In a follow-up to the post earlier today regarding the booting of Pitt’s Philly chapter from the original pre-game and gamewatch site, we have a comment from the President of the Greater Philadelphia Pitt Club.
I am reprinting it here, because it deserves a full post on its own, so it can’t be missed.
This is Tim Pecsenye:
I am writing to set the record straight about rumors and inaccurate comments made about our Club’s upcoming event being held in conjunction with the Pitt v. Villanova basketball game on February 12. First, let me introduce myself. I am the President of the Greater Philadelphia Pitt Club. I live in Philadelphia and practice law in Center City. Our Club is affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh’s Alumni Association. Our Club members are some of the nearly 11,000 proud alumni of the University of Pittsburgh that call Greater Philadelphia home. Other than for social and networking purposes, the Club primarily exists to raise money to support scholarships for students from Greater Philadelphia that will attend the University of Pittsburgh.
Our Club has hosted an event prior to any Pitt v. Villanova basketball game for over 15 years when the game is played in Philadelphia. Our Club has hosted a pregame event at the bar and restaurant located where Kelly’s Taproom is now operated dating back over 15 years. We have hosted successful pregame events at the Wild Onion as well as at Flip & Bailey’s. So when the basketball schedule was released showing a game at the Pavilion, we contacted Kelly’s to arrange an event. We entered into a contract with Kelly’s to have a pregame dinner from 7-9, and a television game watch following our dinner, for those who were unable to get tickets. No controversy or objections were ever raised by Kelly’s or anyone else about this event. Interest in our event apparently became an issue, when a poster here raised it by way of a blog post, complaining about Pitt alumni coming to Kelly’s and threatening a boycott of the bar and restaurant.
As this post gained circulation, Kelly’s apparently became concerned about how it may affect their business. Kelly’s contacted our Club representatives indicating our Club would not be able [or discouraged] to stay after our dinner to watch the game, as set forth and provided for in our contract. We decided rather than fight about our contracted right, as well as the enjoyment and safety of our guests, that we would move our event to a venue that would welcome us. Understanding that Kelly’s was a place where we and our money were no longer welcome, we contacted Kelly’s to negotiate out of our contract for the event. We are pleased to report our event will not go forward at Kelly’s on February 12.
I am frankly surprised and disappointed that the greater Villanova community is apparently so threatened by our Club’s proposed event. Our members are respectable citizens of Greater Philadelphia, some of whom also have degrees from Villanova. We have partnered with their Villanova Club to run a number of successful joint events over the years. We hope that the discrimination and overtly nasty things said about us were the shallow and thoughtless comments of some ill-mannered minority, rather than the consensus of Villanova fans, students, and alumni.
Our event will go forward on February 12 at The Fox and Hound in King of Prussia. We welcome any Pitt or Villanova fans or alumni to join us. If you have an interest in joining us, see our web site at: http://www.alumni.pitt.edu/clubs/philadelphia/ for details. We are looking forward to a great game and Panther victory. Hail to Pitt!
I will say it again. The owner/operator of Kelly’s Taproom, a “loyal Villanova alum” is an idiot, coward and not a person of his word (or apparently contract).
It does reflect poorly on Villanova alum and students as a whole that they blew this completely out of proportion. Most schools with any sizable alumni base in a region will set up watch parties and pre-game events near the venue. Usually without craziness.
Most schools and/or alumni organizations work with other schools to suggest, recommend or help find locations for events. It’s a shame that Villanova’s alumni don’t have a clue about these things.