Penn State football recently announced its decision to create outrageous new lease fees for many seats in Beaver Stadium, beyond the club and suite sections built in 2001 and then increase ticket prices on top of that.
All of this has come very fast and with no warning or discussion to the loyal patrons. It's like Penn State took a page out of the book from the arrogant group that now runs our government in Washington. Just raise the prices, and everyone will cough up the money because they have no recourse.
It is very obvious to most of those who have supported the university program for years that the Penn State administration has never worked in a real business. According to Penn State news in 2001, "The $93 million Beaver Stadium expansion and renovation project continues to move forward on schedule for completion prior to the 2001 season. The seventh expansion of the facility in the Joe Paterno era will add more than 12,000 seats, giving Beaver Stadium the nation's second-largest capacity at 106,537."
That was great news then, but in the ensuing 10 years since Penn State opened the 4,000-seat club section, the club members alone have contributed some $96,000,000 in lease fees, tickets, Nittany Lion Club memberships and concessions in support of the university. In addition, the 60 suites raised another $72,000,000; and the 10-year revenues generated from the other 7,000 seats included in this 2001 expansion is estimated at $85,000,000.
So, in total, these new 12,000 new seats alone generated a 10-year revenue stream of approximately $252,000,000 in support of the initial $93 million investment.
This does not speak to the new TV revenues generated by the new "Big House" atmosphere, funded on the backs of the new patrons. Now, many of the pre-expansion season ticket holders will become victims of Penn State's greed with new lease fees and higher ticket prices. All of this comes since that glorious opening day of the new expansion with Miami on Sept. 1, 2001. Since then, the university continues to serve up a very non-competitive non-conference schedule. In spite of this, the patrons have continued to loyally support the program.
Despite the continuing loyal support of the "expansion" customers that footed the bill for the 2001 expansion, Penn State now has the arrogance to recapitalize the 2001 expansion project by asking those loyal fans to pay yet again for an old capital project without giving those patrons any new products, a better schedule or new capital to show for their investment. The $93 million project was capitalized over 30 years for $3.1 million per year.
With revenues of $25 million per year in the first 10 years, most reasonable and non-greedy businesses would say this was a highly successful investment. So why is Penn State asking its shareholders to pay for this project again? Why not settle for $14 million per year from tickets, donations and concession fees for the second 10 years for these 12,000 seats?
It should also be noted that while the suite section was built for comfort and viewing excellence, the club section was underconstructed to handle the full complement of members especially during peak periods and inclement weather occasions. Half time mobility is nearly at a standstill in the club.
All Penn State season ticket holders are left with the feeling that they are fools and can't figure this greed factor. Most loyal fans would have never dreamed of disputing an issue like this at Penn State, but standing idly by during this outrageous policy change would just be wrong.
This strategy is wrong thinking and bad for Penn State fans. We strongly suggest that Penn State rethink this strategy and consider the patrons that paid for this expansion and who brought this financial success over the last 10 years.
Figure on more of DeChellis
I enjoyed Neil Rudel's column Sunday on the Penn State basketball team.
I always bring up the George Mason game in last year's NIT also. If PSU loses that and this season happens, Ed has to be gone. But he will be here for a couple more, I guess.
Next year the team should be at least average. It can't be much worse, and he gets at least the following year.
I can't wait to see the non-conference home schedule for next year. Perhaps the Stony Brook, NJIT and Fordham jayvee teams.
Then again, with the whole team returning next year and the NCAA Tournament probably expanding to 96 teams, PSU might actually make it.
Then they lose seven seniors and the rebuilding starts once again.
Manning not so super
Poor Peyton Manning.
I guess he will have to make more TV commercials to make up for the money he won't get by flunking in the Super Bowl.
That last interception, when time was expiring, brought tears to my eyes. The tears were not for Manning. They were for the Saints, knowing this spelled the victory.
Oh, yes: I had two phone calls from friends wanting to know who I was rooting for. When I told them (naturally the Saints) they both said they were, too.
So I am not the only one who can't stomach Peyton Manning.