Penn State Football: Nittany Lion Club to Alter STEP Program
Penn State announced Wednesday new donation and seating options in Beaver Stadium for the 2013 season relative to the Seat Transfer Equity Program.
In total, eight seating areas along the west and east sides of Beaver Stadium will see a $200 decrease in Nittany Lion Club donation prices, and no donation or ticket prices will increase for the 2013 season. Nittany Lion Club members are currently eligible to renew their memberships, but seat selection will not take place until March.
"The changes this year are put into place with two goals in mind," acting athletic director David Joyner said in a press release. "One - offer our fans additional, more appealing options in order to maximize the number of Nittany Lion fans coming to Beaver Stadium and cheering on our team each week, and two - grow the revenues needed to maintain - in an increasingly difficult climate -- the excellent competitive and classroom performance that Penn Staters everywhere expect."
According to the release, more than 11,500 seats will be affected by the donation rate change.
Sections EGU, ECU, WGU and WCU will require a $200 minimum donation — down from $400 — and sections EFU, EDU, WFU, and WDU will be reduced from a $600 minimum donation to $400 minimum donation.
Penn State reported to Bloomberg Business Week recently that donations tied to ticket purchases are projected to reach a record $17.5 million for the 2012 season.
Additionally, Penn State is rolling out a "One Team Commitment" marketing campaign that will enable ticket holders to double their Nittany Lion Club points for their annual contribution in each year of fulfilling their commitment. Fifty more NLC points are awarded at the end of the five-year period. Those who sign up for the five-year commitment also assure their seat donation is capped at the 2013 minimum donation amount for the five-year period.
Penn State heads into Homecoming weekend hoping to improve on the crowd of 93,680 that watched the Nittany Lions defeat Temple on Sept. 22. While a respectable number in many venues, the crowd represented the smallest at Beaver Stadium since 1995.
Following the release of Penn State's independent investigation into the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal, the NCAA handed down a myriad of penalties including a fine for the athletic department totaling $60 million over five years, a four-year postseason ban and reduction of 40 scholarships over four years.
Joyner said in July at the Big Ten Media Days in Chicago that change to the STEP program was plausible. Back then he said solutions may be offering more pricing zones in Beaver Stadium and reducing the required donation based on seat location.
Clarification: A previous version of this article reported Penn State could lose as much as $2.3 million as a result of the new seating policy. Without providing an accurate number of seats sold in those seating areas, as well as the accompanying donation totals for those specific seating sections, the figure is misrepresented.