All Participating Universities Plan Unique Gameday Experiences for Honored Military Guests
PLANO, Texas – Through the generosity of fans, and a grassroots initiative known as “Seats for Soldiers” with Learfield IMG College Ticket Solutions, approximately 35,000 active duty or veteran military personnel will receive complimentary entry to a college football game this month.
Twenty-two university football programs are participating in the 7th Annual Seats for Soldiers. The movement was started by Learfield IMG College Ticket Solutions to honor men and women who serve, or have served in the military, at a football game close to Veterans Day. The movement has grown organically over the years allowing more active duty or veteran military personnel to participate each year.
More than $500,000 in ticket donations have been collected this year, translating to complimentary game tickets for servicemembers. To complement the Seats for Soldiers social media and email outreach by Learfield IMG College to raise awareness, fans have contributed by buying additional tickets for servicemembers and their families.
“It has been extremely rewarding to see our University partners and their fans embrace Seats for Soldiers, enabling this special program to reach new heights,” said Jake Bye, executive vice president, Learfield IMG College Ticket and Seat Solutions. “We’d like to thank each of the schools participating for their continued desire to host memorable gameday experiences for these brave men and women and their families.”
The Veteran Tickets Foundation (Vet Tix) works closely with Learfield IMG College Ticket Solutions on a national level to aid in the distribution of tickets. Together, they ensure all donated tickets are utilized by active duty and veteran military personnel at collegiate football games nationwide.
“The support of the Vet Tix mission by the Learfield IMG College Ticket Solutions team and their donors has been a significant factor in creating positive and unique opportunities for our military families,” said Vet Tix CEO Michael Focareto. “By going to these events, servicemembers, veterans and their families are able to reduce the stress that comes with military service and build life-long memories. These experiences positively impact families who cannot afford to attend games, have a spouse on deployment, or who are integrating back into civilian life or perhaps moving to a new city.”
Notably, Penn State, which is a Learfield IMG College Ticket Solutions partner, hosts a Military Appreciation Week across its campus culminating with one of the largest military gameday experiences. Its “Seats for Servicemembers” event will be held on November 16, when the Nittany Lions host the Indiana Hoosiers. In addition to complimentary game tickets, active and retired service members are invited to the Bryce Jordan Center for an exclusive pre-game tailgate – the largest of its kind in the Big Ten Conference primed to host 8,000 individuals. The military appreciation tailgate is hosted by Penn State University in collaboration with Penn State Athletics, Penn State Office of Veterans Affairs and Services, the Bryce Jordan Center and the Township of State College.
“As a veteran and Penn Stater, I am very appreciative and proud of the Penn State and Learfield IMG College Ticket Solutions partnership that makes this possible each year. This special event, now in its seventh year, is just a small sign of the tremendous support our military and veteran communities have in the state of Pennsylvania,” said Col. Eugene L. McFeely, Senior Director, Veteran Affairs and Services and Chair, Military Appreciation Executive Committee.
ABOUT LEARFIELD IMG COLLEGE TICKET SOLUTIONS
Learfield IMG College Ticket Solutions currently represents 48 partners nationally with nearly 200 on-site personnel dedicated to its respective relationships. By combining the best breed of technology and talent, Ticket Solutions works with universities and professional sports franchises to create engaged relationships with fans across the country. For additional information on the company’s offerings, additional information and client testimonials, visit the corporate site.
ABOUT VETERAN TICKETS
Veteran Tickets Foundation (Vet Tix), a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit, provides free tickets to sporting events, concerts, performing arts and family activities to currently serving military, National Guard and Reserves, veterans of all eras, immediate family of those killed in action, and VetTixers’ caregivers. Since 2008, Vet Tix has provided over 8 million free event tickets to more than 1.4 million members. In 2018 Vet Tix launched 1st Tix, which provides the same service to our nation’s current and retired law enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMTs. These events help veterans and first responders reduce stress, strengthen family bonds, build lifelong memories, and encourage them to stay engaged with American life and their local communities. Vet Tix spends over 95 percent of its revenue on programs, ensuring that we give back to those who have given so much. Visit VetTix.org and 1stTix.org to learn more, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.