Originally posted on Pitt Blather  |  Last updated 8/25/12

Over the years, Pitt fans have taken a fair share of (mostly deserved) abuse for the number of empty seats at the football games. Especially from Penn State fans who love to stress that they support their team no matter what. Well, after all that has happened, it seems that there might be a bit more of a struggle to sell tickets this year. Starting with that season opener to honor “the legends who stayed.”

To the point where for the first time ever/decades/years — no one is exactly sure — Penn State is offering discount tickets to Penn State employees. But of course, it isn’t because the tickets aren’t selling. No, no, nooooo. It’s to recognize and thank the employees in these recent times of turmoil.

Penn State spokeswoman Jill Shockey said there are about 10,000 seats still available for the game. Of those, about 3,500 have been set aside for employees.

“If more tickets need to be made available for the employee appreciation offer, Athletics has said they will address that,” Shockey said in an email.

Penn State’s Office of Human Resources and department of athletics are offering the ticket deal. The university’s retirement plan partner, TIAA-CREF, is supporting concession vouchers and giving the first 1,000 employees with IDs at the upper concourse behind the NA or NL sections a special gift.

The deal is 2 tickets for $79 plus $20 in concession vouchers.

A friend of mine forwarded the e-mail (he’s married to a PSU employee).

If you want to read the actual e-mail, it is below the fold.

From: “Susan Basso, Associate Vice President for Human Resources”
Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2012 3:27:02 PM
Subject: Employee appreciation event offers special ticket rate to Sept. 1 game

Employee appreciation event offers special ticket rate to Sept. 1 game

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s Office of Human Resources and Intercollegiate Athletics have partnered for a special employee appreciation opportunity. To thank employees for their dedication during the last several months, all full-time University faculty and staff will be eligible for a limited-availability, specially priced package of two game tickets and two accompanying $10 concession vouchers to the Sept. 1 football game versus Ohio University at Beaver Stadium.

“The commitment and resolve of our faculty and staff have been tremendous during the most challenging of times, and we want to say thank you,” said Susan Basso, associate vice president for Human Resources. “Through the generous support of Penn State Human Resources’ retirement-plan partner TIAA-CREF, we are able to extend this offer to employees to come out and support our student-athletes during their first game of this very special season.”

Beginning 8 a.m. Monday (Aug. 27), any full-time employee with a valid University I.D. card will be eligible to purchase the opening game package for the employee appreciation price of $79.

The employee appreciation sale will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis and will conclude at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, or when tickets are no longer available. Specially priced tickets will not be sold to employees prior to 8 a.m. Monday.

Full-time employees may call 1-800-NITTANY to secure the ticket package by credit card. Employees will be required to verify their employment status using their employee I.D. card number at the time of purchase. All employees also are able to purchase $10 advance parking permits for the game at that time.

Employees also may purchase their ticket packages in person, as work schedules permit, at the outside windows of the Beaver Stadium Ticket Office (adjacent to Gate E) during the promotional period, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Aug. 27-29. Those wishing to purchase tickets in person will be required to show their Penn State I.D. card at the time of purchase.
University Park employees who order by phone must pick up their ticket packages and parking permits in person by 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, no exceptions, please.

Non-University Park employees will pick up their tickets at the Beaver Stadium will call window on game day and also will have the option of paying for express mail service to receive the ticket package and parking permit by Friday, Aug. 31. The parking permit must be displayed in vehicles approaching parking lots on game day.

Parking permits not purchased in advance will cost $40.

The first 1,000 faculty and staff employees who attend the game Sept. 1 and show their Penn State I.D. to Human Resources staff on the upper concourse behind either Section NA or NL will receive a special gift from TIAA-CREF.

A limited number of season tickets also remain available for full-time University faculty and staff in the Red or Blue seating zones of Beaver Stadium at 50 percent of the Nittany Lion Club published giving levels. Information on remaining ticket locations is also available by calling 1-800-NITTANY. Employee season tickets are reserved seating locations for all home games.

For complete game day information, including stadium seating diagrams, driving directions, parking lot layout and other details, visit http://www.GoPSUsports.com.

Click here for a special message from members of this year’s football team.

Even season ticket packages in the endzone being sold at clearance prices. It is definitely a new world in Happy Valley.

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