In the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic, Penn State has made the call that there will be no fans in Beaver Stadium this fall. It makes sense, really. There's a standing executive order from Gov. Tom Wolf that limits outdoor gatherings to 250 people. For football, you get close to that number with just the two teams on the field.
Sandy Barbour sent an email to season ticket holders today informing them of the decision. It left the door open for fans to attend if the pandemic eases and Wolf changes the order, but don't expect thousands of people at a Penn State football game in 2020, regardless. The athletic department had to make this call now, and it's the right one. The unfortunate side to no fans, and potentially no games, is an eight or nine-figure budget shortfall for one of the nation's largest athletic departments.
Ticket holders were given three options for the money they've already paid for the 2020 season. Fans can convert their full ticket package to a tax-deductible donation to the general athletics fund; they can roll over the full cost of tickets to be applied to the 2021 season, or they can request a full refund.
Obviously, the AD hopes everyone picks one of the first two options so at least they still have cash on hand. They've incentivized those choices by offering lots of Nittany Lion Club points, opportunities to win prizes, and priority purchasing of tickets if restrictions are eased or the season is moved.
The entire announcement can be found here.