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Penn State Football Preparing for No Fans at Beaver Stadium

by on August 06, 2020 10:50 AM

Penn State is preparing for the upcoming fall sports season — including football — without fans in attendance Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour announced in a letter to season ticket holders on Thursday morning.

"As of today, the current large group gatherings guidance from the Governor's office limits capacity to 250 people for outside events and 25 people for inside events," Barbour said.

"Therefore, under the current conditions and current state orders, our fall sports events would be conducted without fans in the general seating areas of our facilities. We continue to work with the Governor's office to discuss, and possibly be prepared for the opportunity to have spectators at our fall Penn State sporting events."

In a letter to season ticket holders, the athletic department has offered three options for those in possession of season tickets; turning season ticket purchases into a tax-deductible donation to the department, rolling 2020 season tickets into the 2021 season and finally a full refund.

Each option comes with additional benefits as well.

In the broader scope, Penn State faces massive financial ramifications as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with or without limited attendance figures. Some meaningful attendance numbers include $36.8 million in football ticket revenue during the 2019 fiscal year, and nearly $7 million in revenue from parking and concession purchases. 

All told Penn State football brought in just over $100 million in revenues during the 2019 fiscal year, a number set to be significantly lower in a world without fans or season tickets. Men's basketball and men's hockey are the only other cash positive sports on campus according to the department's most recent fiscal report.

"Regardless of whether we play or don't play, our revenue losses will be in the high eight figures," Barbour continues. "Reaching nine figures in the case of no competition. We cannot let this pandemic stall or wipe out all of the incredible work and progress that, with your help, our students and our programs have been able to achieve in the classroom, in our community and, of course, in our competitive venues."

Barbour and other university administrators are slated to speak to the media later Thursday afternoon.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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