When the clock struck 6:45 a.m. on Thursday, Penn State student Fernando Siqueira anxiously waited to be placed in the football student ticket queue on the Ticketmaster website.
Little did Siqueira (sophomore-business management) know, the news he received would ruin the rest of his day.
Siqueira said the process for buying tickets wasn’t “difficult,” but it was frustrating. After seeing the infographic Penn State Athletics posted on its website, he said he felt confident with the simplicity of ticket sales.
When it was his turn to buy the tickets, Siqueira said his screen refreshed automatically, and he was forced to reenter the queue.
“I got juked out by Ticketmaster twice,” Siqueira said.
While trying to enter the queue again, Siqueira said his roommate told him the tickets were sold out.
“It’s unfortunate that many kids don’t get tickets,” Siqueira said, “but I guess that’s how TIcketmaster works.”
Initially, Siqueira said he was shocked he did not get the chance to buy tickets.
“I didn’t understand what people meant by — ‘Oh, I hope I get my tickets’ — until it happened to me,” Siqueira said.
Although he doesn’t attend University Park, Siqueira said he was planning to drive from Penn State Altoona to go to the White Out against Auburn as an early birthday present.
Siqueira said he checked Facebook groups, hoping someone was selling their White Out ticket, and someone almost scammed him.
With the stress put on Penn State students during ticket sales, Siqueira said Penn State should continue looking into different solutions that would allow more students into Beaver Stadium.
“I feel like the school already has a responsibility to make it so that tickets are equitable to all students,” Siqueira said. “When you have the second-largest stadium in the Western Hemisphere, I feel like you can cram a few more [students] in there.”
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Siqueira said he believes Penn State should look into selling a second round of student tickets. He said the tickets could be slightly more expensive, and the seats could be worse, but at least Penn State students would be surrounded by their peers.
“This wouldn’t be what the football program is about if it isn’t for the students,” Siqueira said.
Miranda Schiavone said her final ticket purchase experience did not go as planned.
After logging in at 6:45 a.m., Schiavone (senior-mathematics and economics) said she was number 1,804 in line — she was relieved to see she was so high in the queue.
Despite having two laptops and her brother with her that morning, Schiavone said she failed to get tickets.
“I did everything I was supposed to,” Schiavone said. “By the time I could get into the queue for the seventh time, the tickets were already sold out.”
As Schiavone waited, Ticketmaster sent her several error messages, which forced her to reload the page, pushing her further back in the queue each time.
Schiavone said she began looking at Facebook to see whether other students were having similar problems and if students were selling their tickets.
She found that other students were selling the tickets they received for hundreds of dollars more, which she called “taking advantage of people.”
“People can do whatever they want, but it’s honestly rude,” Schiavone said. “I saw that one kid sold his tickets for over [$2,000].”
The initial price for a full package of student season tickets was $239, and Penn State allotted more than 21,000 student tickets total for undergraduate and graduate students.
Although Schiavone said she doesn’t blame Penn State for the issues she and many of her friends had during ticket sales, she said she wished the university would’ve done more for its students.
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“Penn State should be putting forth some extra effort to make sure the system is working for the faithful students who are waking up at the crack of dawn and are diehard Nittanyville fans,” Schiavone said.
Schiavone said she was upset the university seemed to ignore issues students were having.
“All it looks like [the university] cares about is if the tickets sell,” Schiavone said.
As an experienced Penn State football ticket purchaser, Spencer Burns said he found that ticket purchases depend on “how lucky you got with your internet and your connection.”
Rather than logging onto Ticketmaster early on Tuesday morning, Burns (senior-data science) said he’s waiting until closer to the games to buy tickets, but he watched the chaos of the morning through Facebook.
Burns said each of his friends who tried to buy tickets told him the website crashed.
“I figured there would be so many people that the server would be overloaded and a lot more people would be screwed,” Burns said.
However, Burns said he disagreed with the prices some students were reselling tickets for.
“Some of the people that did get a chance to actually buy the tickets are now scamming people out of hundreds of dollars,” Burns said.
While Burns said he understands reselling tickets is a “quick, easy” way to make money, he said he believes people who want to actually support Penn State won’t get the chance to.
“Penn State already limits the amount of tickets for each class anyway,” Burns said. “When you have people who actually want to go to the games and support Penn State football, their spots are taken.”
Burns said he feels bad for younger or inexperienced football ticket holders because he said they’re the ones targeted by the overpriced sellers.
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“It’s very brutal, and the sad part is that some people are going to take the bait,” Burns said. “I wish the process was more fair. There should be a way to let the true fans get access to tickets first.”
Freshman Emilia Kulak and her roommate Ella Vinciguerra said they were intimidated by the Facebook posts and rumors of people not getting tickets.
“It was nerve-racking,” Kulak (freshman-marketing) said. “I heard a lot of people weren’t able to get them this year.”
Although Kulak and Vinciguerra (freshman-marketing) said they managed to get tickets, they said the process “scared” them in some ways — like seeing how many people were in line ahead of them.
“All we could think about was what if we didn’t get the tickets,” Kulak said.
Kulak and Vinciguerra said they still tuned in to see how much people were selling tickets for.
“If I wasn’t able to get tickets, I would buy a ticket either the day of [the game] or find a cheaper ticket,” Vinciguerra said. “I know students would sell them, too, but I wouldn’t buy the resold student section tickets.”
Vinciguerra said she even heard a few people offering to trade their tickets to live in renovated East Halls dorms.
Kate Wilson said she wasn’t as lucky with buying tickets.
After making it to number 183 in the queue, Wilson (junior-biobehavioral health) said she received an unfortunate message from Ticketmaster asking her to reload the page.
With some hope left in her, Wilson tried once more to see if she could get back in the queue.
“At that point, I knew the tickets had sold out, but I was still waiting,” Wilson said.
Wilson said she tried getting younger students who weren’t planning on buying tickets for themselves to buy them and transfer the tickets to her.
“I [was] nervous all week,” Wilson said. “I had this gut feeling that I wasn’t going to get tickets.”
Although Wilson said she has been unsuccessful with finding tickets so far, she said her dedication to Penn State football won’t let her down.
“I will be doing everything in my power to try to get Penn State football tickets.”
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