PSA: Pitt’s Fan Committee Input

TenzaRich Tenza (Richman) has asked if I would help gathering input for his submittal to Pitt’s Panther Fan’s Experience Committee of which he is a new member.   Here it is.

Please flesh out your ideas in the comments section and try to be as detailed as possible. Rich will then compile them and present them to the committee.

182 thoughts on “PSA: Pitt’s Fan Committee Input

  1. I attended the Carolina game bringing Carolina fans with me and flew up on a plane full of Carolina fans. Everyone from Carolina who attended the game loved what the City of Pittsburgh had to offer from site-seeing to eateries, the University and our unique architecture, a casino, museums. They were impressed by Pittsburgh hospitality.I could go on and on.

    Maybe Pitt could work out a plan to increase ticket sales to the visiting fans. There is so much to love about our City and University.

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  2. Hey Rich, I see Mike Kiley is on the committee. Have you got to know him? He’s a real funny guy. << in a good way. Mike and my son were good buddies. Tell him I said hello. Thinking of some ways to improve the game day feel… ike

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  3. Thanks BigB that is what i need,…basically one thing you feel that is most important that they can improve on. Leaving out the obvious one like winning more.

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  4. We need to create more younger fans!! Boy Scout day, Girl Scout day, in uniform, youth football day wearing their team shirts, father son day, family day! Special Reduced price to fill those empty seats and create future fans! Recognition on the field? Line them up when the Panthers come out into the field!!! Promote Pickett! There’s buzz in the stadium every time he touches the ball!! More and more older fans have trouble walking to the stadium from their parking and tailgating areas! Maybe some shuttles!

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    1. Great ideas, Slugger. How about we add Service members, veterans, Emergency responders, police, nurses, etc? High school cheerleaders also would be a good idea in warm weather.

      H2P

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  5. It will be extremely difficult for Pitt to develope a program that fills Heinz Field week after week. (the “immaculate reception” game was not televised in Pittsburgh because three rivers wasn’t even sold out for a playoff game. It took a number of Super Bowls to generate the sell outs the Steelers have today) Idealy, Pitt should build a on,or near, campus facility that could offer the students,alumni,fans and players a “college game day”experience. If that can’t happen, they should at least sell the lower level seats at Heinz Field first and not even make the upper deck an option until the lower level is filled. Nothing looks rinky dink like a half empty stadium.

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  6. The main thing is to reduce capacity. Come up with a number 40, 42,45 whatever it is and stick to it.
    When PSU is here leave it at the number above. Do not sell more tickets because you can for 1 or 2 dates.
    Create demand.
    sell single game tix to psu etc. At 42,000 capacity will not be much left.
    paint half the seats Panther blue tv camera side
    move students to middle.

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  7. assume this has been discussed, but my guess is the TV/Broadcast infrastructure can’t be moved so why not flip the home team to the opposite side along with the band and the student section for better tv optics? Not everyone is a tarp fan but if done well it has to be an option in the short term. And…..a bunch of noon start games hurts game day to some extent.

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    1. Assuming the TV infrastructure can’t change and that the team sides need to remain as is:

      Tarp the upper north end zone for sure. Tarp the upper stands on the opposite side of the Pitt bench.

      Move the students directly behind the goal posts on the same end of the field. Move the band to the other side of the students to the right of the goal posts (as facing posts). Then the students and the band can be clearly heard the length of the stadium. The students can affect the opposing team at that end of the field, especially opposing kickers. Plus all can be seen from the cameras.

      Put a full size Pitt logo at midfield. Put Pitt (not Pittsburgh) in the north end zone and Panthers in the south end zone.

      Kill the relentless loud music and strike up the band.

      I don’t know why, but some of the silly things they were doing with the players on the big board earlier this season were kind of fun. Plus it allowed you to see that the players are interesting, funny people (i.e. human).

      Turn it into a real place for college football fan interest. Consistently show highlights of other games, especially ACC, PSU and WVU games. Do a better job of a rolling scoreboard for ongoing games. Those scoreboards in the corners are difficult to locate for some reason and only display one score at a time. It’s also seems pointless to continuously roll scores of games that ended on Friday night.

      Noon starts can be difficult for some, but I suspect it would be little different if they had 3:30 starts. I assume there is a reason that people start leaving during the 3rd quarter even with a noon kick.

      While I understand the reasons for it, I grow a bit weary of all of the on field presentations during the game breaks. I haven’t attended basketball games since Barnes told me to take a hike, but I don’t recall presentations at nearly every break in the action. It kind of breaks up buzz that might be building.

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  8. I know so much of this stuff is out of PITT’s hands but why does PITT always play the day after Thanksgiving when the students are out of town?

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    1. It’s been a tradition going back to the ’60’s when we played Penn State every year. You will notice a lot of intra state rivalry games that week. The students are also away on Saturday if they left to go home out of state.

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  9. Kman.. I 2nd the idea of selling single game seat to PSU fans who become no shows for the rest of the season. Then they use our 1/2 empty stadium as a recruiting tool against us when they have rented the majority of the yellow seats for the season…

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  10. Ghanks guy these are some good suggestions. Believe it or not many of these were discussed at my first meeting and things will be changing.

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  11. The draping of the sidelines and endzones walls this season appear to be more of the throwback yellow & blue colors, which more closely match the yellow of the seats at Heinz. I’d suggest that these “ throwback” uniforms become our our “go to” ones routinely and upgrade any future tarping or other stadium accents to feature exclusively these colors as well. They just fit better with that predominant yellow of Heinz Field. Lastly, get the “Panthers” written in the hashed marked endzone, & get the ACC logos on the field where they belong too.

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  12. Richman –

    Pissing in the wind until Pitt actually takes action it took 3 seasons to get a logo that looks semi presentable at the 50 yard line.

    Need a consistent uniform.

    Need a OCS Near Hot Metal Bridge on campus side of river.

    Cut the garbage music during game that is to loud.

    Do giveaways that have value.

    Have a ticket donation channel where you can donate your tickets if you can’t attend a game. Vs no one using them.

    Sweet Caroline has no purpose at our game. Stolen from Red Sox. Create our own sound/song.

    Do things like PSU’s white out but our own version. Something to create hype.

    It isn’t about Heather. No need to parade yourself hiving away bogus awards every game.

    Pick 3 uniforms and stick to it vs changes every 3 years.

    Fly to Bristol and purge Dinocat feom ESPN’s vault.

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  13. Steelers have been selling out their stadiums since 72. (before a super bowl) << Pittsburgh is a pro football town.

    Here’s a small way to help out…. extend the T out to Oakland. Kidding but it should go out to the biggest employer in Pittsburgh.

    Mic up the band, some say it is but they could be louder.

    Old late 70 colors.

    More money for the one sport that can actually make money instead of costing money.

    Quit saying that PITT having their own stadium is too difficult and start understanding that this is the best solution.

    More incentives for the students to go to the games..

    Alright, bunch of ides and none not really original.

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    1. I was at the Immaculate Reception game and it was not sold out. I got to the stadium with my brother & dad the Monday before the game when tickets went on sale. We got there around 10:00 AM and the line to the ticket window was short. We got tickets to both playoff games.

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  14. Agree Ike. Go to the old colors and have a home and away uniform. That is it. No other junk. Part of the lack of followingbis their is no identity. The new uniforms stink and so does color. Pumpkin Head was behind that and that atrocious uniform unveiling.

    How great would it be to go 5-10 years with that uniform. People would learn who Pitt is and identify easily. Now is it Navy? Akron? Pitt? GT?

    Only team Blue and Yellow is Southern and that school Unibrow went to when he left Pitt. Deleware?

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    1. 100% agree with Upittbaseball. (Can’t believe I just said that) Just moved to Charlotte and when I see Pitt on TV I see no instant recognition that the team playing is Pitt. Need to drive national (and local) uniform identity. Even Penn State with their plain blue & white uniforms
      people know who is playing.

      Richman – Ask the question – is there a fear of revenue loss from the uniform companies? IMO there could be a short term loss but a greater long term gain.

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  15. Large scale: Put an artificial surface in Heinz Field. This will allow for full Pitt/ACC signage on the field including our colors.
    Medium scale: Officially change the Pitt colors to the current version of the throwback uniform. When you see that uni on the field or the TV you know it is Pitt.
    Small scale: Stop blasting that annoying loud music all game long and let the Pitt band play through most of those sessions.

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    1. We’ve been talking about the gross canned pumped in urban music since they moved to Ketchup Bottle.

      It’s almost like they TRY to make it the worst game experience they can. Maybe they have a Pedder in charge of the stadium ambiance during games.

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  16. Right, I don’t mind loud music at all. I just don’t like the music they play. College football music that encourages fan participation. Which basically is Sweet Caroline as one example. I see almost the entire stadium up and singing along. Isn’t that the point? I also like the panther growling. I’m different I guess? Unite the generations.

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    1. It is like koombyya let’s hold hands and kiss by the fire and talk about when we were young. Nothing to create football smash mouth.

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  17. Man Upitt, we think the same.

    Brand – Pick the right colors and stick to it. Mustard and blue, whatever. Those are our colors and Cal is starting to use them. We need to be recognizable right away. OCS- gotta address it. It’s doable. Our media relations is terrible. Pick an outlet and sell them, whether it’s radio or tv. There should be a Pitt football, BBall, wbb, volleyball, wrestling story EVERY night on the news! Anything less, is failure.

    Scheduling – Pitt season tickets have been about the same for 400 years. Schedule OOC easier to create a buzz. 3 cupcakes and a tough game. In a year where things align and we upset a tough team, we are 4-0 going into ACC. The ACC schedule is tough enough to carry strength of schedule. When/if we get a consistent 9 win season, schedule 2 creampuffs, a tough game and a 50-50 game. Build a brand.

    Recruiting – Buy TV space on Sunday morning on the sunshine sports network in florida and replay the games there as well as the “Pat Narduzzi Show”. Insert coaches name there. Insert recruiting hotbed, not just fl. IF we recruit a kid from Florida and he does something great, try to get it in the kids local news. We should do that with the local yocal township news outlets…..like the Almanac/Advertiser, etc. Pitt needs to sell their athletes (all athletes) back to the places they came from. We don’t do that! WE have enough athletes, now get their stories out there. Don’t rely on their parents to do that.

    Gameday – Without an OCS, we lose the ability to have a “player walk” through campus. That is a huge miss. No battle of bands in a smaller venue to bring in band fans to campus or casual football fans. No greek life. Incentivize the students by incentivizing the professors. Professors will understand the business case for supporting athletics if they are a part of the solution. It’s like any corporation that gets behind a cause. When everyone pulls the same way, great things happen. Our administration is not good at achieving alignment. Get a rival. There is nothing better for me to hear than during week 1,2, 3, etc., of the season, when after the alma mater, Navy yells in unison, Beat Army and vice versa. Pitt should do that every game, no matter what…and say beat “Dairy”. That will drive a rivalry. Get Legislators to demand Pitt/Farmers High School play every year. Period.

    Education – Educate every student athlete on finances, agents, handlers, bookies, etc. This should be sold to the parents as part of the recruiting process.

    Why are the Fan Committee suggestions not shared? If they are shared it gives the fans the respect of being heard, versus the “I wonder if Pitt heard me response”? Look, Pitt has fumbled for the past 40 years in this department. The right people can fix the mess. Unfortunately, the right people are mostly on this blog and not in high positions within the university.

    This may sound stupid, but why don’t we donate Pitt Onesies to Magee Hospital and all hospitals to be given to newborns? They’re first pictures can be in Pitt gear. Kind of like Terrible Towels given to newborns. This could go over really well with UPMC because they share a name.

    All the other stuff is repetitive. Guys made some great suggestions and I echo most all of them.

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  18. The fan experience at the Miami game was much better than it had been before.
    Loud music wasn’t as frequently blasted. When it did play, it didn’t sound over the top loud like it usually does.

    The fans really got into that game. We even got miami to false start late in the second half because we cheered loud enough.
    The band does need to be made more audible somehow.

    I agree about the endzones. Pitt. With Script.

    New retro uniforms only. Those other colours look bad.

    The panther Pitt needs to take a walk through the crowd at some point during the game.

    I agree more Pitt throwback colours littered throughout the stadium.

    I disagree about using tarps.
    Any recruit who was at that game Friday, had a great time. We all did. We were only 36,000 and we sounded like 55,000 at times. Play big time teams and win and fans will come. That is what football is about.

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  19. @Upitt – With attendance as it is, instead of a white out, there are enough empty seats to have a :,,,,,wait for it….

    “A Write Out”. We have enough empty seats to write out in cursive PS Sucks or some other diddy that is highly inappropriate. I meant, appropriate. That would look great with an aerial shot! Use the empty seats as yellow space to highlight the cursive message. Cutting Edge!

    Engage Students!! All of them from the minute they get to campus.

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  20. It’s about the kids, (the students) imo PITT will have a tough time attendance wise for many years. There has been a gap thrust upon the football team and students. If they can’t have an on campus stadium they it must be instilled in them from the very beginning. School spirit and pride like in high school.

    The entire school teaching staff has to include this in their daily teaching.

    Me? Not a real big fan of Sweet C but our daughter and her husband attended when it started and they like it. They also donate.. see how this works..

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  21. I think you should also push for the Thursday nite game to be played in September ar early October when it’s not so darn cold for us older people. Friday after thanksgiving is same deal. No kids on campus. Two games sprcly attended. A lot of schools have retired people drive golf carts from parking lots to stadium. Great idea Like band music not piped in loud stuff and do away with all presentations. It takes fan interest from games. Sell our brand but we need to wear the. Same uniforms andgo back to retros Make the outside of field game day like atmosphere. Homecoming and very little outside. Give tickets to local high school coaches for players recruit tool. H2P

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  22. Rich-
    1) For a long time I have pushed this. I live outside of Youngstown-55 minutes from Heinz Field yet it may as well be 550. There is ZERO, ZILCH, NADA a single Pitt item anywhere in town. Our head coach and starting tailback are from Youngstown, yet crickets about it here. People in town spend hundreds of dollars and spend entire weekends driving to Columbus because they love college football. Pitt needs to advertise its programs in Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Youngstown, and Warren and get those folks to attend a game at Heinz or the Pete. It will also get interested students applying to Pitt as well. Lyke and the Fan Committee can reach an untapped resource in Northeast Ohio if they just simply try.
    2) throwback uniforms immediately ifentify Pitt as Pitt. Need to keep them permanently. BUT the field needs to immediately identify Pitt as Pitt too. Need the end zones to be ours on Saturday and midfield and ACC logos similar to our conference opponents. If Miami, Temple, and USC can so can we.

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  23. Get students better seats at the game closer to their team…Where they have better viewing of the game and be better heard in support of their team… who loves an end zone seat?

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  24. Do a student raffle for next semester’s free tuition like Virginia does in the 4Q. Have to be present to win. That should increase student attendance. No tarping – I have bigger goals for our program since we moved to the ACC. Music is not important to me. Pitt already has a ticket exchange and donation program. The most important thing by far to increase attendance is winning. Our administration and coaches need to work better, smarter and harder to make winning happen.

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  25. I used the ticket exchange every game I couln’t make. I handed out 6 club seat ticket as the result. If I couldn’t sit in them I wanted a POVer’s to use them while I was there. Not to mention I sent 2 more for the Miami game. My son in law did the same thing for one game. << Although he a a long time season ticket holder he didn’t know about it?? aha. That may be a problem.

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    1. You did make sure. Problem is most of the folks don’t have th POV friends and ask a neighbor or buddy and if no interest they eat them.

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  26. Get rid of Narduzzi.

    JK…

    1. Address the fact that students make up a small portion of attendees so Pitt has to be the “City’s College Team” first and foremost. SPtried this with “Pittsburgh Panthers” and that was a huge mistake…but somehow there has to be civic pride attached.

    2. Understand the average age of attendees and season ticket holders. Make the blaring music less and have the rap\younger music player at quarter changes when there are long commercials. Throw in softer stuff…and none at all between plays.

    3. Push for more open practices at maybe one a week in the camps so writers can provide actual content for the fans starving for real news. Not kidding here, Pitt needs all the real publicity it can get.

    4. Make the field more Pitt-centric. Offer to pay for painting the field w/ Pitt scrip at the 50 yard line… and removing it afterward.

    5. Do a 30 minute show on TV every week over the offseason with timely & historic football issues. If the POV can pull in 5-10K readers a day in the offseason then a well done show should be successful.

    6. Do 1 or 2 minute in-depth Pitt fan interviews and air them during commercials.

    7. Pay way more attention to the blogs and the blog readers and the blog commenters throughout the year. They’re the ones that know what’s going on.

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  27. I was at a Steelers vs Houston game with a your walt4Prez (my son) back in the mid 80’s around this time of year. Snow was falling and during a break they played “Chestnuts Roasting Over an Open Fire”. very memorable.

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  28. Target visiting fans as BigB suggested in first comment:

    Have PITT video department partner with City of Pittsburgh/Allegheny County travel/tourist bureau to produce a video of all that the City/County have to offer. Split the costs of video/ ads. Put video on targeted schools blogs / local papers. Show view from Mt, Washington, the Strip district & south side for entertainment. Include the Pro stadium – show that there is more to offer than heated up, prepackaged hot dogs, hamburgers & pizza. Subtly suggest the availability of alcohol/beer. Shots of the campus the airport, interstates. Whatever draws tourists/fans. Show Pittsburgh is a city that is more than the Birmingham of the North.

    Do something crazy, For example Tennessee/Cincinnati are upcoming out of conference foes. One of Tennessee attractions is that the stadium is near the Tennessee River & TV shots are always shown of the boats & fans going to the game. Maybe offer some kind of deal where if Tennessee/Cincy fans come in a boat give them free boat parking, & the use of a stadium suite. Really haven’t fleshed out this offer but it just popped into my mind. Make them provide video of their trip. Maybe offer suite usage to Steelers game next day

    Partner with hotels/motels for special PITT game day pricing. Don’t know if RV parking is available on North Side. Find a local RV park & work out a deal on parking and shuttles. If not at least try to find out of town visitors impact on the hotel/motel/RV industry. Get Leverage.

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  29. Emel – off topic but Andie McDowell (like A.Z. Reid) was born & raised in Gaffney, SC. Wife went to high school with older sister(s). Whenever she saw Andie, she always commented on how gorgeous all the McDowell sisters where. Andie later married (10 or so years ago) a local high school classmate about the same time she was living in Asheville, NC.

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  30. Rich,
    As I told you at the tailgate, stop the stupid incentives that no-one will ever use (the Pitt sign thingies come to mind). Use the $ for student incentives that they must be present to win. If you hook them early then they become the fans of the future. It all starts with the experience they have while in school. Giveaways- gift cards to the “O” or other popular on-campus stores and restaurants, Dining dollars (or whatever it is called), free books for the next semester, trip for 2 to an away game (if there is a tour package available) that includes game tickets, hotel & transportation. Don’t announce winners until halfway through the 4th quarter. Maybe every time the student’s ticket is used at a game they get 1 entry into a grand prize at the end of the season (bowl game package or maybe a comparable amount off their tuition for next semester). Some may still not be able to afford going to a bowl game, but would appreciate the tuition assistance. Include a free T-shirt with their ticket package (design and saying to change annually- perhaps with whatever the team motto for the year is).

    Also, have some fun things the students do – like the “first down” cheer they do with the band. Come up with a cheer for things like sacks, turnovers, etc. Make it fun to watch the students- and for the rest of us to participate too. I agree with the suggestions to move the band to the opposite side of the field so TV can see them, and mike them up. The band is so good- lose the URBAN NOISE that is blasted from the speakers. If they decide to tarp the upper levels, give people with highest points the first chance to move their seats. Self disclosure: I’m on the Pitt side upper level 50 yd line, would love to keep my seats as close to what I have now. And definitely promote our other sports (soccer, volleyball) during breaks. Highlights of recent games, big plays, etc. Get people interested in our olympic sports too! Thanks for looking for input!

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  31. Rich , I know the band is supposedly mic-ed up but if it is, it is done poorly as the bad is never as loud as the Urban music selections. I also agree with Annie that the band needs to get together with the Panther Pitt to work out special routines when the team is on offense and defense like the Oakland Zoo in it’s Hey Day.

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  32. All suggestions I’ve seen so far are great. But I’ve got two that will GUARANTEE fan interest and better attendance.

    WIN more games.

    Build the on campus stadium. Stop making excuses as to why it can’t be done, and just figure out how to do it. Then, once built, people will fill it, as long as you are WINNING.

    One more thing, figure out a way to get the younger generations engaged. The diehards are those who fell in love with Pitt football in the 70s and early 80s. Most of those fans are getting up in age and will soon not be able to attend games. A lot of these types sit in my section (135) and in the club seats. I’m sure that the Athletic Dept. has all of the demographic information at their fingertips.

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  33. Thank you all. I will deliver the suggestions or even just point them here to read for themselves. The next meeting is Dec 9 at the pitt vs Hoopies b-ball game. I can’t stay for the game but will attend the meeting.

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  34. A couple people mentioned the need for a way to donate tickets. I went to every game but I thought I saw a “donate your tickets: button on the football page – maybe you have to be signed in but I thought we had that option.

    Give Duzz the $ to hire real assistants and win! People will come.

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  35. Pitt should work out deals with 2 of the downtown hotels making them the official hotels of Pitt Football.

    One for out of town Pitt alumni and friends and one to host the visitors. For the exclusivity, the hotels would agree to provide their best price and add festivities like Alumni Mixers, Dinners and Breakfasts as part of the packages. Concierge services, excursions to the campus etc. Concentrating the visitors in a festive environment with Pitt decorations in the ballrooms etc. Visits with old Pitt stars, anything to enhance and grow the experience from year to year. Same thing with the visitors hotel, treat these people to a good time and make them feel welcome.

    Don’t allow Pitt admin to gouge these people like they do on bowl packages, make them affordable and desirable.

    The Wyndham and Renaissance would be great because they are both within walking distance of the stadium. But there others that would be fine and may compete for the opportunity.

    Maybe the Pitt Band could start their march from the hotel, or the Pep Band could play in the lobby the night before.

    Giving the out- of -towners a place to congregate would encourage more to come and if it is fun even locals would participate, to see old friends etc. Invite fraternity and sorority alum, band alum, give the Hotel the email info to market directly to the alum. Get them to make a weekend out of it.

    I was in town last weekend and saw many Green Bay Packer Fans in for the weekend. Pittsburgh is a great destination.

    The ACC Football fans have to love to come to Pittsburgh, with great hotels restaurants shopping sightseeing etc. Encourage them by making it easy and fun to come to town.

    Fireworks nights are always good for adding 5-10 thousand fans. It would also get people to stay till the end.

    Late games during Daylight Standard time would allow for this.

    But in the long run Pitt needs to change the culture and instill a sense of Pitt Pride into it’s students and Faculty so that more value is placed on our teams. The apathy towards Pitt Sports is self inflicted. This should be Heather’s number 1 Job. Get the kids to care.

    We don’t need to be a cult, but most people I meet from ND, PSU, tOSU, Michigan and most other successful programs have so much more pride in their school’s teams. It is important to them. When I attended our first game in the ACC, the FLST people came in droves. They have pride in their school and our demonstrative about it

    A lot of this comes from a winning tradition, but there seems to be something deeper that Pitt doesn’t have and needs to get.

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  36. I also agree that we need a Pitt TV program to compete with PSU and WVU which are both on locally.

    When is that ACC Channel coming to compete with the B1G and SEC channels that are on our cables.

    Does Pitt even know that the WVU program runs directly before our games on Root?

    Also get UPMC to light up the Steel building with Let’s Go Pitt for night games.

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  37. Summation for me. Winning and my suggestion of the T running out to Oakland are good ideas but a little out of Heather’s reach in what she can do.

    I’ve come around, HCPN has to open the PITT team to the media a lot more, it’s called exposure but what really is the kicker? He’s doing the exact opposite and pissing them off and getting and creating bad press. Get with this idea!

    Market the visiting teams with blitzes in their home town and campus. Great idea here all the way around.

    There should be PITT paraphernalia in all class rooms where it is appropriate. Engage all students and faculty. Plaster the campus at all times 360/24/7 with PITT PRIDE!

    Think about exchanging the students with the band in seating. Move the kids to better a seat location an get them sitting behind the team. << This will also fire the PITT football team up with students directly behind them getting and keeping in their ears! BTW, this goes for the Pete as well. Get rid of the stupid misplaced club section. Put the Zoo sitting directly behind the visiting team.. duh?

    Whether or not a new PITT stadium is feasible right now or not, keep looking and tell PITT fans you are. Heinz Field is not a college atmosphere making all these suggestions meaningless. and btw, I sit in the club and stay on the north shore every home game. I would much rather fight traffic and be squeezed into a small space but once again, enjoy PITT in their own home stadium with PITT fans and faithful that know the difference! ike

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  38. Many good suggestions…

    —Need shorter term and longer term approaches. Will take years of effort but Pitt must reach out to the local communities and schools. Mike Gottfried’s coaches used to have some “chaulk talks” at the high schools. Anyone could attend. They’d show game clips, run them back and forth and explain the keys, etc.

    Took my 10 year old son to one of these and he loved it – he didn’t go to Pitt but loves Pitt and attends Pitt games.

    —The retro uniforms certainly do stand out. One thing I dislike is when there is no contrast between opposing teams. We had that a few times this season – OSU was black and white, we were navy and white; Rice was blue and white, we were blue and white – the retros should have been used in those games…

    —Pitt should explore using high-tech graphics in the stadium. Do you need tarps or could you have virtual tarps or light shows on empty sections?
    Collaborate with CMU perhaps on advanced technologies…

    —Pitt used to invite former letter winners from all sports to come down on the field and line the tunnel for the opener. I had a blast doing this several times either with my wife or my son. It’s a great experience to be down there during warmups and then when the Panthers come out…

    Anyway, use this opportunity for other fans. For example, pick a graduating class, say the class of 1975. Invite the first so many who respond to get a pass to be on the field pre-game. Honor that class during the game with video clips and music…

    Go Pitt.

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  39. Major Majors, I had the idea in my head to elicit CMU to help with mic-ing the band, just didn’t write it down before it left my head. Thanks, great idea to bring in the geeks..

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  40. Have some fun with announcers – There is a car in the red lot with a WV license plate which reads EI EI O. Etc., etc. Still makes me laugh!

    Always good to read the scores backwards. Out of town scoreboard …WVU 14 Oklahoma 28!!! Always creates laughter, etc. Fun Experience.

    Go get em Rich! Do us proud. I swear we put up 50 + ideas off the top of our heads in just a few minutes of thinking.

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  41. Huff, that was a tractor in the parking lot that left their head lights on with the West Virginia, E I E I O plates #! Pretty sure the announcer was fired that day????

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  42. Pitt should have brochure made up “ where to stay, main attractions uniquely Pittsburgh.. Hightlight our campus and it’s notable features I.e. Heinz Chapel, International room(tour) btw Duke gave guided tours of Cameron Indoor Stadium during the Pitt game. Carnegie Museum/Hall.. Phipps Conservatory are on campus. Forbes Field wall and home plate -great for old timer baseball fans…. one brochure goes out the door with each ticket. If an opposing school sell 1000 tickets- send a 1000 brochures.
    I suggested fireworks for night games when PITT had the on-line survey under Barnes… seems like a no brained…. would have added butts in seats on the Thursday night game vs Carolina…my best friend and myself are/ were licensed pyrotechnicians trained by Zambelli International… we would donate our time to assist in the shoot!!!!!

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  43. Thank you Reed. It was good while it lasted. Going back to the blather. I’m really tired of the “holier than thou” attitude. Take it for what you will.

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  44. I was at a WVU PITT game when Danny lit them up. The scoreboard at PITT Stadium read “ A coal miners slaughter!” back in the days of political correctness.

    Panther94 .. can’t you read brother? Richman is seeking our opinions to improve the program… Good Lord- what purpose did your remark serve…

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  45. Richman,

    Here is a few ideas for you to take to the committee:

    Agree with Big B that Pittsburgh is very appealing to the visiting team.

    Market the City the same way we should be marketing to Recruits. We have got Culture (Museums, Zoo, Science Center, Strip District), We have got education (more university in Pittsburgh per capita I believe than about anywhere), A Bustling Economy that allows to rub elbows with movers and shakers that don’t bother driving to creepy valley, Great Food etc etc etc.
    How about strike a deal with the Steelers for a Double header weekend. I.e. a lot of visiting fans come to see their favorite college team and then stay the following day for a Steelers home game. For example, 95% of Penn State fans are Steelers Fans. You don’t think they would be all over a ticket packet for a double header if the Steelers were in town the following day.

    If the Steelers aren’t interest talk to Pens.

    Replace Sweet Caroline with Renegade. I know its a copy of the Steelers but people would go absolutely nuts.
    Improve the tailgate atmosphere by bringing back the live bands….However, this is tough because the buildings, interstate flyovers, and parking garages really ruin the tailgate.

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  46. Beano Cook said later. “You’ve got to be careful. West Virginia is very sensitive about being called ‘country hicks,’ ” said Beano Cook, a former Pitt sports “

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  47. Kennywood has school districts picnics, Pitt could invite entire western pa school districts for a game with some kind of discount tickets for the entire family. Maybe even get a few kids interested in going to Pitt

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  48. FIRE whoever is currently in charge of Pitt “Pre”… “In”… and “Post” Game Activities!

    Copying Neil Diamond from the Red Sox should have been the FIRST Red Flag that this Person or Committee or whatever has NO SENSE of originality or creativity.

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  49. Long time reader, first time contributor – Pitt Law ’01
    – offer free tickets to less than attractive games (e.g. Rice) to all western PA pop warner / high school football teams; (as bad as attendance is now you could use this offer for all games except PSU, ND and Hoopies);
    – work with city restaurants to offer free tickets with a “Pitt football dinner package”;
    – reduce price of concessions. Why do we pay NFL prices at a college game? (I know the answer to this) Check other college concession prices – not as high as Heinz field.
    – will never happen, but On-Campus stadium. It can be done. Heinz field has absolutely no connection to the University of Pittsburgh campus. Needs to be in Oakland.
    – agree with earlier post – replace sweet caroline with Renegade – at least it has some connection with Pittsburgh and not Boston.
    – promote “family friendly” aspect of games – similar to what Pirates push on Sunday homes games. Need a way to get kids hooked on Pitt Football early.
    – Noon games are terrible, anyone with kids know all of the other activities that are scheduled on fall mornings. Even 1pm can make a difference.

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  50. Guys, forget about an on campus stadium. It will not happen.. ever.

    Lower the”donation” required for club seats. I doubt those are sold out and more would be interested in that package if it didn’t cost so much.

    Have a “player walk” as mentioned above from around Bettis to the stadium.

    Sticking w/one uniform would build a brand but Pitt won’t give up the apparel sales income. Most people don’t realize that Pitt doesn’t have total control over uniforms.

    Pitt has no input into when they play games. That is totally up to the ACC and ESPN. Pederson fought to keep Pitt from playing Friday night home games for a long time because of the HS games being played then but TV money over ran that.

    The day after Thanksgiving is prime exposure for Pitt and we need to fight to keep that date. This year is proof of that. The only reason we got national recognition this year was the Miami win and the fact that millions watched it happen is a real boon for us. The fact that there weren’t many students on campus or at the game then is unfortunate but minimal compared to the positive exposure we had.

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  51. Rich, I sent my thoughts to you via email. Sorry about that. Should have posted here. Thanks again for getting all our input on this. How many people are on this committee?
    Pitt_01 welcome!!
    Altoona Josh…here is my cell #…want to keep in touch if that’s ok with you. 724-309-4343.

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  52. Ideas on scheduling:
    – no more FCS schools like Youngstown St – replace with teams like Rice or UTEP. There are more than enough terrible FBS schools that you can schedule without the actual risk of losing the game and not hear the flack about playing a D2 school.
    – “Reminisce Old Pitt stadium game” – schedule home and home series with Cal (Berkley). For all Pitt fans that truly miss Pitt Stadium and want to see the old girls twin – see California Memorial Stadium. Built in the same time (early 1920’s) and nearly identical architecture. They were smart enough to renovate the stadium in 2012 as opposed to blowing it up. Thanks Pederson.

    Pitt Stadium:

    Cal stadium:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice pics. They are nearly ‘twins’. One of Pitt’s more stupid decisions and something NO other College with a P5 or even a D1 program would do.

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  53. Pitt needs to communicate the facility long term plan to the fans. Pay for the OCS study and publish the result to the fans. Costs, advantages, disadvantages, barriers, etc. What is the deal with Heinz field, revenue made, etc. If you expect donations, people want to know the logic behind decisions. Fix the disconnect between alumni and the university.

    Reed and others mentioned, Pitt football show. Nothing more irritating than seeing your rivals promoting their product locally and your school doesn’t.

    Better Pitt merchandise strategy. Go to different stores, you see different products. Some very old and outdated. Some stores barely any.

    Uniforms should be the throwback all the time, all blues on occasion.

    Agree with the youth promotions. Youth football, school days, etc. Build the future fan base while filling the stadium.

    Agree, something has to be done with the unused tickets. Night before a game on Stubhub, people are still asking ridiculous prices and would rather just eat the tickets. There has to be a way to get those tickets out to people that aren’t season ticket holders that will attend the games. Offer incentives.

    Long term solution for the alumni disconnect. (bigger than the fan committee). Make the student experience better. Pitt probably, by far, has the smallest campus of any power 5 conference school. You never really feel like you are on campus, you feel like you are in the city. It isn’t like a State College environment where the entire town eats and breaths school pride.
    1. Make a better connection with Oakland business to support the University.
    2. For God’s sake…start expanding the campus. Buy up some of the crap housing between Forbes and Bates for the campus. Make Oakland a destination to hang out, walk around for alumni besides Fifth and Forbes and the hillside campus buildings.

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    1. With no OCS plans on the horizon, I would imagine Pitt would continue to play at Ketchup Bottle even if the Stillers built a new stadium in Wash County or Butler County.

      However, with the continuing decline of the NFL, the Stillers could be playing at Ketchup Bottle for a very long time. A very long time.

      If the opposite is true , we might get to put ACC logos on the playing field and make the Field say Pitt….if that is the case. So there is the positive from that scenario.

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  54. Notrocket got on an excellent subject that could be a follow-up to this thread… PITT is dead last in the ACC for donor dollars (correct?)

    New thread title ( suggestion)along that thought.

    What does PITT need to do to increase giving ? That’s a big topic and a big part of the problem… could be another important thread expressing our concerns… maybe some inanagement will take notes.

    What do you think?

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    1. Even if they have no inclination ever to build another OCS………they need to give the faithful an iota of hope that someday they might.

      So you throw everyone a bone, with some sort of exploratory OCS committee, that comes out with a feasibility study.

      You know….give em “Hope”.

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    2. OCS and College Experience is why you give. Not bc of inept leadership and playing 6 miles away and no connection or college feel to it. That is the Egg and the Chicken comes next. We love Pitt but we don’t have the feelings and emotions to Oakland that would be there if a Stadium was there.
      I also agree. Buy up 3-4 Streets. Pay above market and make it pretty and create a campus. If not create one along the river and expand. Other than 5th and Forbes there is no where to really walk and enjoy and like that is flat.

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  55. I can’t link the article but take some time and look up, The Bates Street Corridor plan. The Oakland Gateway Ventures [OGV wants to spend 650 million in that area and it includes an extension of the T.

    The article I read is by Public Source. It’s realy interesting.

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  56. Back to my Carolina friends game experience and one comment they made that supports what one commenter has mentioned- the wish the Steelers were in town- the were ready for a double – header
    Pitt should market that… People traveling away to games are spending some pesos to help the local economy to watch a ball game. Why not double their pleasure when the Steelers are in town? Promote a Football Extranza weekend

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  57. That actually is a good idea with the Steelers. When the Steelers are playing the North Shore Hotels will tell you there are no vacancies unless you get two nights. But man do they gouge you. << better off staying across the river.

    This past year only one weekend with both teams playing in Pittsburgh. Sept 16/17th

    We’re talking two problems with the PITT attendance, well there are lots of problems but to break it down. Older fans, alumni and casual fans that aren’t showing up anymore because of TV. There are just not enough diehards anymore. …. and Narduzzi shutting off the media and pissing them off isn’t helping one bit.

    The Steelers just inducted something like 25 former players into their first Ring of Honor or something like that. PITT needs to form a club with only former players that are members. Then sit those guys down and ask them what do they think.

    All throughout a students career at PITT they should be inundated with PITT football pride starting day one. Maybe a Panther growling on the hour and every hour heard throughout the campus? PITT needs to rebuild it’s alumni base that care about their school and football team.. . ike

    H2P!

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    1. I think all games being broadcast on TV probably hurts us in getting casual fans to come because it is so easy to sit in front of the TV, drink your own cheap beer, walk 5 steps to the bathroom, and stay warm and dry. Well, that’s my hubby’s excuse anyway….

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  58. Old timers will remember the spirit contests from the early. 60’s The fraternities went all out.

    Homing pigeons when Pitt scored a touchdown.
    Palm trees placed near the stadium scoreboard… we didn’t want Miami to be homesick.
    A real live Panther for a Notre Dame game (obtained from a zoo near Johnstown). CoachMichelosen flipped out and insisted on having his picture taken withe Panther….Big photo spread in Sunday Press with a smiling Johnney Michelosen in the middle.
    …… and last but not least we managed to get an enormous Dempster Dumpster garbage truck to round Pitt’s running truck with a sign that said WVU is Garbage. (I came close to being thrown out of school for the gag).

    In today’s politically correct world some ideas are probably impossible, but anything has to be better than stupid ass bottles of Fanta.

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  59. Pitt needs to find fans first. You find them young and you indoctrinate them early. You then dont have to worry as much about the experience. The connection will already be there. I havent seen any solid ideas about cultivating a fan base. The experience is nothing without fans.

    Now if Pitt students don’t become fans over 4 years, Pitt must be doing something to alienate them. Pitt doesnt have the culture, traditions and spirit of other schools. Start there with students and then go to the elementary schools and the community. Pitt needs to grow fans first.

    And any experience must really go beyond the actual game. Its the ‘stuff’ before and after the game that is the real experience.

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  60. Sorry, off topic…

    Campus life has a huge impact on alumni connection. Pitt needs an OCS plan and a campus expansion plan. For those of you that have visited other universities recently, you know what I am talking about.

    Pitt 132 acres
    CMU 140 acres
    Robert Morris 230
    Duquesne 50
    Penn State Altoona 167 acres

    Can’t find a list but I will bet Pitt has the smallest campus and maybe smallest housed students out of any Power 5 conference school. That impacts $$$

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    1. I agree. Move the damn Campus and buy a 1000 acre Farm in Washington county. Sell Pitt to UPMC and businesses. I wouldn’t miss a thing other than Cathedral.

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  61. Notrocket..you keep triggering thoughts today…In the 70’s most to the kids commuted’ I heard as high as 80% rode home at the end of the day. I always wondered if they really connected/bonded. I leved in the towers for a year then join my fraternity (which have become politically incorrect) NOt only did my frat house provide a good place to sleep and study at a lesser cost but very intelligent brothers who tutored me in subjects that were difficult. The fraternities and soroities took pride not only in their specific Greek units but supported and loved PITT. I remeber holding the frat’s standards along with all the other Greek organization standards on the field forming a tunnel the Panthers would run through to open the game right before the kick-off. Fraternites and sororities are and were an integral part of college life. Greek life goes on at Georgia Tech and in Chapel Hill………..My old frat meets monthly in the library and Dr. Tom’s and Savannah’s has been leveled…nuff sad..

    Lot’s of positive thoughts…one last question and I am the BoT asking and listening to you.

    What are you fans looking for in a Business Plan that you would be willing to support with your hard earned money ???

    The leadership needs to re-invent itself and think bold and big. A plan needs presented and all who care should and would contribute.

    The money is in the pockets of potential donors and the leadership needs $$$$$ to grow. Donors and leaders are not independent of each other but interdependent…It’s that simple..get to work.

    Thanks Richman for approaching real fans.

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  62. One last comment..Reed have said several times since the POV was created that many many more people onlyread than comment and in reality only .003 are commenters out of a huge number of visitors.

    What about you in the silent majority,…If you love PITT football isn’t this a topic worth commenting on. Please let us hear from you folks. Help PITT out here. Maybe you are sitting on an idea that hit’s it outta the park. End the silence and step up to the plate. We are all PITT brothers and sisters here.

    36000 die-hard loyal PITT fans come to games and we need 50000. Reed says .003 % comment. Let’s get that number up to 1% ..Help out. Let your ideas be heard.

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  63. Rich, make the point that not all Pitt fans and targeted fans are graduates from the University. As a matter of fact from all the emails I’ve gotten, hundreds over the two years I would say that it’s 60 40 split on Pitt fans… 60 graduated 40 didn’t… so it’s not just the Alumni Association.

    You have to reach out to all the other Pitt fans that never are part of the Alumni Association.

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  64. Also have the Pitt sports information Department do weekly or 2 times a week emails out to people with stories, photos and interesting subjects over the off-season so that people are aware that football still around and it’s going to be coming back in the fall.

    Have Pitt create a Fan blog itself even.

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  65. Rich, there are 6-7 home games each year. The administration should assign one different individual for each game with the responsibility to sell it out. Use six different themes, such as WPIAL game day, where the football teams and families of all WPIAL teams get in for a discounted price. Then go to the schools and meet with the HS coaches to get commitments for participation. There should be no need for special programs for some games such as PSU or ND, as these games should sell themselves out. Homecoming should be an automatic sellout if marketed correctly by getting the Alumni Association, airlines, etc. all involved. They need to go big on this one to get cross country participation. Selling out the stadium must be given a higher priority with staff commitment, maybe give them bonuses, and year long marketing efforts.

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  66. Rich,

    A lot of good idea; I’ll only add some I haven’t read yet.

    1) Player walk to Heinz. Why not take advantage of the great natural resources we have in Pgh – the rivers? Bring the team and the band down the river from the UPMC facilty in one of the Clipper fleet boats decked out with Pit colors? If they can wrap the stadium in blue and gold, it can be done to one of those boats. Land at the Noprth Shore and start the walk. Band gets of the boat first, plays fight song and other motivational ones as the players disembark. Loudspeakers blaring from the boat of at the North Shore “Panthers on the Prowl!!!!” It could be a unique spectacle and tradition as long as Heinz Field is the game venue.

    2) Look into using sections of sod on trays for the endzone and mid-filed logos. One set for Pitt, one for the Steelers. store the set not being used outside the stadium like AZ does with their entire field but on a smaller scale using forktrucks to move them back and forth.

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    1. Good Idea but the Arizona Stadium was built for that. Heinz is not and the weather if it was would be a issue I bet. I think the field is heated.

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      1. Fully understand that, but we won’t know if it can’t work unless someone decides to look into it. As you know from your line of work, cool stuff is being developed all the time. The Meadowlands did it for soccer with large trays. And you are correct, Heinz Field is heated, but not sure how far down the pipes are placed.

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        1. There is no where to take it out persay. They have that capability in AZ. Hell I’m not sure if you could drive a dully out of Heinz. You are right though on new ideas all the time. We could build a nice stadium for 300M.

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  67. Rutgers and Iowa have had outdoor wrestling matches in the stadium a few hours before the game before. I attended the Rutgers match & game. Good way to promote both programs. There were a ton of local wrestling programs at the bout, many I assume paid for the game as well. If you dont make a football fan out of them, maybe a wrestling fan (recruit). Make the wresting tickets dirt cheap as its a tougher sell in general, but the exceitment of a new venue should help.
    More band less loud speaker crap.
    Lots of ticket give aways to foster good will, possibly create new fans, put buts in yellow seats. They may not buy the game ticket that day, but chances are they will buy some food or drink.
    Old School colors for sure, they were and are iconic.

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  68. Getting people to attend a game will take multiple years. You’ve got to establish the culture and build traditions.

    There is little school spirit at Pitt due to many reasons. But many of these reasons are solvable to certain degrees.

    I’m sure Heather is interested in short term solutions to boost attendance via a better experience or bang for the buck. But we need long term solutions and that involves changing the culture. I dont see Heather doing that nor the BoT. There is no incentive at Pitt.

    Hence, we’ll always go back to short term solutions and reacting as opposed to being proactive to set up a sustainable future.

    I would first ask questions regarding how to boost school spirit, how to better connect fans, students and alumni with the university, how to change the way athletics is thought and perceived around campus.

    Its more a mindset with experiences outside the stadium that invoke the strongest memories. The game itself should just be the icing on the cake.

    I just dont see how any committee can make a true difference where it matters most. Thats changing the culture concerning athletics. Thats changing the BoT.

    I’m not diminishing the importance of finding creative ways to bring more fun and excitement to Pitt games, increasing attendance, making it a good value and memorable experience. But again, unless Pitt fixes its culture, Pitt will always be re-inventing the wheel. Pitt needs to build the wheel first.

    Start by looking at how A&M does things. Even our little brothers at Penn State. Borrow and improve upon some things and make some things unique. Build around the sports venue these traditions. Get everyone involved and connected. Have them associate some of their identity with the school.

    Its easier said than done and will take a dynamic shift in thinking and doing. It will take possibly a decade of work but you’re leaving a program in the hands of future generations who will support it if you consistently follow your plan.

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    1. It was only blacked out locally if the game wasn’t sold out I think maybe 48 hours in advance. Might have had some walkup sales.

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      1. @Jackagain, not to be pedantic about this minor issue, but that is not correct. Unbelievable as it is now, home blackouts were in place for ALL games and that only went away in 1973. That’s when they put a rule into place where a game had to be sold out 72 hours in advance before the local blackout was lifted.

        The Immaculate Reception game was a major driver of that change.

        Even now, unless you were around like us old-timers, you wouldn’t believe the level of sustained excitement for the Steelers in Pgh in that magical, first great year. I don’t think it’s ever been topped. I was at that game at age 15 and it remains the most incredible non-family-related moment of my life.

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  69. TX – very thoughtful.

    Rich – hopefully there’s a way for you to throw out the fan base belief that the BOT is not interested in athletics and football in particular. All the fan committees in the world won’t change that. It would certainly help the fans and coaches to hear directly (and with proof $$) that the BOT is serious about the front porch. All across the blogs and the press it is universally believed that we are spitting in the wind with this Board. Won’t help ticket sales, coaching searches or donations until the BOT shows they are serious. How many PSU alum are on the Board?

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  70. Reed, thank you for posting. And thank you ALL for your responses. Some of your responses have already been delivered to the fan committee (by me). They have ruled out some for good reasons. There is always point counter point unfortunately. If I was Heather Lyke I would say to my staff…shut the f up and enact these suggestions asap. But I ani’t her.
    Anyway, Reed I have what I need so you can close the comments. At this point I have had 1 too many beers, and a ton of good suggestions. I am going to have to request my own personal fan committee for all of these suggestions. Maybe I get a direct line to Heather. That would be hilarious… I will just pick up the bat phone and say, BigB has yet another good suggestion.
    After my first meeting I realized that it was not a 50/50 give and take meeting. I attempted to change that, and if I have to, I will sequester them and force them to listen to me/you. Wish me luck.

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  71. Go for it Richman, you have plenty of backup..

    Hope Reed keeps the article open so we can still converse with each other as long as we behave ourselves.

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  72. Ask Heather to come on here and give some replies and rebuttal. She’d get to thousands of loyal Pitt fans who care. Where else can she get that?

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  73. Bandaids all…..the only answer for fans is reattaching to the campus. NCS – Near campus stadium.

    Win the damn football games!

    Over 21… all the beer you can drink $20. All the dogs and burgers $20. And last but not least, before you can get out of the hole stop digging! The overt levels of
    Pitt Admin incompetence are everywhere to be seen starting w empty Pete and Basketball charade, Heather giving bogus awards w face time every tv time out, Fanta bribes for students,etc.

    Hire someone and give them the title of “ Unintended Consequences Manager”. Think before you buy 7 sets of Unis, piss off fans with a joke of a basketball hire, tear down a perfecty good football stadium on campus et Alia!!!!!!

    Most of all stop stupidly spending the 10’s of thousands of $$$ that I’ve given you!!

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  74. There is one remedy that trumps all the others so far presented: at least two straight 10 or 10+ win seasons, with top-10 rankings.

    The culture in Western Pennsylvania: we support winners, not interested in anything else. (See, most recently for example, the precipitous slide in attendance for Pirate games.)

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    1. How many of those 8 flipped players were 4* recruits? Here is who committed after that game.

      Name Pos Location Ht Wt Signed Stars Rating Committed
      Andrew Taglianetti ATH Pittsburgh, PA 5’11” 175 5.2 1/28/08
      Jarred Holley DB Easton, PA 5’10” 175 5.8 1/16/08
      Joe Trebitz LB Boca Raton, FL 6’2″ 200 5.2 1/15/08
      Justin Virbitsky TE Jermyn, PA 6’5″ 251 5.4 1/14/08
      Shayne Hale LB Monroeville, PA 6’3″ 235 5.9 1/6/08
      Mike Cruz TE Johnstown, PA 6’4″ 255 5.7 1/4/08
      Robb Houser OL Oroville, CA 6’3″ 280 5.6 12/16/07
      Mike Shanahan WR North Huntingdon, PA 6’4″ 197 5.5 12/11/07
      Tino Sunseri QB Pittsburgh, PA 6’2″ 200 5.6 12/11/07
      Jonathan Baldwin WR Aliquippa, PA 6’6″ 233 6.1 12/11/07
      Greg Cross QB Fort Scott, KS 6’2″ 204 5.6 12/10/07
      Cameron Saddler RB Monroeville, PA 5’6″ 157 5.8 12/6/

      Baldwin 5*
      Holley. 4*
      Hale. 4*
      Saddler. 4*

      This is the key to good football… recruiting and DW was good at it. In his first full year he signed six 4* players,

      2006:. Six 4*

      2007:. Six 4*

      2008:. One 5*, five 4*

      2009:. Four 4*

      2010:. Four 4*

      In DW’s first three full classes: one 5* and 17 4* recruits…18 blue chippers total, and the basis of those 9,10, and 8 win seasons.

      Compare that to Narrduzzi’s eight 4s in his first full three classes so far…. That makes me nervous. We saw a dip this year and he needs to turn it up. So far for the 2018 class he has 13 recruits, no 4s and has room for only six more…

      Like

      1. Reed – I know we disagree on this, but I think your argument is one of convenience. For example, 4-Stars Hale and Saddler did little of anything at Pitt; Holley was decent, Baldwin played only a couple of games at a 5-Star level.

        Wanny won, when he finally won, mainly because he found elusive RBs like Shady McCoy, Dion Lewis and Ray Graham; and he put together a good defense led by 3-Stars like McKillop, and pass-rushers Romeus and Sheard.

        I give Wanny the highest credit for identifying these players, especially the RBs, but his key players were not necessarily the 4 and 5 Stars. And he couldn’t find a QB to save his life.

        Go Pitt.

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        1. McCoy was a 5* recruit before injured and a 4* when he came to Pitt ..Ray Graham was a 4*… Baldwin had 2337 yards at a 18.3 ypc average… He played damn well for us.

          Holley was All-Big East three years, Two 1st team…

          You need as many blue Chip players as possible to win championships…

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        2. McCoy only came here because he got injured and slipped down to us. He went to the Pete and the atmosphere was electric and supportive of him, so he signed. Rare good Pitt luck.

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  75. Thanks for representing this group of hard core PITT fans….

    Hope the give us a reason the give a damn and give money…

    BoT please come up with a business model for success and include the people who you want to subscribe and pay for your product.

    Look at the big picture- no wonder we get testy and have so many ups and downs… as someone said- a couple of 10 win seasons could change that!

    Thanks Reed for letting this roll. Has been one of the best threads of this crazy year .. not to mention extremely civil with only one outburst which Ike promptly remedied.

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  76. You cannot have a positive game experience if the mindset walking into the stadium is that “We are going to lose or otherwise screw up this game.” Until you string together several winning seasons or put a consistently competitive team out on the field nothing will change. Nobody goes to the circus to watch an elephant take a dump.

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  77. I disagree slightly. Many Cubs fans and A&M fans know the smell of elephant dung yet they still show. The circus is outside the stadium. Yes – winning or a Heisman candidate makes everything better. But the show is really what surrounds the stadium the day before, the day of and the day after.

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  78. Winning gets people to the stadium, lots of people in the stadium draws big time recruits, big time recruits leads to winning and on and on it goes. This is college football 101 as we all know the problems. Something has to be done to break that cycle.

    There is one thing PITT can try that they can actually achieve. That’s keeping the head football coach around. You supplement that with periodical assessments of the asst coaching staff with changes and upgrades if and when needed. << This and many small changes will add up and hopefully change the PITT football culture.

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  79. Those requesting an OCS should look at the following:

    http://www.pfaffmann.com/documents/Oakland%202025%20Master%20Plan.pdf

    And you don’t have to read the whole report, although its quite interesting. Just look at the diagram on page 6.

    As Reed has indicated, we can forget about an OCS happening. Its just not going to occur unless something unforeseen at this time would occur that would free up enough contiguous space. Something along the lines of a relocation of the VA or Magee hospitals to another site would have to occur. One of those groups would have to decide that they needed to move.

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  80. To follow up Reed’s comment, I would note that the better players on his list were mostly from Western PA. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that there are fewer 4 and 5 star kids coming out of the local schools than there were 10 years ago. Wanny did a great job with recruiting. No doubt that Duzz has swung and missed on a number of the best local recruits. That alone is not alarming. Its some of the stories that have been recently posted that has me concerned that there is a far bigger problem than just missing out on a few kids.

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  81. Just received something from a friend of mine. Chris Peak posted a quote from Dave Wannstedt relating to the 13-9 win over the Hoopies that I’ve never seen before. The quote:

    “Mark Nordenberg called me on Tuesday of that week and I remember sitting at my desk and he said, ‘Dave, let me ask you a question.’ And he said, ‘What do you know about Steve Pederson?’ I said, ‘I’ve met him, I don’t know him that well, but everything I’ve heard about him is bad.’ That was my exact quote. And there was silence on the phone. They were holding a press conference two days later.”

    I have forever had a hatred for Cornhole, but with this one, Nordy moves up the list a bit. Shameless.

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  82. Schedule out of conference lighter. 3-1 or 4-0 (on a good year) is essential to getting to 10 wins. Do that for a few years and the excitement grows. Have a plan and execute it. WVU and Dairy High just did this in front of the nations eye and noone questioned it, especially the Dairy.

    Look, the diehard 39k fans will go no matter who we are playing in OOC. The idea is to grow in wins and start to get some national chatter. Nobody talks about strength of schedule collegiately until about week 6 or 7. If Pitt is 6-1 after week 7, they will be ranked between 15-25 every year. Rely on the ACC schedule on its merits alone and we will be fine. Keep VT and Miami towards the end of the season. The players will have confidence if you can start them out at 6-1 each year.

    Learn how to run an athletic department. Learn how to change a culture to winning. Plan to win. After you do this for 4 or 5 years, recruiting should improve and you can start putting in a tougher opponent for OOC.

    Liked by 1 person

  83. I don’t know Eric. The WPIAL had a tremendous class 2 years ago and not too shabby last year and missed out on way too many. Some of these were special cases much like Jurkovek. Most of these kids have had their minds made up just waiting for an offer from their specific dream school.

    On the other hand, PITT has landed almost all the top players this year. This year is a good example of what you’re talking about. Good but not highly rated young men. PITT landed a ton of beef this year to go with the Fla talent and athleticism they got last year.

    This is what happens when continuity is interrupted. All rapport with the local high schools is killed off with the changes. Narduzzi needs to build this backup again starting with Beaver Valley. There is no doubt that next year is the year I expected Narduzzi to overachieve in more than one big game, like a season’s worth. . . . ike

    H2P!

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  84. Heinz will last another 10-15 years. The architects and engineers that I have spoken with say that 25 years is the limit for new stadiums. Viewing the game will also change via technology. The older stadiums wont be able to be retrofitted properly. Heinz will implode and where does Pitt go? My guess is out to Washington County where the new domed stadium will be built.

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  85. TX – I just can’t see the Rooney family ever moving the Steelers from the North Side.

    I think the Steelers stay at Heinz a long, long time…or at least thru a couple more generations of Rooney’s…

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  86. so many great suggestions from some of the best contributors. I have long said (at the fear of reiterating the above) that: (a) we need to aggressively market to the visiting team. Pittsburgh has a ton to offer for fun, is still relatively affordable considering the abundance of big city offerings and is down right hospitable (save the late kickoff stiller faithful of course). (b) I have long been perplexed that the University doesn’t just flat out giveaway tickets to kids. As I have mentioned here before, I grew up walking distance from pitt stadium and my fondest memories were poaching tailgates at the syria mosque parking lot and on the rare occasion that some generous adult didn’t give me and my friends tickets- the guys at the gate (mostly oakland residents) turned their head and welcomed us in shortly after kickoff! May I suggest the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western PA. They are a tremendously benevolent non profit who work their butts off to provide great programming for the kids, they would be a great start… Finally, and I know this is controversial – but I think Im all in for the tarps in the upper level. this would eliminate some of the famous mustard yellow seats and just simply create a better atmosphere- to say nothing of what we look like on TV. And we must continue to try to make it as easy as possible to get the students there every damn week – pregame and post game concerts, free 6 credit hours, free books for a semester, plane tickets to a spring break destination of choice, etc etc etc… My FINAL point is for hoops – it is long overdue – but WE MUST broadcast TV from behind the team benches, thus facing the ZOO – frankly its moronic and shameful that we haven’t done this years ago. thats branding 101…

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  87. Ptbreezeb….I have always wanted a “kids free” promotion of some sort. and the students need to find something of VALUE to get them to the games fro Oakland. Incentives work. find out what they want and give it to them…don’t assume the AD / staff know what the kids want with out asking. That’s hubris and we have had enough of that for way too long.
    Thank you to Reed for letting this run…reminds me of why I fell in love with this site back in the day. Great civil discussion!

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  88. Here are a few notes about recent posts above:

    1- Nordy knew Cornhole well and obviously had his mind made up

    2- It seems to me that beginning with last year, Duzz is more intent on getting 3 stars from Florida than local 4 stars. However, he did pick up some local gems this year: Danielson. Kradel and Zubovic may be 3-stars but judging by the other schools that were interested, they are quality recruits. Same thing for QB Patti from NJ and CB Williams from FL.

    3- Heinz Field was funded by taxpayers even after they voted down a proposal the previous year. The Rooneys are obligated to a large extent to staying there for at least another decade or so, when a case can be made that Heinz is becoming outdated.

    Liked by 1 person

  89. I disagree a little with lowering ticket prices especially the club for next tear (psu) and in coming seasons. Notre Dame/WVU on the horizon. Just make sure that PITT dumps the revenue back into the football program. << which they won’t.

    Also the single game tickets for the PITT psu game seems desperate. Make them buy a whole season ticket plan. The tickets they don’t use for the rest of the year can be found easily on Stubhub and cheap. Problem is, no one wants them, back to a dog chasing his tail…

    There is a difference between an on campus stadium and PITT having it’s own stadium…

    Here’s an idea off the top of my head. Buy the buildings behind the CMU stadium and build it up to 42,000 << another crazy idea from the nose bleed seats.

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  90. NEVER give tickets away for free. People don’t respect something they got for free and will just trash them if they cannot go to the game. It’s better to give away something of value so that the people given the tickets will make an effort to go. By the way, I haven’t seen a single TV ad about renewing season tickets, or buying game tickets for next year. The marketing program at Pitt stinks!

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  91. Not a whole lot that hasn’t already been said.
    1) less music from speakers and more Pitt band. Marching bands adds to the pageantry of college football.
    2) create a program that unused tickets can be given to youth organizations or non profits. You have to build your next generation of fans. Kids today wear PSU, or Bama, or even Oregon. We have to win over those kids beginning now.
    3) shoot dead whoever decided to use yellow seats at Heinz Field (jk)
    4) begin tarping the upper deck. I sit in the north end zone, upper deck, so this directly affects me. Yet I am also a realist. Start on PNC park side first. But when you do this, be generous to those who lose their seats because of this move. Grandfather price their new seats. In other words, if I move from 522 to 122, let me keep 522 prices for a period of X years.
    4) move completely to the throwbacks.

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