup champion and former Penn Stater Alyssa Naeher and a screenshot from the classic Nintendo game Punch-Out!! framed in a shadow box with a Nintendo controller and signed by Mike Tyson. All proceeds from the auction benefit the Mount Nittany Health Foundation. 

Of course, a big focus of the event will be the Save Our Spikes initiative, as the State College Spikes are one of 42 Minor League Baseball clubs in danger of losing their affiliation in 2021. 

“One of the best ways we can send a loud message to the baseball world,” Putnam says, is by “packing the ballpark.” SpikesFest will offer a number of Save Our Spikes promotional items, as well as ticket packages on sale, such as a SpikesFest suite special that includes a Geisinger Champions Club suite with a free food and beverage package. 

Putnam and the entire Spikes team — both on and off the field — plan to make their 15th season a great one, with the promotional game schedule, filled with both new and long-time favorite events, coming out over April and May, when single game tickets become available as well. 

Approximately 2,000 fans are expected to attend SpikesFest for the 2020 season kickoff and the first 100 fans through the door receive a Blair Thomas bobblehead.  

SpikesFest, Putnam says, “marks the end of winter and all of the sudden, it’s baseball season. We get to see all our fans out at the event. We put smiles on kids’ faces like we do in the summertime. We have a really fun time and give everyone a sneak peak of what’s to come…in the 2020 15th season…We want to make it big and we want to save our Spikes and this is one way we can do that.”

SpikesFest is a free event, with free parking available in Lot 44, located between Bryce Jordan Center, the Indoor Multi-Sport Facility, Beaver Stadium and Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. 


Holly Riddle is a freelance food, lifestyle and entertainment writer. She can be reached at [email protected]
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