by Ted Hozza (Update by Kevin Horne)
Another change is coming to the game day experience at Penn State. The Blue Band announced on its Twitter account today that Penn State Athletics decided to cancel the popular Tailgreat show, which acted as a pep rally prior to home football games in the Bryce Jordan Center.
We are disappointed to confirm that the @PSUBlueBand Tailgreat Show will no longer be a part of Penn State’s football gameday experience.
— Penn State Blue Band (@PSUBlueBand) August 19, 2014
No reason for the change has been made public.
One of game day’s favorite traditions, the event featured the Blue Band, cheerleaders, and Lionettes in a pep rally atmosphere. Often including the visiting team’s band, Tailgreat was a way for the Blue Band to showcase its performances and to get the crowd ready for the day’s game. The event also included activities for children on the concourse level of the BJC along with appearances by the Nittany Lion.
Blue Band supporters have already taken to Twitter to voice their displeasure, with Blue Band President Stephen Payne tweeting:
— Stephen (@paynepsu) August 19, 2014
Alumni members have also used the medium to attempt to convince the athletic department to reverse their decision:
— Mark P. (@map408psu) August 19, 2014
We’ll update this post if and when Penn State athletics responds to a request for comment on the change.
UPDATE 3:48 p.m. — A Blue Band source tells us that the reason for this cut given by the Athletic Department was primarily financial. Tailgreat costs approximately $70,000 to put on each year, most of which goes to BJC staffing and rental, and the Athletic Department decided that this cost was too great. This comes just days after the Athletic Department purchased more than 800 iPads for student athletes, which, even conservatively at $300 each (much less than retail), still runs more than three times what Tailgreat cost.
The source also indicated that the Athletic Department says it’s working on a “new event” for the Blue Band to participate in during the pregame hours.
Either way, it’s not a good look for the Athletic Department during AD Sandy Barbour’s first week. Many Blue Band parents have taken to our comment section with their displeasure, stating that because of rising football ticket costs, Tailgreat was the only opportunity for them to see their son or daughter perform.