Big 10

Growing Blue-White Weekend Brings Penn State Family and Friends Together

June 30, 2016

Growing attendance and higher costs primary factors that have increased expenses for spring football game, resulting in parking change for April 22, 2017 contest

June 30, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.– Anyone who has ever been on campus during Penn State’s Blue-White Weekend knows it has evolved into much more than the Nittany Lions’ spring football game.

Blue-White Weekend has emerged as Penn State’s unofficial spring reunion. In addition to all the fans who travel to Beaver Stadium to tailgate and reunite with family and friends, numerous other events take place across campus. Many academic and auxiliary units hold alumni board and development meetings, the arts and humanities are alive with activity, there are additional athletic competitions and other events on campus that help fuel large crowds for the football game.

The most recent Blue-White Weekend included the Bryce Jordan Center hosting Luke Bryan and Bruce Springsteen concerts. The day after the spring football game, an estimated 3,000 participants in the Paterno Family Beaver Stadium Run raised more than $425,000 for Special Olympics Pennsylvania.

In addition to an estimated 65,000 fans attending the Blue-White football game, the Penn State softball program saw its first two sellouts at Beard Field (1,100+) and men’s lacrosse team broke its facility attendance record with a crowd of 2,708.

“Blue-White Weekend is a tremendous illustration of the Penn State community coming together all across campus,” said Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour. “Blue-White is a great example of Athletics serving as a conduit for our Penn State family connectedness.”

During the past 10 years, attendance at the Blue-White Game has surged, with eight estimated crowds of 55,000 or more, including four throngs above 70,000. At least 65,000 fans have attended each of the three Blue-White tilts since James Franklin became the Nittany Lions’ head coach in 2014.

Penn State is steadfast in its desire to continue providing a memorable experience for fans during Blue-White Weekend and to do so with minimal expense for the Nittany Lions’ passionate and loyal alumni and fans. The 2017 Blue-White Game is set for April 22.

Successful Blue-White Game Entails 650 Staff and Expenses Above $500,000
For the vast majority of the 65 years the Blue-White Game has existed, there has been no admission or parking fee. With the larger crowds for the Blue-White Game, including fans who stay in the parking lots all day, and rising expenses, Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics’ annually spends in excess of $500,000 to ensure an enjoyable, safe and successful game day. Facility preparations, security, traffic/parking, game day staffing and portable lighting and toilets are among the areas of greatest expense.

More than 650 Athletics staff members, law enforcement and Blue-White game day staff are in or around Beaver Stadium from early in the morning until the early evening to assist Nittany Nation. In addition to members of the Penn State Football staff, the 650-plus Blue-White Game operations staff includes full-time staff, interns, game day staff and volunteers from the following units:

In an effort to reduce expenses this year, gameday staffing was reduced from approximately 700 to just above 650, while still maintaining proper security and operational functions.

Blue-White Preparations Exceed 3,000 Hours
The cumulative amount of time spent by University and Intercollegiate Athletics’ staff preparing for the Blue-White Game exceeds 3,000 hours, a figure that doesn’t include any of the hours logged by the approximately 650 game day personnel.

Blue-White operations and expenses continue after game day. The day after the scrimmage, all of the trash and recycling that has accumulated in the game day and overnight RV parking lots must be picked up and hauled away, followed shortly thereafter by clean-up inside the stadium.

The vast majority of parking lots are in worse condition after the Blue-White Game than they are following a regular season contest due to the extended gatherings and numerous large groups in the lots. Athletics spends nearly $60,000 for clean-up outside the Beaver Stadium after the Blue-White Game and approximately $9,000 for clean-up inside the stadium.

Car Parking Change at 2017 Blue-White Game to Address Portion of Expenses; No Changes for Season Ticket Holders With Season Parking
In order to help meet some of the expenses associated with the Blue-White Game, changes will be implemented for the 2017 contest:

More information about the 2017 Blue-White Game will be distributed following the upcoming season.

Fans with questions about the parking changes for the 2017 Blue-White Game can call 1-800-NITTANY (weekdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m) or via email at golions@psu.edu. Penn State opens the 2016 campaign against Kent State at Beaver Stadium on Saturday, September 3. Season tickets for the 2016 campaign, which includes five Big Ten home games for the first time, are on sale, with nearly 3,700 new season tickets having been sold. There will not be any increase in the price of Penn State football season tickets or Nittany Lion Club donation levels for next season.

For information on joining the Nittany Lion Club and purchasing new 2016 season tickets, the Recent Graduate program (35 percent discount on season tickets) as well as club seating in Beaver Stadium, fans can visit www.PSUnrivaled.com, call 1-800-NITTANY weekdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office weekdays from 9 a.m-4:30 p.m.

DATE: April 22, 2017. Mid-afternoon kick
ADMISSION: No change – No admission fee
SEASON TICKET HOLDERS WITH SEASON CAR PARKING: No change – Will receive a 2017 B-W parking permit this summer
SEASON TICKET HOLDERS WITH SEASON RV PARKING: No change – Will receive a 2017 B-W parking permit this summer
OVERNIGHT RV LOT: No change – $60, cash only, for all fans arriving Friday
NON-SEASON TICKET HOLDERS: $20, cash only, for car or RV parking at Blue-White gameday lots
BUYING A B-W PARKING PERMIT: Details will be announced in January, 2017