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Breaking Down Penn State Football’s New Digital Student Ticket Process

Less than three weeks before the first game of the season, Penn State Athletics finally provided some clarity about how student tickets will work under its new digital process, which was announced earlier this year.

Aside from a handful of procedural changes due to tickets going digital, the biggest announcement was that guest student section tickets would no longer be offered.

Here’s the rundown on what you should know before making the trip up University Drive for the first tailgate and kickoff of the season.

What You Need To Do

Not much seems to be different about the process of physically getting into the game. You’ll still need your ID, but instead of swiping it at the turnstile, you’ll scan your phone. The biggest thing to take care of is to make sure you’re prepared with the Student Account Manager and app.

  1. If for some reason you haven’t already (You needed to do so in order to buy season tickets.), log into your Student Account Manager account. You don’t need to make one, because each Penn State student already has one. Click “Forgot Your Password?” and follow the remaining steps to set it up.
  2. Download the Penn State Athletics App. This is where your ticket is located and what you’ll need to have open to scan. You’ll log in with your Student Account Manager credentials.
  3. If you have an iPhone, add your ticket to your Apple Wallet.
  4. Bring your Penn State ID and try to keep your phone charged.

The Athletics app is where you can buy, sell, or transfer your tickets. It replaces the Student Ticket Exchange, where every ticket for sale was listed and where students could purchase from anonymously. Now, you’ll need to track down a person to sell to.

This was already pretty popular since prices on the Exchange were capped at $60 and many greedy entrepreneurial students jacked up prices for games like the White Out. Some even turned a profit off of season tickets by selling one game for hundreds of dollars. As a result, 77 percent of secondary ticket transactions were made via transfers and not on the Exchange, according to Athletics.

Class Facebook pages are a great place to look for tickets for sale. You can begin wheeling and dealing tickets August 21 when students will be able to manage their tickets and view their digital barcodes.

What Happens When Your Phone Dies? 

If a Penn State student says their phone has never died before a football game, they’re either lying or have never been inside Beaver Stadium.

This inevitable dilemma was the biggest question surrounding Penn State’s transition to digital student tickets. Unsurprisingly, there is a workaround in place to compensate for the price of spending your whole day tailgating in the cell service wasteland of the Beaver Stadium lots.

If your phone dies, you’ll show your student ID at the Gate A entry lanes like usual, so you can be sure to still sit with your friends — although most likely, their phones are also dead.

When you reach the ticket scanners, you’ll be redirected to the Resolution Booth, where you’ll show your ID again in order to confirm you have a valid ticket, which you’ll then be given. The steps outlined by Athletics didn’t provide explicit guidelines for how you can ensure to be assigned to the same section as your friends.

Penn State football said in a statement last week that it’s exploring potential charging station solutions for Beaver Stadium, but doesn’t have plans for installing any this season.

**Important** You MUST accept the ticket after it is transferred to you. If you don’t do this prior to four hours before kickoff, your ticket will be returned to the sender.

Don’t Screenshot Your Barcode

Although it seems like a good idea to screenshot your ticket so you don’t need to rely on the spotty signal that plagues Gate A when 22,000 students agree to “meet up at the big rock and look for the person wearing white,” don’t bother. Doing so won’t help you out, because the barcodes are encrypted and change dynamically.

Instead, add the ticket to your phone’s wallet while you still have service. You should be able to do this for each game after August 21.

How To Enjoy A Game With A Non-Student

For this season, at least, guest tickets won’t be offered in the student section.

Instead, if you have a significant other, friend, or sibling visiting you on a football weekend, you can purchase up to two discounted tickets, which are located throughout Beaver Stadium and not in the student section.

Tickets will go for between $30 and $50 and must be purchased in person at the Bryce Jordan Center Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. No guest tickets will be sold for Pitt or Michigan.

Yeah, that’s right. Pretty much everything has changed with guest tickets, except the worst part about buying guest tickets.

The Good News: You Still Get A Paper Ticket

I still have my soggy, ripped ticket from the 2016 White Out in a plastic bag along with all the other tickets from my freshman year and the handful of grass I took after storming the field after that magical night. Although there’s been plenty of changes, they’ve yet to take away these special mementos.

Here’s hoping to more games worthy of saving tickets and storming the field.

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About the Author

Anthony Colucci

Anthony Colucci is Onward State’s managing editor, a preferred walk-on honors student, and a senior majoring in psychology and public relations. Despite being from the make-believe land of Central Jersey, he was never a Rutgers fan. If you ever want to know how good Saquon Barkley's ball security is, ask Anthony what happened when he tried to force a fumble at the Mifflin Streak. If you want to hear the story or are bored and want to share prequel memes, follow @_anthonycolucci on Twitter or email him at [email protected] All other requests and complaints should be directed to Onward State media contact emeritus Steve Connelly.

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