Penn State will allow full capacity for PIAA baseball, softball championships

Wednesday, June 9, 2021 | 5:07 PM

Penn State will allow full capacity at its baseball and softball stadiums for the upcoming PIAA championships, alleviating worries the softball finals might need to be moved.

The games are June 17-18.

“We’re very pleased with the dialog that we’ve had with them and the assistance that they’ve given us,” PIAA executive director Bob Lombardi said. “They were receptive, and we thank them.”

The university’s baseball venue, Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, seats about 5,400. Nittany Lion Softball Park’s capacity is 1,084.

With seating at full capacity, the PIAA won’t limit the number of tickets available per school, and excess tickets will be available to the general public.

“They should be able to buy what they need,” Lombardi said. “Based upon our past history with the capacities that both facilities have, we should be in good shape.”

Ticket will be exclusively sold online with none available at the gate, an approach the PIAA first adopted in the fall. The tickets will be available via the PIAA website.

“It seems to have been very, very well received across the commonwealth,” Lombardi said. “People like it because they have access to it. Even if they go to a contest without a ticket, they can log on (with their phone) and get one right there. It has worked famously.”

Lombardi spoke Wednesday after the PIAA board met online. When the board met May 29, the PIAA was concerned the softball finals might need to be moved, if Penn State declined to increase capacity.

At that time, the PIAA said capacity at Penn State’s softball field was capped at 190 people. But that was before statewide covid-19 restrictions were lifted May 31, allowing events to return to full capacity.

Penn State has served as host for the PIAA championships finals since 2011.

Previously, the state finals were held at Shippensburg from 1976-2010 with the exception of three seasons. Altoona hosted in 1989, and Williamsport was host in 1993-94.

The baseball finals also moved to Penn State in 2011 after six seasons in Altoona.

Basketball proposal delayed

The PIAA board delayed voting on a plan to revamp the state basketball playoffs, and instead tabled further discussion until July.

The plan would start the state tournament a few days earlier (on a Tuesday and Wednesday) and put the semifinals on a weekend rather than mid-week. The board could’ve voted to support the proposal Wednesday, but a delay was requested by PIAA Districts 12 and 1, which represent Philadelphia schools.

“There are a couple of board members who said, ‘I thought before we make this type of change, we were all going to get together and kick the tires,’ ” Lombardi said.

The board tentatively had approved the change last month on a first reading. The plan must pass three votes.

If approved, the next state tournament will begin March 8-9, 2022.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at or via Twitter .

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