Just about every Penn State fan that has flocked to Happy Valley and Beaver Stadium to see the annual Blue-White Game during its 65-year existence has done so without needing to pay a dime.
For many, that will change next year.
The university announced today that it will charge non-season-ticket owners a $20 fee to park in the lots surrounding Beaver Stadium at the 2017 spring scrimmage, which is set for April 22. Season-ticket holders who have a 2016 season parking pass will still get free-parking privileges for the spring game. The cost of using the overnight RV lot for the game will remain $60.
I’ll have much more on this in tomorrow’s editions of The Times-Tribune, Citizens Voice and all Times Shamrock publications. But, really, it comes down to a simple issue: More and more people are attending the Blue-White Game, on average, and it costs plenty of dough to make that work. Athletic director Sandy Barbour said in April that the msot recent game cost the athletic department $500,000. Outside of charging admission, this is a way to defray some of those costs — which, frankly, are fan-driven. The university said it has to spend upwards of $60,000 to clean up the outside of the stadium after a Blue-White Game, which includes more-than-usual damage to the grass parking lots due to longer gatherings of fans.