Nothing Is Sacred: Non-Season Ticket Holders Need To Pay To Park Next Blue-White Weekend
Penn State football buried some pretty bad news 17 paragraphs into a release headlined “Growing Blue-White Weekend Brings Penn State Family and Friends Together” today. Though the bulletproof headline, the tweet, and/or the first 994 words of the release didn’t mention it, non-season ticket holders will have to pay 20 dollars, cash only, to park in the Blue-White gameday lots.
Is nothing sacred? 20 dollars isn’t the end of the world and the Blue-White game is costly to the university, but it’s about the principle — the carefree nature of the Blue-White game feels a little more worrisome today.
While the new expenses suck, the worst part of this is by far the press release’s tone. Here’s an actual excerpt: “The strongest and most loyal supporters of the program — football season ticket holders with season car parking — will not see any changes with game day parking.”
Are you just scraping by with a family to feed and can’t afford football season tickets or season car parking? According to Penn State, you’re not one of the strongest or most loyal supporters of the program. Perhaps you’ve sold your soul to student loans because you love Penn State so much you attended despite the cost — You’re not a true fan.
Frankly, the sneaky nature of the announcement is demeaning. Did the athletic department just expect fans to skim through and not read the few sentences allotted to the whole point of the release?
Penn State pats itself on the back for the first 13 paragraphs of the post. To be fair, it has put in a lot of effort to preserve a cost free Blue-White weekend: It cut staff, called on more volunteers, and spends $69,000 on clean-up. It’s surely a thankless job, but bringing it all up right now before delivering a blow is glaringly phony to me and the rest of my Twitter feed:
If PSU’s offense had as much misdirection as that press release, it would beat Bama by 70 points.
— Adam Bittner (@fugimaster24) June 30, 2016
“It is the right of every Penn State fan to be able to not only attend, but tailgate the Blue and White game free of charge” – Joe Paterno
— Ben Lerman (@blerms) June 30, 2016
As sad as it is, any public relations professional knows majority of people just read the headline, not the story. It seems Penn State was trying to play its fans but it played itself. Next time just apologize for the inconvenience.
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About the Author
The changes unloaded this week in a dense email full of new directions and buried leads made an attempt to fix what was broken. But unfortunately, they do little to address what I’ve observed to be the real pain points of cramming 22,000 college students into a football stadium seven times a year.
Students, faculty, and staff should update their Windows, Mac, iPhone, and Linux devices before they return to campus.
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