PennStateHoops.com Discussion Forum

Stanford goes free student-ticket route... when will we?


#1

http://www.stanforddaily.com/2010/10/19/m-basketball-sixth-man-club-will-be-free/

While members of the Sixth Man Committee have had distant hopes of a cost-free student section, it was the diligence of head coach Johnny Dawkins that finally enabled the change to transpire, said Joel Sandler ‘11, club director.

Head coach taking charge on the matter… interesting. :wink:

In addition, the Sixth Man plans to implement a loyalty points system, similar to the Red Zone system, which will reward attendance at the preseason games in the fall with priority to the lower section for the Pac-10 games in the winter.

Love this too.


#2

Great link. If PSU were smart, they would do this. We need big crowds this year, early and often. (perhaps they could make court side student seats $5 but allow anyone else to sit in the upper deck for free or something)

I remember as a student there were games where they made it only $1. Nothing’s more important than having a big home crowd to a college basketball team. I think this is one thing that holds PSU back. Hopefully this year we can set records. We should. Students have no excuse not to pack the house this year. Lets pack the house!


#3

I remember games being free at Penn State. They only thing I had to pay for was football, other than club sports.

Senior year I had first row, center court seats at Rec Hall. My buddy was the manager, he scored them for me. Didn’t miss a game the whole time I was up at PSU.

Free tickets also let me investigate fencing, mens and womens gymnastics, water polo, etc.

Let the kids in free charge 50 cents more per hot dog.


#4

[quote=“PSUChamp08, post:2, topic:1411”]Great link. If PSU were smart, they would do this. We need big crowds this year, early and often. (perhaps they could make court side student seats $5 but allow anyone else to sit in the upper deck for free or something)

I remember as a student there were games where they made it only $1. Nothing’s more important than having a big home crowd to a college basketball team. I think this is one thing that holds PSU back. Hopefully this year we can set records. We should. Students have no excuse not to pack the house this year. Lets pack the house![/quote]

Find a donor and I bet we’d do it in a heartbeat too.

“The exciting part about the change, though, is that it is backed by some very generous donors, who care about rewarding our fans.”


#5
[quote="PSUChamp08, post:2, topic:1411"]Great link. If PSU were smart, they would do this. We need big crowds this year, early and often. (perhaps they could make court side student seats $5 but allow anyone else to sit in the upper deck for free or something)

I remember as a student there were games where they made it only $1. Nothing’s more important than having a big home crowd to a college basketball team. I think this is one thing that holds PSU back. Hopefully this year we can set records. We should. Students have no excuse not to pack the house this year. Lets pack the house![/quote]

Find a donor and I bet we’d do it in a heartbeat too.

"The exciting part about the change, though, is that it is backed by some very generous donors, who care about rewarding our fans."


That has happened for single games in the recent past - ESPN, BTN, etc. have purchased lots of like 4000 tickets to be handed out to students, free of charge. 4000 I guess isn’t necessarily “free tickets for all,” but it’s quite a few free tickets given our usual attendance.

#6

This all comes back to the fact that PSU’s Athletic Dept. is self sustaining. If there was a student fee earmarked for the A.Dept. that everyone had to pay as part of admission, then (at least basketball) tickets would probably be free. But seeing that tuition is kinda ridiculous already, I’m fine with paying 50 or so dollars for season tix.


#7

But you’re not who we’re targeting with this, since you already follow the program to the point of signing up on a message board based solely around it. We’re trying to bring in people who normally wouldn’t come if they had to shell out 5 dollars, or maybe COULDN’T come if it was a matter of 5 dollars 10 different nights. Not everybody has daddy’s credit card at school, despite what the stereotypes say.

I don’t think the place would be filled every night with free tickets, but it’s one less barrier keeping fringe fans away - and the best way to start building a regular fanbase outside of turning into a dominant program overnight.


#8

That’s how Northwestern has implemented their “free” student tickets. All students pay a mandatory athletics event fee and get admitted to all on sporting events for no additional fee.


#9

Could take it right out of the activities fee then, since I think I attended 2 events in 4 years that qualified as part of that activities fee I was paying.


#10

PSU athletic “donorship” has to be close to the top of all schools.

NO good reason to charge the students ANYTHING while we are trying to try to built a team.

But,honestly…it does not appear we are trying very hard! So…


#11

A few questions:

How much do non students pay for tickets? How much are student tickets? What percentage of seats are reserved for students?

Given those answers, how much extra would a non student ticket have to cost to offset the student section being free?


#12

[quote=“mjg, post:11, topic:1411”]A few questions:

How much do non students pay for tickets? How much are student tickets? What percentage of seats are reserved for students?

Given those answers, how much extra would a non student ticket have to cost to offset the student section being free?[/quote]
Single-game student tickets are $5 each. There are over 1,000 courtside student seats, sudent seats behind each basket, and then overflow student/general tickets in the upper bowl.

For students to get free tickets, we would first need to have more non-students at the games. It costs the athletic department 5 figures to rent out the BJC for a hoops game. Figure in an average of 2000 student tickets sold, $5 each, and there is the basic $10,000. If, for our noncon schedule, we have 3000 nonstudent fans in attendance and the average ticket costs $20 (I totally forget how much nonstudent tickets are, but I’ll use a nice round number for simplicity) and that equals $60,000. From ticket costs, the AD would then make $70,000, 1/7 of which is from student ticket sales. That’s a sizable percentage to just drop from the equation should student tix be free. They would need/want a different source of revenue to replace it - maybe an increased sale in nonstudent tickets could be that source.


#13
[quote="mjg, post:11, topic:1411"]A few questions:

How much do non students pay for tickets? How much are student tickets? What percentage of seats are reserved for students?

Given those answers, how much extra would a non student ticket have to cost to offset the student section being free?[/quote]
Single-game student tickets are $5 each. There are over 1,000 courtside student seats, sudent seats behind each basket, and then overflow student/general tickets in the upper bowl.

For students to get free tickets, we would first need to have more non-students at the games. It costs the athletic department 5 figures to rent out the BJC for a hoops game. Figure in an average of 2000 student tickets sold, $5 each, and there is the basic $10,000. If, for our noncon schedule, we have 3000 nonstudent fans in attendance and the average ticket costs $20 (I totally forget how much nonstudent tickets are, but I’ll use a nice round number for simplicity) and that equals $60,000. From ticket costs, the AD would then make $70,000, 1/7 of which is from student ticket sales. That’s a sizable percentage to just drop from the equation should student tix be free. They would need/want a different source of revenue to replace it - maybe an increased sale in nonstudent tickets could be that source.

That’s a fairly short-sighted way of looking at it, imo.

By getting more bodies in the building (offering free student tickets), you lose that very small bit of revenue that you were previously getting but you stand the chance to offer a better atmosphere that could potentially draw in more non-students, not to mention perhaps create a better environment for the team that could help win us some more games (which also draws in more non-students and students alike).

There’s a self-fulfilling prophecy type thing in there somewhere… an if you build it, they will come type of faith necessary.

At the very most, you’re risking losing that initial 10k sure - but this is a pretty small number in the grand scheme of things. Not a huge risk when you consider the potential gains from making the basketball program more accessible on campus.


#14
[quote="mjg, post:11, topic:1411"]A few questions:

How much do non students pay for tickets? How much are student tickets? What percentage of seats are reserved for students?

Given those answers, how much extra would a non student ticket have to cost to offset the student section being free?[/quote]
Single-game student tickets are $5 each. There are over 1,000 courtside student seats, sudent seats behind each basket, and then overflow student/general tickets in the upper bowl.

For students to get free tickets, we would first need to have more non-students at the games. It costs the athletic department 5 figures to rent out the BJC for a hoops game. Figure in an average of 2000 student tickets sold, $5 each, and there is the basic $10,000. If, for our noncon schedule, we have 3000 nonstudent fans in attendance and the average ticket costs $20 (I totally forget how much nonstudent tickets are, but I’ll use a nice round number for simplicity) and that equals $60,000. From ticket costs, the AD would then make $70,000, 1/7 of which is from student ticket sales. That’s a sizable percentage to just drop from the equation should student tix be free. They would need/want a different source of revenue to replace it - maybe an increased sale in nonstudent tickets could be that source.

That’s a fairly short-sighted way of looking at it, imo.

By getting more bodies in the building (offering free student tickets), you lose that very small bit of revenue that you were previously getting but you stand the chance to offer a better atmosphere that could potentially draw in more non-students, not to mention perhaps create a better environment for the team that could help win us some more games (which also draws in more non-students and students alike).

There’s a self-fulfilling prophecy type thing in there somewhere… an if you build it, they will come type of faith necessary.

At the very most, you’re risking losing that initial 10k sure - but this is a pretty small number in the grand scheme of things. Not a huge risk when you consider the potential gains from making the basketball program more accessible on campus.

The reason I asked is because for me, the difference between paying $15 and $17 won’t stop me from going to a game. And the same can probably be said for almost every other non student. However, for a student, the difference between $5 and free could make a big difference. Not only that, but can’t they make up a chunk of the difference in hot dog sales too? Although I heard the athletic department doesn’t get the hot dog revenue. So maybe that doesn’t matter.


#15

[quote=“tundra, post:10, topic:1411”]PSU athletic “donorship” has to be close to the top of all schools.

NO good reason to charge the students ANYTHING while we are trying to try to built a team.

But,honestly…it does not appear we are trying very hard! So… [/quote]

It quite possibly is near the top but there’s also a good possibility that Stanford IS the top. University wide, Stanford’s endowment is the third largest in the US (behind Yale and Harvard, and about ten times the size of Penn State’s). For the last four years running, Stanford has led the country in university fund raising. Their athletic department supports 34 varsity sports which I believe is second only to Ohio State. There’s no reason to think that athletic fund raising differs much from the overall university giving. So if Stanford has to rely on private donors for kids to get free basketball tickets, I see no reason why PSU shouldn’t also.


#16
[quote="WishCurleyCared17, post:6, topic:1411"]This all comes back to the fact that PSU's Athletic Dept. is self sustaining. If there was a student fee earmarked for the A.Dept. that everyone had to pay as part of admission, then (at least basketball) tickets would probably be free. But seeing that tuition is kinda ridiculous already, I'm fine with paying 50 or so dollars for season tix.[/quote]

That’s how Northwestern has implemented their “free” student tickets. All students pay a mandatory athletics event fee and get admitted to all on sporting events for no additional fee.

Does this mean huge lines to go to games?


#17

The problem with student attendance at the BJC isn’t the price of a student ticket, it’s the quality of the product on the court. Put a consistent first-division Big Ten team on the floor, and plenty of students will attend at the current student ticket price. But another losing team on the floor, and you won’t be able to give away student tickets. Michigan State charges $183 for a MBB student season ticket, and I don’t see empty seats in the the Izzone at the Breslin Center.

Marketing the MBB program is certainly important, but no marketing plan succeeds like winning.

I suspect that getting a donor to underwrite student BB tickets is not very high on the Athletic Department’s fund-raising priority list right now. For one, Joe Battista is out there shilling for another $10 million for our 30th and 31st varsity sports, remember?


#18

[quote=“Evan Ceg, post:17, topic:1411”]The problem with student attendance at the BJC isn’t the price of a student ticket, it’s the quality of the product on the court. Put a consistent first-division Big Ten team on the floor, and plenty of students will attend at the current student ticket price. But another losing team on the floor, and you won’t be able to give away student tickets. Michigan State charges $183 for a MBB student season ticket, and I don’t see empty seats in the the Izzone at the Breslin Center.

Marketing the MBB program is certainly important, but no marketing plan succeeds like winning.

I suspect that getting a donor to underwrite student BB tickets is not very high on the Athletic Department’s fund-raising priority list right now. For one, Joe Battista is out there shilling for another $10 million for our 30th and 31st varsity sports, remember? [/quote]

OK, Evan…I hear ya. BUT what do you do when you DON’T win…NOTHING ?? ??? ??? ??? ???

If you haven’t noticed we DON’T win A LOT.
IF IF IF you DON’t WIN…YOU market HARDER!!
PSU athletic department is one of the very RICHEST in the nation. I have heard PSU was TOP 3 in the country. The money is there. The AD can just redirect it!
IT CAN be done. IT CAN to done.
By the way Duquesne is having a Fan Fest. Are we?? Are we having a Blue/White game?? Open practice to all students? Midnight madness??
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10293/1096931-135.stm
~itt is having a FREE Blue/Gold Game that is televised!

The coach is responsible!! He may NOT be able to authorized the “free ticket” money BUT he can try!! He can publically fund raise. He can TRY to change this LOSING BLACK CURTAIN formula!! He can also promote in any (or all) of the ways mentioned above!! He can TRY!!


#19

Yes. You’ve ran the gauntlet of the circular cycle of PSU basketball. That logic of “you can only get sellouts when you are good” is one way of looking at it. Sounds perfectly logical. But what has happened is this thinking has prevented us from getting sellouts.

Every team responds to playing in a big sellout environment differently. Some teams relish it and win close games at home with in a packed house. Other teams actually seem to play better in a half-filled arena. it may seem crazy, but i’ve seen it. The team may have to have a few games early in the year when the BJC is half full. If those early games could even be 3/4 full, that would make a huge difference.

I think for the real fans who appreciated sports, it is about success, but it’s also about going to a game and winning it. Even if it’s a matchup against a team from a small conference, if you go to that game and PSU wins, it’s probably a good way to spend $1 or $5. A movie would cost more and may not even be as exciting or as satisfying. One of the keys to this season is obviously the non conference. The biggest game is Maryland. If we win that, we can probably lose 1 or 2 other non conference games and be okay, but it would be great if we tried to go undefeated in non conference or just 1 loss.

The reason why I bring all this up is to the quoted text. If the fans come, it’s possible that the team can win close games at home. Maybe if the arena is 3/4 full instead of 1/2 full that could be great. and maybe that could lead to a weekend conference game being a sell out instead of 3/4 full. We have a huge student body. This year, it could be the mid-week games that decide the season. The students, especially those in east halls have gotten think about gettin their friends fired up and trek the block and half down to the BJC.

That’s like comparing the Yankees to the Orioles. Michigan St is a college basketball power. Penn St is not. That’s why they can charge so much. PSU should try to think outside the box (even cut corners if we have to) to make it appear like that this season.

I think this would be the ideal season for a game at rec hall to get the season started.

The crowd was there in 08-09. Illinois at home on a Thursday was packed. we need that early and often. Could be a key to whether or not we make the tournament this year, you know, the consistency of student support. Many students complain about PSU hoops inconsistency, but only a small percentage of the student body actually go to PSU hoops. And rather then use the excuse of PSU hoops isn’t good enough to warrant going, why not this year do the right thing and just go to the games. see what happens.


#20

Good post Champ08…I hope your plea to the student body works…

BUT, management needs to help! PSU is one of the very TOP richest athletic programs in the nation. Men’s basketball is nationwide the #2 college sport. Our team needs a “kick start.” Spend a few dimes (we have it!) Promote Promote Promote Market Market Market TARGET the STUDENTS …not the 60+ year old crowd!!