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Feb. 12, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State fans continue to demonstrate why they are regarded as the best in the nation as they flocked to Beaver Stadium during the 2013 season, keeping the Nittany Lions among the top five nationally in home attendance, according to the NCAA.
For the 23rd consecutive season, Penn State's passionate and enthusiastic fans ranked among the top five in the nation in average home attendance among the 123 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institutions, according to the 2013 NCAA Attendance survey. Led by an electric sellout throng of 107,884 for the primetime win over Michigan, the Nittany Lions drew a total of 676,112 fans, an average of 96,587 per game, off by just 143 fans per game (996 total, 0.1 percent) compared to the 2012 average of 96,730.
Penn State saw the overall attendance for its four Big Ten home games this past season increase by 10,573 from 2012, an average of 2,643 per game. The Senior Day overtime clash against Nebraska drew 98,517, the second-largest crowd of the season. The combined attendance for the last two games of the 2013 season (Purdue and Nebraska) was 195,008, an increase of 11,145 (5,573 avg.) compared to the final two games of the 2012 season.
"Penn State fans continue to show why Beaver Stadium has one of the nation's best atmospheres and greatest home field advantages," said Dave Joyner, Director of Athletics. "Thanks to our loyal and passionate fans, our attendance saw minimal change during the 2013 season and again ranked among the top five nationally. We are taking steps to continue to enhance the gameday experience for our fans with the new videoboards and other initiatives and have seen a very positive response for James Franklin's first season as head coach."
"There is tremendous pride and passion in Penn State and the football program," stated Franklin, was named the Nittany Lions' 16th head coach on Jan. 11. "The great crowds, sold out crowds, and atmosphere in Beaver Stadium have a tremendous impact on the team and on recruits. It is a world-class facility, a large part of Penn State's unrivaled football tradition, and we can't wait to see 107,000 strong at the Blue-White Game and next season."
Sixteen of the top 25 average home attendance leaders from the 2012 season saw a decline in their average attendance in 2013, including the top five schools. Penn State's average difference of 143 fans was the smallest decline among the 16 schools. Seven of top 10 attendance leaders from 2012 saw a decline in their average home attendance this past season.
NCAA football attendance overall topped 50 million for the first time among the 657 institutions playing football across all divisions, an increase of 12 schools from 2012.
Penn State fans, including the energetic, sold-out student section of 21,500-strong, have played a vital role in helping the Nittany Lions post a 52-12 on-field home record since 2005.
Season ticket renewals are underway online at www.GoPSUsports.com/accountmanager. The initial deadline for Nittany Lion Club donations was February 1. There again was no increase in season tickets prices for Penn State football for the 2014 season. New season tickets are available by calling 1-800-NITTANY, weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Penn State announced two new football ticket initiatives in January.
- The Recent Graduate program gives Penn State graduates who earned an undergraduate degree from 2010-14 at any campus the opportunity to purchase up to two season tickets for $300 per ticket for the seven-game home schedule this fall. The cost includes a $50 donation to the Nittany Lion Club and is a savings of 35 percent from the regular $460 season ticket price ($360 + $100 NLC donation).
A total of 2,500 seats are available for the Recent Graduate program on a first-come, first-served basis. The seats will be located in the North Upper Deck, in Sections NAU-NLU. Interested recent graduates can call 1-800-NITTANY, weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Penn State will be implementing a variable pricing structure for its single game public football tickets during the 2014 season. Single game tickets will go on sale to the general public in July, with tickets being available for as low as $40 for some games. For a full list of prices by section for the 2014 football season, fans can log onto: http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/011414aab.html.
Coach Franklin and the Nittany Lions open the season on Aug. 30 vs. UCF in Dublin, Ireland at the Croke Park Classic. Penn State returns 15 starters (7 offense, 7 defense, 1 specialist) and will host Rose Bowl Champion Michigan State (Nov. 29), Ohio State (Oct. 25), Northwestern (Sept. 27-Homecoming) and Maryland (Nov. 1) during its 2014 Big Ten home schedule. The Nittany Lions will play a trio of 2013 Top 10 teams this fall.