Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Penn State Football: STEP Reality Sets In As New Seats Available in January

Yesterday we finally received a letter from Penn State's Nittany Lion Club giving us our designated date and time to choose our new seats at Beaver Stadium.

Four of our season tickets in Section WA are being relocated due to the Seat Transfer and Equity Plan (STEP).   Originally we were supposed to select our new seats in November.  But then there was a letter sent to us explaining that the selection dates were pushed back to January.

The actual time window for this first phase of the seat selection process will now begin on January 7, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. and will continue through January 28, 2011 at 6:00 p.m.  According to the letter we received:

"All selection times are assigned in NLC point total order and are eligible to begin selecting every 3 minutes.  This means that the longer you take to select, the more season ticket holders with lower point totals are eligible to secure seat locations before you do."

So what does that mean for us?

The letter we received this week tells us that on January 10, at 9:27 a.m. precisely, we will have three minutes to choose our four seats before the next in line with slightly less points than us gets to pick.

So there are 3 days' worth of season ticket holders who have more points than we do and who will be able to choose ahead of us.  I estimate that's at least 500 season ticket holders and about 2000 seats that will be chosen before we get our chance.  I don't how many hours per day selection takes place so I'm assuming about 8 hours per day. 

Wow.  Getting online at my precise time sounds awfully important.  It will have to take priority over the first day of classes, when I am usually rushing around getting ready!  My husband Terry doesn't use the Internet, so it's up to me.

But at least I CAN be available at 9:27 a.m.   If it were two hours later I would be in a 75-minute class, and at least 25 other season ticket holders with less donation points than us might grab my desired seats while I teach!  It's bad enough that I have to wait for those first 500 or so to choose.

So I plan to use my cell phone time to make sure I'm in tune with the Denver atomic clock...and I need to go online to the Beaver Stadium Virtual Venue to review the inventory with Terry when it's made available to us on January 5 at 6 p.m.   So I know exactly what to ask for.

This letter also states:

"All available seats and zones have not been included in the January inventory because the majority of season ticket holders are not participating in the seat selection process until the Spring.  However, you have the option to participate in both selections, so you may see additional availability, including the Black and Green Zone seats, during the Spring phase."

Later in this letter, it is summarized this way:

"Not all available seats are offered during this initial seat selection in order to best preserve the integrity of the NLC point system; but the Spring selection may hold additional availability."

Say what?

What the heck does "preserving the integrity" mean?  Can someone explain this to me?

When STEP was unveiled, it was promised that those being relocated would have first preference for new seat selection.  But now it appears that's not entirely true.   We will have first preference for a limited number of seats.  They may or may not be good seats.

Some are being withheld, for a later selection to be held "during the Spring phase".  So if we're not satisfied with what we get in January, we can then compete with the rest of the season ticket holders and their donation point values and look at the rest of the inventory then.

So that makes me wonder, what the heck is going on here?  What are the assumptions being made of what kinds of seats the folks being relocated want to purchase?  

Penn State has no idea what I want to do, because they never asked.  They just classified us as "relocate" not "upgrade" or "retain" (which of course we couldn't do).

So Penn State doesn't yet know if we want seats in the blue section, the red section, green, or black. 

Somehow, if I don't get what I want in my first try because inventory is being "withheld" then this whole business of relocated season ticket holders having first priority in seat selection is a farce at best.

There should be some consideration for the inconvenience and irritation of being relocated beyond a guaranteed seat somewhere in the stadium. 

If I want to be able to improve my location and pay the new price for that, I should be able to do that without having to compete for it twice.   Which is exactly what we want to do.  Our current donation level should allow us to secure better seats than what we had before. 

But, I guess I will see on January 5 at 6 p.m. what they are making available in that initial round.

For those of us who no longer have seats and have been waiting to know what our new seats will be, it has been a very long wait since STEP was announced.

I just pray that there are enough good choices available initially so we don't have to go through this again!


  1. I'm seven spots behind you with a 9:47 time. I instructed my office to just block the whole morning so I am not inadvertently tied up with a patient. What a pain in the butt! I had less stress getting into medical school!

  2. Oh my! Good luck with all this. I will be anxious to compare notes with you on how this process works.

  3. Update...looks like I will be able to choose the seats I want, and they will be much better than the original seats that are being relocated. It won't cost us any more than we donated last year for these better seats.

    I will provide a more official update tomorrow night after I select our seats.