Gary Stokan’s Jacksonville counterpart sure can marshal some interesting numbers for his side of the story on the WLOCP.
… While the game has an economic impact of $25 million to $30 million for the city, the most important figure is the money the schools make from the game. Each school nets about $1.6 million annually, according to Greg McGarity, UF’s senior associate athletic director for internal affairs. While that’s considerably less than the $2.2 million to $2.3 million Florida nets from a regular Southeastern Conference home game at Florida Field, the dollars make more sense when you look at them over a four-year period.
If the game were to go home-and-home, for example, both schools would play host to the game twice. Because visiting teams receive no money, that means UF would make $4.4 million to $4.6 million in a four-year period.
If the game is played in Jacksonville, UF would receive $1.6 million annually – or $6.4 million over the four years. That’s an extra $2 million. The numbers are similar at Georgia.
Travel costs factor in as well. Georgia receives $100,000 from Jacksonville to help defray its costs, but if the game alternated between the campus sites, the Bulldogs would not get any help. Each Southeastern Conference road trip costs about $150,000, meaning Georgia would be out an additional $300,000.
UF’s costs from Gainesville to Jacksonville are about $50,000. That’s $200,000 over a four-year period. Two trips to Georgia, however, would cost the school about $300,000.
In addition, the city picks up the costs for game-day operations: security, ticket takers, ushers, concession workers, medical services, cleanup, etc. McGarity said the cost for those services is about $250,000 at Florida Field. Over four years, that’s a $500,000 savings…
I’d be interested to hear the numbers from Georgia’s side, but I assume they’re pretty similar.
And there are these numbers to consider, as well.
… Jacksonville Municipal Stadium seats 82,917 for this game, and the Georgia Dome seats 72,000. Tickets are distributed on a 50-50 split, meaning each school would have roughly 5,500 fewer tickets in Atlanta than Jacksonville. Who no longer receives tickets? Students? Big-money boosters?
Plus, there’s this: Club seat tickets at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium are $70 and the rest of the tickets are $40. That’s a minimum of $220,000 less for each school every time the game is in the Georgia Dome.
“You’re not going to go up in price in Atlanta,” McGarity said. “I don’t think either school would want that.
“What do you tell folks? ‘Sorry. I know you’ve been going to this game for years and years, but you can’t go.’ How do you have that conversation?”
William Pate, president of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, told the Atlanta Business Chronicle last week that the city could make up the seating gap between the stadiums with its financial package.
“No one’s going to move for less financial impact,” he said.
Of course, nobody on the Atlanta side has provided any specifics on how the city intends to do just that. And as a resident taxpayer, let me assure you that we’re not exactly rolling in dough right now. The idea that some of my tax dollars might go to enticing Florida fans to come visit… let’s just say I’ve got a few ideas about how that money might be better spent.
And of course, there’s this to sweeten the deal.
… Georgia fans, however, have been much more subdued leaving the game over the past two decades. Since 1990, Florida is 16-3 in the series, and that lopsided margin is also fueling talk of moving the series.
Bouda doesn’t like the sentiment, but he understands why it’s there.
“I know nowadays coaches are in a tough spot,” Bouda said. “As important as tradition is, their jobs are more important. Sometimes they have to look at the short term as opposed to long term. What happened 50 years ago is not important if they can’t win.”
If the game moves, get used to this crap, Dawgnation. Especially if Georgia loses in Atlanta, too.