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Could Penn State Host a 'Students Only' Game at Beaver Stadium?

Penn State offers creative approaches to a possible 2020 football season in survey of season-ticket holders.

Penn State is asking football season-ticket holders whether they would be willing to subsidize a students-only game at Beaver Stadium this season.

In a survey sent to season-ticket holders this week, Penn State's athletic department asked whether they would be willing to donate a portion of their ticket allotment to a game just for students. The question is among the most interesting in the athletic department's second survey prior to a potential 2020 football season.

Penn State Athletic Director Sandy Barbour wrote a companion letter to season-ticket holders, saying that the department continues to develop capacity limits for various home venues, including Beaver Stadium. Penn State has not announced plans for specific crowd restrictions for home sporting events.

Ohio State recently announced that it will cap attendance at 20 percent of capacity for home games at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State also announced that tailgating will not be permitted.

Penn State's latest survey asks season-ticket holders about their expectations for tailgating this season. It also seeks to gauge fans' personal comfort levels about attending games and with potential stadium protocols, including mask-wearing and distancing procedures.

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Further, the survey sought feedback regarding some creative measures to limit football attendance. Penn State asked about the students-only game ostensibly as a way to give more students an opportunity to attend at least one game. Student season-ticket sales were paused early this summer.

In addition, Penn State surveyed fans about alternate forms of engagement. The athletic department asked fans whether they would consider attending a local watch party if they can't go to Beaver Stadium.

The survey also asked whether fans would be interested in online events with the team and players. Penn State recently held a "virtual tailgate" with football players and coaches that proved popular.

Finally, the survey left open the possibility for a spring season. In asking when fans would be comfortable attending home football games, the survey suggested September, October, November, December and "Spring 2021."

Barbour said that 13,000 season-ticket holders participated in the first survey.

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