Live Chat with Director of Ticket Operations, Reed Patterson

Below is the live transcript from Friday's live chat with Director of Ticket Operations Reed Patterson.

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Gary (McKeesport): Thank you for taking my question, Reed. I know that parking is a really big issue for people that like to tailgate. For example, I do not have seats that require a donation per seat, and last year, was assigned parking in the blu garage. This year however, I still have the same seats, but am going to donate $250 by the end of the fiscal year. I had made a request to be placed not in the gold 4 lot, but for the red 5 garage. I know that is a larger donation amount than is required for that garage, but my question is, what are the chances that will be approved and granted to me, seeing that I am donating mor ethan what is required?
Reed Patterson: Thanks everyone for joining us today. We have received a great response and I will be focusing on the football related questions. Hopefully at our next chat I will be able to address the basketball questions that were submitted. The chat room is now open. Gary, good question. Last year, we did launch the initiative to guarantee parking to all football season ticket holders and it was a great success. Certainly, the surface parking on the North Shore is limited and we wish that all fans could park in a lot if they wanted to, but it is just not possible. The parking passes are allocated by the Panther Club annual giving level and priority rank and then season ticket holders by order date. The Panther Club priority rank rewards loyalty such as years as a season ticket holder and consecutive years of membership as well as donations. The minimum donation required for the Red 5 Garage is $100 and I can assure you we will do everything we can to accommodate your request. This is certainly a good possibility. Also, I would encourage everyone to check out the World's Largest Family Tailgate on Art Rooney Avenue. We are bringing the tailgate to you. It is a great time.

Brandon (Pittsburgh): Reed, how many football season tickets have already been sold?
Reed Patterson: Brandon, our 2009 football season ticket sales have been great so far this year. Our attendance increased 60% in 2008 at Heinz Field. Currently, we are ahead of last year's pace and our goal is to completely sell-out. It has been our policy to not release ticket numbers during the sales campaign as they are changing every minute. I do want to take time to thank everyone that has purchased 2009 season tickets. Our coaches and players have told me you truly make a difference on the field.

Bruce in Towson, Maryland: As a season ticket holder since 1978, I am curious as to why you do not have a "Tag Day" at Heinz Field in the Spring to let us see seat locations that may be open and worth moving to. I sit in 534 Row 2 and would like to see open options for me in the lower bowl at the same price or if I would consider upgrading? Has this ever been done or discussed? Some schools in this area do this as do the Orioles. Thank you!
Reed Patterson: Bruce, thank you for your question and longtime support as a season ticket holder. I have received several similar questions regarding football seating and hope to answer them all in my response. If you want to look into moving your football seats, I would encourage you to contact the Panthers Ticket Office to put a request on file. Each season we take a detailed look at all of the requests we receive from season ticket holders. We are actually beginning this process next week and will be calling everyone that placed a seating request with any options that may be available. All requests are reviewed by the ticket office in Panther Club priority rank order and then season ticket holders by order date. Certainly, there are some requests we can accommodate and some we cannot, but we do take the time to review each one. The ticket office receives a large number of seating requests each year and this process takes about one month to complete. Last summer we held a great Alumni Event at Heinz Field in which we tagged seats that were available to purchase as a season ticket. Coach Wannstedt, Coach Dixon and Coach Berenato were all a part of this great day and we may look to build on this event in the future.

Harry Ingram: What giving level do I have to be at to get Gold Lot parking? for football
Reed Patterson: Harry, thank you for your question. In 2008, the Gold Lot parking passes were allocated to Panther Club members with an annual gift of $250 or higher. All of the parking lots at Heinz Field are assigned by the Panther Club annual giving level and priority point ranking and then by order date. If you need additional information, please feel free to contact the Ticket Office at 1-800-643-PITT or Panther Club at 412-648-8889. Thank you.

Kyle (Scranton): Hello, I am a student and I heard something about how the student "buddy" passes will not be available for the Notre Dame game. I also heard that if people were to buy single game tickets for that game they would have to purchase tickets to two other games. Is there any truth to these statements?
Reed Patterson: Kyle, thank you for the question. Student buddy passes will be sold to student season ticket holders if available. It would be great if the student section is sold out to Pitt students, but if we have tickets available buddy passes will be sold again this year. If available, single game tickets will go on-sale Wednesday, August 26 for the opener vs. Youngstown State and Sunday, September 6 for all other home games. All games can be purchased individually if tickets are available. Our season tickets are a great value and begin at $82.

Jim Diulus: I would like to purchase club seats. How do I go about this and do I have to give the Panther Club donation at the same time as the tickets purchase.? And does the ticket donation apply toward the parking pass? thanks
Reed Patterson: Jim, thank you for your question. If you are interested in purchasing club seats for football, I suggest that you contact the Panthers Ticket Office at 1-800-643-PITT and we will be happy to help you. The club ticket price is $280 for all 7 home games and requires a $250 or $500 per seat contribution to the Panther Club depending on the location. The Panther Club contribution would be due by June 30 and any gift would count toward your parking priority as well.

Lancaster,PA: When will single game tickets become available for non- season ticket holders?
Reed Patterson: If available, single game tickets will go on-sale Wednesday, August 26 for the opener vs. Youngstown State and Sunday, September 6 for all other home games. It is our goal to sell-out Heinz Field and season tickets begin at $82. I would encourage you to contact the Panthers Ticket Office at 1-800-643-PITT for more information. We will be happy to help!

Darryl Borrelli (Philadelphia, PA): For us displaced Panther fans who live too far away to reasonably purchase season tickets but still get to Pittsburgh for an occaisional football game, could you make more of an effort to make GOOD, but unsold football tickets available for Panther Club members? It makes no sense to see empty seats in the lower level while the only game day tickets available for purchase are in the upper levels.
Reed Patterson: Darryl, thank you for your question. In 2008 the lower bowl at Heinz Field was sold out to season ticket holders. It would be tough for us to hold good seats in the lower bowl for individual game purchases when fans are interested in buying them as a season ticket. Certainly, there may be some games when the visiting team returns tickets to us and lower bowl seats become available.

Nick (Cicninnati): What is the best way to secure away game tickets in the Pitt section for football if you are not a season ticket holder or a Panther Club member? I'm part of the Alumni Association, but I always end up buying tickets from the visitor's school's site because it seems like I can't be guaranteed tickets through Pitt.
Reed Patterson: Nick, this is a great question. The Panthers Ticket Office does receive a limited amount of tickets for each away game. Priority is given to our Panther Club members and season ticket holders. Season ticket holders had the opportunity to request away game tickets on their renewal application. For high demand games, the away ticket allotment we receive is normally sold out to these groups. If away game tickets remain after our priority period we would certainly be happy to sell them to any Panther fan. If you have a particular game you are interested in, I suggest you give the Panthers Ticket Office a call at 1-800-643-PITT and we will be happy to help.

Tim C. (North Hills): Hi Reed, I haven't renewed my season football tickets yet, but I would like to. I know the deadline was March 30. Can I still renew my tickets? Hail to Pitt!
Reed Patterson: Tim, you can certainly still renew your season tickets. We will make sure you get the same seats. To renew, feel free to contact our office at 1-800-643-PITT or visit PittsburghPanthers.com. Thank you Tim!

Wade: I'm a staff member at Pitt. One of my coworkers mentioned that I could receive a discount on season tickets. Is this true? What is the discount? What do I need to do to receive the discount?
Reed Patterson: Wade, great question. All Pitt Faculty/Staff and UPMC employees receive a 20% discount on any football season ticket. We have had a great response from Pitt and UPMC employees. To take advantage of this discount, please just give the Panthers Ticket Office a call at 1-800-643-PITT. You may also stop by our office which is located in the lobby of the Petersen Events Center. We are open for 8:30 - 5:00 Monday through Friday. All you will need is a copy of your staff I.D.
Reed Patterson: Additionally, Pitt and UMPC may sign up for payroll deduction at the Panthers Ticket Office. This allows the ticket payment to be deducted directly from you paycheck over a six month period.

Alicia: Has the Homecoming game been decided yet? If so, what game is it? Thanks, Reed!
Reed Patterson: Homecoming is set for Saturday, October 24 versus South Florida. It will be a great day.

Joe: Can I order extra parking passes? I buy tix for another couple and would like to get them a parking pass in our lot.
Reed Patterson: Joe, thank you for submitting your question. You can certainly purchase an additional parking pass for the 2009 season. The parking passes are $70 for all 7 home games. Parking passes are allocated by the Panther Club annual giving level and priority rank and then season ticket holders by order date. If you have any specific questions regarding your rank, please feel free to contact the Panthers Ticket Office at 1-800-643-PITT.
Reed Patterson: Thank you very much for your participation. As always if we can be of any assistance please give us a call. Also, there is a lot of great infromation located on PittsburghPanthers.com.