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University of Pittsburgh athletic director Scott Barnes today unveiled a number of initiatives designed to enhance the total fan experience at Heinz Field beginning this fall.
“There is a tremendous amount of excitement surrounding Coach Pat Narduzzi’s team, evidenced by our record-pace ticket sales,” Barnes said. “It is our goal to provide the finest, most enjoyable experience in all of college football. We’ve had some outstanding collaborations with our inaugural Panthers Fans Experience Committee and also gathered important information through our Pitt football fan survey. The initiatives we are announcing today are the result of the feedback gathered from those two important groups.”
Pitt’s new fan initiatives for the 2016 football season are:
• Expanded alcohol sales at Heinz Field: The opportunity to purchase beer will be available stadium-wide beginning this fall. Previously, alcohol was only sold in the club and suite sections. The expansion of this amenity will coincide with the implementation of appropriate safety measures for Pitt game days, ensuring the continuation of a fan and family friendly environment for all. (Such measures are already in place for Steelers home games. Aramark, Heinz Field’s official food and beverage concessionaire, provides comprehensive staff training in the sale of alcohol.) A portion of the funds from beer sales proceeds will be dedicated to drug and alcohol education programs for the overall student body through Pitt’s Division of Student Affairs.
• Panthers Pregame Tailgate Party: Featuring fun for Pitt fans of all ages, the Panthers Pregame Tailgate Party along Art Rooney Avenue will be significantly enhanced for the 2016 season. Entertainment will include live music, interactive games and a large video screen. A new menu provides fans with expanded food and beverage choices designed to make this the perfect spot for all fans to gather prior to kickoff.
• “The Panther Pitt” student section: In a continuation of last year’s successful initiatives directly derived from student feedback, Pitt Athletics has continued to productively collaborate with student leaders, the Division of Student Affairs and Pitt Parking and Transportation to ensure an outstanding student game day experience. This includes additional shuttles to and from Heinz Field, in-game activities, postgame food and beverage and enhanced communication.
• Single-game parking: For the first time ever, parking passes for individual Panthers home games are available for purchase through the Pitt Ticket Office.
• Improved Pitt Gameday Live App: A must for Panthers fans, the improved Pitt Gameday Live App will provide real-time notifications sent directly to your mobile device. Fans will receive parking, traffic and weather updates, as well as information on game day events and activities. This app also lets fans know exactly when Coach Narduzzi and the Panthers will be arriving at Heinz Field so they can greet the team before the game.
• Panthers Fans Appreciation Program: As a show of gratitude for Pitt fans’ outstanding support through ticket sales for 2016, the Pitt Athletic Department and IMG are introducing the Panthers Fans Appreciation Program. Following each home football game, season-ticket holders and mini-package customers who were in attendance will receive a Panther Appreciation Award email with an exclusive discount or gift certificate.
• Script Pitt Gear at Heinz: All Heinz Field stores will have a comprehensive collection of the latest Pitt script merchandise, including jerseys, T-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, throwback gear and other accessories.