You break it, you own it.

It sounds like the fan base isn’t on the same page with Greg McGarity when it comes to scheduling strategy.  This notice went out this morning:

2012 GEORGIA FOOTBALL TICKETS

Beginning Tuesday, May 1st, the University of Georgia Athletic Association will offer William C. Hartman Jr. Fund patrons an additional opportunity to purchase tickets to three home football games and single non-renewable season tickets.

There is no order limit to the following games as all tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and assigned based on cumulative priority points to qualifying Hartman Fund patrons:

Season tickets (single-non renewable)                                  $280 each

”           Single non-renewable season tickets may not be adjacent and will not be assigned with your renewable season tickets

September 1      Buffalo                                 Athens                 $45 each

September 15   Florida Atlantic                 Athens                 $45 each

September 22   Vanderbilt                           Athens                 $45 each

The deadline to order tickets to these games is Tuesday, May 15, 2012.

Orders may be placed through the UGA Ticket Office online at www.georgiadogs.com by selecting the “buy tickets button” in the top right corner of the page. Select season renewals and then sign into your patron account and select football ticket sales option.  Orders may also be submitted via phone by calling 877-542-1231 (M-F, 8am-4:30pm) or at the Butts/Mehre Ticket Office Window.

All renewable season tickets, as well as single game tickets to the aforementioned games ordered by March 31 will be filled. Priority requirements will be released on www.georgiadogs.com as soon as they are determined.

No doubt we’ll hear the economy blamed for drop in demand.  I wonder how many years they’ll try to get away with that excuse.

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52 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

52 responses to “You break it, you own it.

  1. wnc dawg

    I quit buying season tickets several years ago, for a few reasons, but the biggest at the time was cost. I go to 3 or so home games a year now (b/c I am out of state) and just scalp. I also go to another away game besides Jax with the money I saved. Why would I ever want to make a Hartman contribution again? I can now afford season tickets, but can’t really see a way they’ll get me back. I don’t imagine I’m alone.

    • Raleigh St. Clair

      You’re not.

      I’d rather scalp an away ticket or a UF ticket and make a big weekend of it.

      Who the hell wants to pay all that money for Buffalo and GSU? Apparently less people than McGarity though.

  2. I’m out of state as well and ask the question whether it’s worth it to send in the donation and buy the tickets. I know it’s cheaper to scalp rather than pay for the full package, but I come back to the fact that I think there is some value associated with bein a season ticket holder and member of the Bulldog Club.

    • stoopnagle

      I’m honestly asking here. What’s the value to being a ST holder/Bulldog Club member in your estimation?

      • Castleberry

        Depending on your lifetime contribution –
        Road game tickets through the school for face value (this isn’t worth as much as it used to be as more and more road tickets are priced at or above market)

        Yearly benefits –
        Priority parking
        Georgia Florida tickets
        Renewable season tickets
        Priority for extra home game tickets

        For someone starting from scratch, I advise to scalp the games they want. I’ll be over $30k lifetime next year. The first year I don’t contribute, my lifetime score and $2 gets me a bag of chips.

      • fuelk2

        I’d say it’s purely intangible. I just like being able to say I’m a season ticket holder, but I’ll never be able to justify the cost over the long run.

        I also like sitting in the same seat and not having to worry about buying fake tickets. But again, it’s more about having a good feeling from “being in the club” and supporting the team financially.

      • For me, it’s about supporting Bulldog sports across the board. Also, my dad tried like crazy to get tickets when I was growing up and was never able to get them. I look forward to the first week of August when the tickets arrive every year. It’s like Christmas in August.

  3. paul

    We got into this conversation about a week ago. I was offered a couple of opportunities to maintain my tickets at a much lower donation than I had previously been making. I said at the time that I doubted I was alone since I am by no means anything remotely close to a major donor. i had been contributing for a number of years but that’s the only thing I had going for me. We’ve come a long way from just a few short years ago when a new ticket holder would have needed an initial $10,000 donation to qualify for tickets.

  4. Spence

    Anyone have a guess what the cutoff for new season tickets will be? I think it was $500 last year. What is amazing to me is that I do not think it will go up despite a kick-ass defense and what will probably be consensus top-10 pre-season poll numbers.

    In 2008, the cutoff was $10,000 when we were #1. A man named Willie Martinez was the defensive coordinator then. A man named Todd Grantham is the coordinator now.

    Really, what has changed in the Bulldog Nation mindset? Cheap HD TVs?

    Regardless, I made my first donations this year and hope to get season tickets. I feel as though I am a rarity.

    • Last year there was no cut-off, so you only had to make the minimum contribution ($250/seat).

      I’d say there are many factors driving the decline in demand, several that were spelled out by Big-G below. Here are just a few that I think are most pertinent.

      1a) The cost of HDTV’s these days. A TV that would set you back $3k 10 years ago is not available for around $750. Many people are choosing to stay at home and watch it from section HD where they have their own bathroom, chair, and fully stocked bar available.
      1b) Piggy-backing on 1a is the fact that nearly every game is televised these days. We aren’t limited to either going or hoping to be in an area that carries the game on radio for most of the games. People can spend $750-$1k on their HDTV’s one time every 3-4 years instead of $1k/year on donations/tickets to watch the same games. It seems to be a no-brainer.
      2) Shitty home schedules. McGarity has made it explicitly clear that he sees as nothing more than 90k wallets on Saturdays that can be readily interchanged. Why cater to those of us Hartman Fund contributors that are disgruntled by this when he sees us as easily replaceable?
      3) TV revenues. With local TV rights and the deals from CBS/ESPN, schools no longer need to sell out home games to make up operating costs. They couldn’t care less if the stadium is half empty as long as CBS/ESPN are going to continue to cut them checks. This directly correlates to point #2.

      I feel you though. I made my first donations last year (I graduated in 2007) and felt like the value of being a member of the Bulldog Club was important as mentioned by ee above. My thoughts last year were that it was going to be the cheapest it would ever be to get in the Club and once you were in, you had tickets until you chose not to keep them. It’s that fear of going back to the end of the line that caused me to re-up this year. I do kind of regret it now seeing that I could scalp the two or so games I want to go to a lot cheaper than doing the season package/Hartman Fund contribution.

      • Spence

        Yeah, same thought process. This investment is for next year or the year after when the big boys start coming back to town on the SEC schedule and maybe I’ll get a chance to see UGA play Bama or LSU in Athens when it’s two top-10 teams. Not having to deal with scalpers will be nice, but on the whole this is really just about becoming a season ticket holder. With StubHub and everything else, getting scalped tickets for the few games you don’t watch on you HD really is easier.

        I would suspect UGA will find ways to entice Season Ticket holders back after this year, given what I see as a potential shortfall in sales. They obviously thought that going to the SEC champ game would be enough to get people excited. Guess the thing is most real UGA fans suspect we’re not really “back” yet.

        • I would suspect UGA will find ways to entice Season Ticket holders back after this year, given what I see as a potential shortfall in sales.

          I have little doubt the email that the Senator posted is going to get forwarded directly back to McGarity by quite a few frustrated season ticket holders with some choice words regarding shitty scheduling. Then again, when has McGarity (or the powers that be in college football for the last twenty years or so) ever shown that they give a damn about what the people that make their billion dollar TV deals possible care about?

        • Governor Milledge

          I had to go look at the current Stubhub prices for the Buffalo after you mentioned it… the best deal that pops out to me at the moment is 2 LL tickets, midfield, for $85/apiece. And we all know that you’ll likely be able to scalp for equivalent tickets on Gameday for $50-60.

          If I had the disposable money at the moment, I would strongly consider buying season tickets as an ‘investment’, especially with family relocating permanently to Athens. As for those who have a drive to Athens further than Atlanta, understandably so why you’d ditch season tickets given the lineup.

          • Ron

            No, that’s way off on gameday pricing for Buffalo. For many, the tickets will be free. And for others, the ticket will only cost $10 – $30 bucks. I have sclped for ten years and I’ve only once had an issue – the blackout game against Bama. In fact, I rarely even pay for the tickets. And know, I don’t know tons of folks in power. I’m just a regular guy and yeah – I attend at least 3 homes games per year, one away game & Jax.

            • No One Knows You're a Dawg

              That Bama game was an almost impossible ticket. I knew a guy who flew in from California who paid $175 for a single two hours before kickoff and counted himself lucky (at least before the game started).

              • CLT Dawg

                We had a buddy & his son pay $250 apiece for 600 level that game. We found a guy on the loading dock that was taking green tickets that night…5 tickets per person. Went up the loading elevator out onto the concourse, and snuck into seats in the recruiting section. Funny part was I ended sitting between Branden Smith & his brother, and Marlon Brown & his grandmother. Had no clue who either of them were until one of my buddies texted me & told me. Great night, except for the game.

      • No One Knows You're a Dawg

        Great post. I think schools may end up deciding they care whether stadiums are half full if only because half full stadiums look bad on (HD)TV, thus lowering ratings and influencing broadcast contracts. I can see a day when sports teams treat ticket sales as “loss leaders” for the purpose of getting fans in the stadium to spend money and provide “atmosphere” for the viewers at home.

  5. Big-G

    I’m also an out of stater that is considering giving up on season tix.
    I think it is a combination of:
    1) Not competing for championships
    2) The economy. Still a lot of people out of work these days. Esp blue collar workers.
    3) Cheap HDTVs
    4) Athens businesses gouging people going to games. 10 years ago I could reserve a hotel room for Sat night only. Now they want 2 night minimum and it is prepaid and NON-REFUNDABLE! Parking is expensive, etc
    5) No improvement in my seats despite donating above the minimum for 10 years.

    • Bulldawg165

      Yeah I can’t argue with you on the above points except that I thought the hotels required 3 night minimums (which is even worse). I’d also like to add to your list:
      6) The games kick off at noon, so you’d have to leave Atlanta around 6 AM to have any type of tailgating
      7) Numerous tailgating restrictions (although I hear they eased up a little last season)

      Man.. I sure do miss those fall Saturdays in Athens though.

      • 6) The games kick off at noon, so you’d have to leave Atlanta around 6 AM to have any type of tailgating

        Excellent point. I’m getting to that point in my life where I’m not going to make an entire weekend of being in Athens except for a marquee weekend (i.e. Auburn/Tech/LSU/Bama). We left our house in East Cobb at 8:15 the day of the MSU game and due to traffic getting in, didn’t even get to the stadium until after kick-off. Admittedly, poor planning on our parts but the point of early kick-offs sucking the wind out of tailgating still holds.

    • Sanford222View

      Have you requested to have your seats moved when you renew your season tickets? They won’t move you unless you request it.

      Also, not to sound like a d!ck but 10 years at the minimum donation won’t get you ranked very high in the donor rankings. If you are donating $1,000 per year for example for the last 10 years that would put you in the bottom 40% in donor points. That may not be high enough to improve your seats if you have been requesting a move.

      • Cojones

        Talked to a former Bama player last week and he said that his father bought season tickets every year beginning in 1950s, upgraded toward the center through the years and is now between the 15-20yd line and 11 rows up.

      • Big-G

        Not to sound like a d!ck but I wrote above that I have donated above the minimum.

  6. rbcdawg

    I think the biggest problem is the shitty schedule combined with the constant stream of noon kickoffs.

  7. Castleberry

    There was a runaway post on McGarity’s scheduling philosophy last year. I am too lazy to go back and find it, but I seemed to be in the small minority of fans who preferred home/homes with teams you’d actually pay to see. The majority of commenters preferred McGarity’s approach because “that’s what it takes to win the MNC.”

    I’m guessing those commenters will be at home enjoying their flat screens while we toast bloody mary’s and look around at 12000 empty seats. Bring on Buffalo baby!!!!

    • paul

      I’m with you. Losing to South Cackalacky sucked big time. As bad as it was though, watching the Coastal Carolina game was far, far worse. At least I knew I’d seen a genuine division 1 game when the old ball coach came to town. I’d rather lose a close game to a good team than roll a drunk.

    • Bob

      Amen Castleberry, amen brother. This home schedule is a complete and total joke. I have retained my season tickets but not sure why. I had hoped to get Mizzou tickets but the Athletic Department told me it was highly unlikely.

      This is the only reason I am really for a 9 game conference schedule, because it will mean we at least get 10 BCS games…even though it might mean no more Clemsons and probably a cancelled Ohio State game.

  8. Castleberry

    I’d also like to point out that this is a great opportunity to kick the Vols while they are down. The Tennessee game used to be THE big ticket in even years. Folks probably aren’t too worried about forgoing the season tix and scalping their way into UT and Tech.

  9. DawgPhan

    I am just happy that I know I will be getting the 4th ticket added to my order this season. I also asked to have my tickets split into 2 pairs and moved so we will see what happens there, but otherwise, glad I have tickets and dont have to worry about that.

    • Yeah, amidst my bitching above I requested two extra seats this year for my parents and I had no expectation of actually getting them. I guess I was wrong. I suppose some of us (cough *me* cough) epitomize Stockholm Syndrome.

    • “amidst” should say “despite”

  10. Bright Idea

    This will be my 33rd year donating and buying season tickets. I live 75 minutes from Athens and can tolerate most any game time but the losses in big games and the Coastal Carolina/Buffalo/FIU type games are becoming more and more discouraging. More home performances like Auburn last year would help. Now buying parking deck passes will be put on a lottery. Combined with the economy there’s just too much about coming to a game that is easy to dislike. Age is becoming a factor too. Generally speaking the schedule is hurting season tickets the most.

  11. X-Dawg

    The Buffalo and Florida Atlantic games may be stinkers, but I’m hoping for some fireworks at the Vandy game this year. The $45 for extra tickets to that game may be a bargain.

    P.S. It DOES suck when Vandy may be the best home game on the schedule though.

  12. Durrtydogg

    Win and they will come!

    • Bob

      Really? Last year we were in the midst of a 10 game winning streak and had just beaten Florida and the New Mexico State game had the fewest folks I have seen in Sanford Stadium in years. And New Mexico State is no less attractive than Buffalo and FAU.

  13. Beer Money

    I am going to wait and see what the long term schedule starts to look like after this year. If this craptastic schedule gets to be the norm with no good OOC games ever, then I too will drop seasons. But dropping them THIS year because the schedule is weak THIS year is not a very good strategy. If it is imminent that this is long term, then that’s a different argument. But buying when things are dismal/demand is low is when you want to get in, just like a cheap stock. You don’t buy Apple today. You bought in 12-15 years ago.

    How many people in Alabama wish they could go back and buy seasons during the Mike Shula era now?

    • Castleberry

      Long term – sheesh. The fun starts next year thanks to conference expansion. We’re getting a return date from Missouri instead of Alabama in 2013. Right? I guess there’s a chance we get ‘Bama but it went from a sure thing to hoping.

  14. Go Dawgs!

    A game against the University of Buffalo is a bad product. People don’t want bad products, especially when they’re being presented in the place of a game against a program we recognize, like the University of Louisville or the University of Oregon. People don’t want to buy bad products. Greg McGarity’s a smart man. You’d think he’d be able to figure it out. FAU? We don’t even get the pleasure of seeing Howard Schnellenberger on the sideline for that one. I’ll be at these games, but I won’t be happy about it.

    • I’ll be at these games, but I won’t be happy about it.

      Call me cynical, but that’s exactly what McGarity is counting on when making these schedules. The only way this changes is if we stop ponying up the cash for a subpar product, but we don’t and they will keep taking advantage of us because of it.

  15. Ron

    Winning helps but we’ve had this problem for a while. I hate to to say this but our fan base is much ACCish than SECish. The only difference is that our basketball teams sucks. If you don’t believe me, check out the end zone and corner at kickoff come Buffalo.

    • Bob

      Ron,
      No more ACCish than a bunch of others. Neyland was not full at kickoff last year and it was an evening game. Florida had thousands of empty seats for some of their typical garbage games. Hell, Bama’s average attendance was even down in their brand new 100K seat Bryant Denny.

      • Cojones

        FU must have had a helluva crowd at the better games to average over 100% attendance since 2006.

        • Silver Creek Dawg

          No, they count tickets sold or distributed, not tickets actually used. That’s how they get to 100+% attendance.

  16. No One Knows You're a Dawg

    I do think the economy is a factor. Many fans come from metro Atlanta and Atlanta is in an economic depression with “official” unemployment over 10% since 2009 and a decline in housing prices that has wiped out many people’s net worth.

    The economic fallout is effecting not only UGA but the pro teams in Atlanta as well. The Hawks playoff game last night was not sold out and the Braves have been offering all sorts of ticket deals. The Falcons have also been playing to less than capacity crowds despite having the best multi year run in their history. I think the sports industry has yet to fully internalize the consequences of the Great Recession and it’s being reflected in a lack of ticket sales.

    • Nostradamus

      There has to be a day of reckoning about this sooner or later. Been out there lately and seen the cost of gasoline? The United States financially cannot afford to continue paying guys millions of dollars per year (escalating on an annual basis) to throw, hit and catch baseballs or run with a football through a crowd of other guys trying to tackle the runner. Or toss a big ball threw a hoop suspended twice as high as a normal person is tall. Or for that matter, to hit a small white orb with a club ill-suited for striking it thereby moving the orb many yards at a time until it is knocked into a hole about the same size as the orb a quarter mile away. Some things, in the final analysis, are more important than others. Like clothing. Like food. Like having a warm place to sleep in cold weather. The public will stop paying because entertainment will become secondary. Survival will be primary. This ticket retrenchment is only the tip of the iceberg. One day a major sports league is going to fail, then another and another. The shock waves will be felt all across this nation. There will be a major adjustment–and it will be soon.

  17. Raleigh St. Clair

    Mediocre football team + bad home schedule + overpriced tickets = a lot of lost season ticket holders.

    McGarity and Adams have got it all wrong.

  18. Cojones

    Aging and health are two variables that are forgotten here, but both have affected me for the last 6 yrs. Things are better now and I’m getting back on ambulatory track, but seeing the games on big TV and unable to attend readily is poignant.

    I’ve tried to keep a sense of humor by posting preposterously about attending games during the off-season. Telling my wife I’m headed to a UGA football game while packing my golf clubs and fishing tackle is ludicrous if you only knew my wife. She is astute in many ways about UGA football and life in general. When I snatched her away she was one of two Admin Assts to two Directors and one VP at Kyocera. She also arranged off-site parties for her group(I attended one as her guest and met her bosses) and found through conversations with them, that she would be a big loss to them after our marriage. She is still in touch with some after 22 yrs with me.

    Her cultural background, however, still makes her an Amnesian.

  19. Four tickets, four hot dogs, four cokes

    I’ve been giving since 79 and am in the top 5% of contributors. I quit going to away games because I was two rows from the top. I have no interest in Fl. Atlantic. I’m ok with a cupcake to open……..that’s good sense.

    I’m getting closer to giving up my tickets and gettting them for the games I want. My teenagers have no interest unless its a big game. The younger generation would rather watch on tv. UGA needs to pay attention.

    And Adams (mr dick) policy of not giving preference to UGA graduates children is creating a whole generation of auburn fans……………

    • Silver Creek Dawg

      Why would the University NOT want to encourage legacy grads? Just pointless…

    • paul

      Yeah, our son graduated from UGA a little over a year ago. When we decided to let the tickets go we asked if he would like to buy them. It would have been easy enough for us to keep purchasing and let him buy them from us. Meanwhile, he gets the benefit of our years of contributions. Nope. Not interested. He can get tickets easily without the overhead. He sees absolutely no benefit to being in the system as a season ticket holder. And he’s a finance major so I’m certain he did the math.