Penn State

Nittany Lion Club director: No tickets through Penn State for football game in Ireland

Penn State trustee Ted Brown plans to take seven people to Ireland next year for Penn State’s game against Central Florida.

He has more than a million air miles he can redeem for the flights and hotel rooms.

As it stands now, the only way he’ll have to get tickets for the game Aug. 30, 2014, is to buy a tour package through a travel company.

There’s no specific allotment of tickets for Penn State, whether it’s a trustee such as Brown, the university president or athletics staff, according to Penn State’s new Nittany Lion Club director, Mark Wharton.

Wharton answered questions Tuesday about that game during a luncheon with members of the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County at Celebration Hall in College Township. Brown was one of a couple of dozen businessmen and women in attendance.

The game in Ireland will be Penn State’s first outside the United States. Central Florida will be considered the home team.

The game will be played at Croke Park in Dublin, and it’s sponsored by the Gaelic Athletic Association. Those entities control the tickets, not Penn State, Wharton said.

Penn State officials are working with the Irish groups to secure tickets the university could use, Wharton said.

Nittany Lion Club members will be given priority seating at Croke Park, he said.

Wharton fielded another ticket-related question from trustee emerita Mimi Barash Coppersmith, who asked about tickets being sold on the discount website Groupon.com for this season’s opener Aug. 31 against Syracuse in East Rutherford, N.J.

Wharton said the third-party vendor, IMG, paid full price for the tickets.

Wharton started his position July 15 and is in charge of the fundraising arm of Penn State’s athletic department. The Nittany Lion Club has about 24,000 members, and there are more than 3,000 who donate to Penn State who don’t have a relationship with the university, he said.

“We need to provide that opportunity to say thanks,” Wharton said.

Wharton previously worked as the athletics fundraising director at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.

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