Penn State to Again Offer Incentives and Urges Football Fans to Arrive Early
Aug. 29, 2017
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Since the conclusion of the 2016 Penn State football season, Intercollegiate Athletics has been working to improve the efficiency and experience for fans and students as they enter Beaver Stadium.
The most significant improvement for the 2017 season will be the addition of 31 entry lanes for fans entering the 106,572-seat facility that will greatly assist in getting fans through security measures, ticket scanning and into their seats.
"The fan experience is extremely important to us and it was vital that we take a step back in the off season, review the data and consider all options in order to improve the entry process," said Phil Esten, Deputy Director of Athletics. "Our new partnership with Whelan Event Services will provide enhanced staffing and consistency, and, combined with more entry lanes, should improve the fan experience entering the stadium."
With the No. 6 Nittany Lions' Sept. 2 season opener against Akron (noon) on Saturday, Sept. 2, Penn State
Intercollegiate Athletics has sold more than 9,000 new season tickets, in tandem with a 95 percent renewal rate. Stadium gates will open two hours before kickoff for all games and Penn State is strongly encouraging fans to arrive to Beaver Stadium early.
Fans are reminded that they may enter Beaver Stadium at Gates B, C, D, E and F and use the inner concourse to get to their seating section. ADA patrons should enter the facility at the ADA Gate near Gate B on the west side of the stadium.
Early Arrival Incentives Return; Data from 2016 Shows Challenges by Surge of Fans in Final 30 Minutes
Fans will receive up to a 20 percent concessions discount ($1 off a $5 purchase, $2 off a $10 purchase) during the first 45 minutes after the gates are open. Cash, credit card and LionCash purchases are accepted at the concourse concession stands.
Other college football games will be shown on the stadium videoboards starting two hours before kickoff until approximately 70 minutes before the game. For noon games, highlights of previous Penn State games will be shown on the videoboards.
In addition, Penn State Championship trophies will be on display on the Pepsi Fan Zone (Above Gate A) when the stadium gates open until 30 minutes before kickoff. Fans are then encouraged to find their seats in time for kickoff.
Fans also can meet members of the Penn State Dance and Cheer team in the Pepsi Fan Zone (during the first hour after the stadium gates open.
Entry gate data from the 2016 season shows more than half of all fans arrive at the stadium gates 30 minutes or less before kick. The data shows on average, one hour before kickoff, just 19 percent of the total crowd entered the stadium. With just 15 minutes until kickoff, only 64 percent of the audience passed through the gates.
Beaver Stadium average fan entry times in 2016 (Gates open two hours before kick):
While some of delay is due to the lines as a result of the security measures, Beaver Stadium simply cannot accommodate more than 35 percent of the total audience trying to enter the facility in the last 15 minutes before kickoff.
Penn State has been recognized for having one of the nation's premier football tailgating and gameday atmospheres, but the influx of fans arriving at the Beaver Stadium gates 30 minutes or less prior to kickoff, in combination with security measures, has resulted in patrons missing the opening kickoff.
Fans who wish to see the start of the game are strongly encouraged to arrive at the stadium gates at least 45-60 minutes before kickoff to be ahead of the late rush and have adequate time to get through security check and to their seats.
Improvements to Assist Fan Entry at Gates A, C, D, E and F
Gate C has increased from 17 to 20 entry lanes and visiting team overflow bus parking will be relocated away from the entry gate. Gate D has increased from nine entry lanes to 26 and Gate E has been extended from 16 to 19 lanes. A larger fan staging area has been constructed at Gate F, increasing the entry lanes from 10 to 18.
Fans who have ideas on incentives to encourage patrons to arrive earlier to the stadium are encouraged to share their ideas at GoLions@psu.edu.
Patrons Reminded of Security Screening and Bag Policy at Entry Gates
Patrons can expedite the entry process by not bringing a bag into Beaver Stadium. For fans with medical or childcare needs, please place those items in an 11" x 11" clear bag or a one gallon clear bag prior to arriving at the stadium gates.
Patrons with questions can call 1-800-NITTANY, which opens on game day at 8 a.m. (7 a.m. for noon kickoffs) and is open until one hour after the game ends.
The deadline to purchase and receive a single game car ($20) parking pass via standard mail is 15 days prior to the game by calling 1-800-NITTANY (weekdays 8 a.m.-5 p.m.) or visiting the Athletic Ticket Office in the Bryce Jordan Center (weekdays 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.). The deadline to purchase and receive a single game car ($20) parking pass via express mail is four days prior to the contest. The game day parking price is $40 for cars.
There is a limit of three single game car parking permits for each game per customer and there is a service fee for permits sent via regular or express mail.
For parking maps, the bag policy and a complete list of items prohibited from entry into Beaver Stadium, fans should go to Penn State Football Game Day Central: GoPSUsports.com/gameday.