The Father Son Chats

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Penn State Ticketing Policy – The Baby Update

September 12th, 2007

by Steve

· 1 Comment · Football, Penn State

I (Dad) have been in correspondence with the parents of the little 8 month old. They did indeed pursue the ticketing issue. According to Tim Curley at Penn State, in his email with Stefani, the mother of the child,

All children regadless (sic) of age must have a ticket. Thanks for checking.

The mother then asked a follow-up question via email:

That includes infants are too young to sit on bleachers by themselves, that must sit on a parent’s lap? I imagine the PSU policy would be like the airlines’ policy requiring tickets for children 2 and over

To which Mr Curley replied:

The Big Ten has a policy that all children of any age must have a ticket and we must follow this policy.

Mr Curley apparently declined further comment when asked by Stefani if Penn State has challenged this policy in any way.

It turns out the policy is announced outside the stadium. If you are outside you will hear that “Big Ten policy requires that all fans entering the stadium must have a ticket.” I believe it to be a stretch to assume an 8 month old is actually a “fan” of any team, but I understand they were using that as a euphemism to mean “no one enters without proper credentials.”

Here’s the beef: This isn’t a very common occurrence. I doubt there is much pent-up demand for people bringing babies to football games. But there are instances when a young family, having purchased two tickets, and made all the other arrangements to attend a football game, would like to bring their child along. Perhaps they cannot afford a babysitter, or they came from out of town, and don’t have anyone in State College who could watch their child.

Why should they then have to spend another $50, especially if they won’t actually be using the seat? And of course, given the fact that the stadium is so often sold-out, what are the chances that they will be able to buy three tickets?

And here lies the other problem: A baby that has a ticket for a sold-out game is one more seat that cannot be sold to a more vocal fan. (Remember, Joe encourages the fans to allow our excitement to bubble over as the opposing quarterback steps up to the line…) We shouldn’t deny the young parents the opportunity to get out and enjoy a game, and we shouldn’t deny that opportunity to other fans.

In this case, the child was too small to walk, and was “mounted” to the father’s chest with a baby carrier. I can’t imagine the child being a nuisance, or a hazard.

So we are left with a couple questions–and these are pointed directly at Penn State and the Big 10:

  • What justification does the Big 10 have for this policy?
  • Even more to the point, would Penn State be willing to challenge this policy?
  • Why shouldn’t Penn State challenge this policy?

So there you have it–the Baby Update.

If you support changing this policy, email your comments directly to Tim Curley, at

Whether you do, or don’t, let us know what YOU think. Post your comments, or call our voicemail, and leave a comment there–we just might include YOU in our next podcast!


1 response so far ↓

  • 1 mrg159 // Nov 2, 2007 at 11:26 am

    Well I have taken my son at both 6 months and 8 months to the game. The first time we were unaware of the rule and were stopped by the ticket taker. Thankfully there were so many people entering that she couldn’t follow through with her request for us to get him a ticket. We walked up to the closest police officer and told him we didn’t have a ticket for our son. He walked us around the corner like we were going to get a formal reprimand and he told us to enjoy the game with a wink. The second time we were’t even asked for his ticket and we did have one. Go figure. I guess it depends on who you hand your tickets to. And seriously, my son and I both don’t take up as much room as the very heavy man that sits next to us taking up his and my numer. Are they going to require heavy people to buy 2 tickets like the airlines?

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