Rolling the dice.

Nice catch by the Red & Black:

The Athletic Board isn’t cutting available student tickets, but rather available student seats. Instead of 17,910 seats available for students, only 15,856 seats will be open.

However, because the Athletic Board isn’t cutting tickets, student seats will be oversold by approximately 2,800. In the 2012 season, full-season tickets were awarded to 18,645 students, according to a previous article by The Red & Black.

That means if everyone who had tickets came to the game, about 2,800 wouldn’t have seats and overcrowding would become a serious security issue.

A student makes the obvious point that this year’s home schedule is attractive, particularly in September, which makes it likely that seat demand will be greater than last year’s.  Is that a potential problem?  Not to worry… because.  Just because.

Even if overcrowding became a possible issue, Gray said the football operation teams are prepared to combat the problem.

“On game days, the operations and ticket operations staff are in constant communication with not only the fire marshal, but keeping up with stand rates as people come in,” he said. “So, we definitely wouldn’t fall into a situation where there’d be overcrowding.”

In the last four years, the highest scanned total, not including the marching band, was about 14,650 student tickets at the 2011 Auburn game, Gray said.

Essentially, the plan is hoping that history keeps repeating.  It’ll be interesting to see if we wind up in a situation this season when the administration hopes that students don’t show up for a big game.

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54 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

54 responses to “Rolling the dice.

  1. Jackie

    This is the problem when they switched from tangible tickets to scanning student IDs. Before, if someone missed a game, they sold it to another student, young alumni, or students from another school visiting their friends at UGA.

    The administration has no idea what they’re going regarding student tickets.

    • DawgPhan

      Suggesting that students scalping their tickets is a viable solution is nonsense. Why should the Athletic Department subsidize their tickets if they are just going to sell them.

      Secondly I predict that there will be much gnashing of teeth and hand wringing over this leading into the season. The red and black will be on the mother. Young Alums will get seats and students will still cram 20 people into 10 seats in the lower level student sections just like they always have.

      This is such a non-issue and turning unused student tickets into renewable season tickets is an awesome idea.

      • Why should the Athletic Department subsidize their tickets if they are just going to sell them.

        Because they’re paying athletic fees to the school. Subsidies cut both ways.

        This is such a non-issue and turning unused student tickets into renewable season tickets is an awesome idea.

        Then why not cut the student ticket allotment back accordingly?

        • DawgPhan

          And they get to buy reduced priced tickets to get them in the game. If you want to buy an easily transferable ticket, buy a regular ticket.

          They dont cut the student ticket allotment back because they still want to provide access. Overselling isn’t new, or particularly “dangerous”. I am sure that they are prepared and have a plan, they even allude to such. So I guess I will err on the side of professionals who have technology, data, and experience on their side over the worries of a college student.

          And this doesnt impact me in the slightest because I have seats and should it come down to it, a helpful security person will help me maintain those seats. Hell I can just text my complaint now. Dont even have to miss a play.

          • Dawg in Beaumont

            I would argue that the students deserve to buy an easily transferable ticket since they don’t get an option in paying athletic fees. It’s part of the standard fee that everyone pays, there is no way to opt out of it.

          • Keese

            What do you care if a student scalps their ticket? At least there’s not a huge empty seciton in the stadium. I’m guessing you were not a student at UGA when paper tickets were around

          • 79Dawg

            Never heard anyone call the security people “helpful” before… All I ever see them do is hassle people and prevent people from getting around the stadium.

        • Kershdawg

          “Then why not cut the student ticket allotment back accordingly?”

          That’s simple. Because some diehard fans, like me my freshman year in 2006, would get screwed out of tickets. The problem is the fringe students who don’t use their tickets. Punishing everyone may seem like a viable solution now, but wait 20 years and see how many recent alumns feel scorned and won’t contribute any money.

          • And that’s fine if everyone with ticket eligibility doesn’t show up for a game. If that should happen, “see how many recent alumns feel scorned and won’t contribute any money.” ;)

            • Kershdawg

              They’ll find a way to pack into the student section just like everyone already does in the lower level. The problem would be if it violates fire code and you’re not allowed into the stadium at all.

      • 69Dawg

        From the time I entered UGA in the late 60’s until the construction of East Campus Villages, UGA had not increased the dorms rooms available at all. I can’t remember the seating in the late 60’s other than the students had the entire lower level North stands from the 50 to at that time the end of the statium on the East. We had tickets (2 if you wanted a date ticket) issued to us by standing in line at the Steg and they were assigned by class. My senior year I was always near the 50 yard line. Percentage wise I’m sure the student tickets were higher in number than they are now. This whole electronic ticket crap is about an administration that is pissed that the students might have a chance of making a little money that the school would love to have. Money has screwed up college for everyone.

        • Kershdawg

          Sorry 69. I bet to differ. In 2006 and 2007 before the electronic tickets, there was a big problem with grad students buying tickets they were never going to use and selling them to young, undergraduate students who didn’t get awarded the tickets that were rightfully theirs. The other problem was that oftentimes, the tickets were sold to non-students or students from other schools. If most of the folks here are serious about preserving the amateurism and culture of college athletics, would preserving the student fanbase be the first place you would start?

          • Cojones

            Do we take electronic ticket validators to every gate at away games? If not, how is that coordinated with current policy in Sanford? Wouldn’t nonstudents along with all students get carded for ID matching the electronic ticket sold? If so, how would grad students and others make money unless they gave them their matching student ID ? And wouldn’t that limit making money to one student ID at the time? How much would they have to scalp tickets for in order to make it worthwhile?

            Somehow all those verifications and troubles to make a twenty spot or so doesn’t seem to constitute a big problem concerning empty seats nor the student resale. Is that the correct reasoning behind the administration’s thinking here? Couldn’t you easily correctly predict “Oversold” moments this season with all the SEC games?

            Couldn’t you also reason that the number of unfilled seats last year was related to pissy nonconference games and was partially due to a sit-out, both by students and alums? If so, more excitement can be expected before kickoff in some games this year and some nonconference games may continue to end up with empty seats.

            • hailtogeorgia

              A sit-out? As in the students and alums planned to boycott the crappy home schedule by purchasing tickets for the games and then completely throwing their money away by simply not showing up for the game? That doesn’t show the school much other than people not showing up…the tickets purchased are the tickets purchased.

          • Debby Balcer

            Unless the grad student went to UGA for their undergrad they are treated like incoming freshmen in regards to getting tickets. So grad tickets buying tickets and selling them to undergrads was not an issue. My daughter used our tickets to get in the gate and then used her I’d to sit in the student section for the games she didn’t get tickets to.

  2. Gravidy

    Emerson wrote about this a few weeks ago. He likened it to overbooking a flight. But here’s my question: Does this mean the official capacity of the stadium just went up by 2800 without adding a single seat? Will announced attendance figures suddenly be 95K+ for every game rather than 92K+?

    • AusDawg85

      Heard over the PA outside the student gates at Sanford Stadium for the USCe game…”Attention students in line. We are oversold for this game and are seeking volunteers to attend another game. $300 and the App St. game? Anybody? Hello???”

  3. 81Dog

    Surely this isnt another money grab by our benevolent administration. I guess the ideal for Czar Mike would be to sell a student ticket to every student for every game, and hope that few or none of them show. Then, perhaps, they could start selling season tickets to alums. Talk about double booking.

    Maybe Mike, on his way out the door, will figure out a way to add the cost of season tickets to each student’s fall semester tuition, fees, and costs; Talk about progress!!!!

  4. 69Dawg

    Seems to me the bigger problem is that the students hate to use the 300 section seats. With no assigned seats it is like the old stuff the phone booth game. Let’s see how many people we can get in the lower deck seating.

    • Kershdawg

      I think you’re onto something here. Those wristbands aren’t going to stop students. I walked over to see a buddy last year and he had a friend take off his wristband and walk it up to me to come in around the end of the 1st quarter.

    • It’s always been like that.

  5. cube

    I think I deserve some of the credit for bringing this issue to the forefront…

    http://blutarsky.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/monetize-the-eschaton/#comment-213467

    • Blumine

      Those numbers go back to 2009, when electronic tickets were brought into play and changed the way student tickets could be transferred. The 2008 Auburn game was a paper ticket game so it would not apply. Also the 2008 season was before the current SEC TV contracts, which have drastically affected attendance at all SEC schools.

      • cube

        The home schedule has been fairly weak since then and 2 of the 4 years being looked at were down years for our program.

  6. PTC DAWG

    It is on the students for not showing up..

    I also think PAPER tickets would be much better..l

  7. IWanaBDaveGrohl

    My question is if all of the student ticket packages are for the whole season, or if roughly 13K are full season and roughly 6K are split packages. In 2005, my freshman year, everyone got full season as far as I know, including all freshmen. In 2006, some freshmen got split packages, and with more student demand, it got worse in 2007 and 2008, when I know that sophomores were getting split packages.

    Also, I’m surprised no one has mentioned that asinine idea of giving freshmen priority last year. That hurt student attendance moreso than the stupid paperless system

  8. Uglydawg

    Give the sudents “vouchers” for tickets. The tickets then have to be picked up at the stadium the day of the game. If a student doesn’t show by (that magic time when, in the past Munson would say “Now get the picture”), the ticket is available to the general public. The student shows up and gets a seat, or somebody else does.

  9. Normaltown Mike

    The UGA vs UT game in 1994 was the most crowded I’ve ever seen the student section. I was in the lower section and every person had to stand sideways to fit in the rows. Don’t know if tickets were over sold or if there were a lot of people who got in with a Dead President.

  10. D.N. Nation

    We need a “young-ish UGA alumni” meme.

    -Spends all day walking all over Athens before the game.
    -Sees empty sections from kids who can’t walk down from Milledge in time.

  11. Blumine

    Tickets will be oversold, but the fire marshall will not let the stadium fill over capacity. Capacity will remain at 92,746. If a student arrives after the section has filled, they will be turned away.

    Note that UGA does not track actual game attendance, but only the number of tickets sold to the game. (Not including oversold tickets in the student section) According to unused student ticket scans, Sanford has not had a 91,000+ crowd since 2008 at the earliest.

    RE: Freshman priority; since the freshman priority system was established, every eligible student requesting home season tickets has been awarded a full season package. Ineligible students (by way of strikes from the previous season) also have a 100% request realization rate through the student ticket donation pool.

    In short, since moving to electronic tickets in 2009, every student who has desired a ticket to any Georgia home game has been awarded a ticket, and even at the highest demand levels, around 2,500 tickets have gone unused in the section. That is the value of the electronic ticket. It ensures that the tickets subsidized by the AA for students are actually being used by students.

    • cube

      Will refunds be issued to the students who are turned away? How are you going to track that? (I’m assuming you work in the AD)

      Only going back to 2009 is a perfect example of confirmation bias. The home schedule has been lacking since then and 2 of the 4 years were down years.

      • Blumine

        It is doubtful that refunds will be issued considering the student tickets are already heavily subsidized. It is even more doubtful that students will fill their section and this will even be an issue.

        Students purchasing student tickets will be aware that they assume the risk of showing up late and being turned away at premier games before they purchase their ticket.

        Confirmation bias is not an issue here. 2011 and 2012 were two of the best home campaigns with the highest stakes on the line since 1980. Weaker home opponents and less than exciting kickoff times are variables that have become the new norm in the SEC.

        Further, a weak home schedule, or a bad team, is not what is keeping students away from the game. Student attendance, and attendance in general, is down across the conference. Even at Alabama, who has hosted some of the highest profile games in college football history over the past 5 years, is struggling to fill their student section. See: http://cw.ua.edu/2012/11/29/high-tide-low-turnout/

        From a consumer standpoint, it has never been cheaper not to go to the game. HDTV’s, DVRs and wireless technology have brought every part of the actual game to consumers outside the stadium in a package that is, quantitatively speaking, superior to actually being at the game.

        That is what is killing attendance. What are you really missing out on by not going to the actual game anymore? The Battle Hymn soloist? Getting arrested for concealing a flask? The delightful opportunity to listen to the call-in show while you sit in an hour’s worth of traffic from Baxter to Five Points? The chance to get a 30 second recaps over the radio of the other 3 games you wanted to see while UGA was playing?

        5 years ago, the stadium experience was king. With the rise of digital media, the stadium experience is no longer the best way for a consumer to experience SEC Football. And with the coming SEC Network, you are going to see the gap widen further.

        • That is what is killing attendance. What are you really missing out on by not going to the actual game anymore? The Battle Hymn soloist? Getting arrested for concealing a flask? The delightful opportunity to listen to the call-in show while you sit in an hour’s worth of traffic from Baxter to Five Points? The chance to get a 30 second recaps over the radio of the other 3 games you wanted to see while UGA was playing?

          5 years ago, the stadium experience was king. With the rise of digital media, the stadium experience is no longer the best way for a consumer to experience SEC Football. And with the coming SEC Network, you are going to see the gap widen further.

          Well stated. The powers that be in B-M ignore this at their peril. Or don’t care because the TV money is so great.

        • cube

          “2011 and 2012 were two of the best home campaigns with the highest stakes on the line since 1980.”

          In 2011, the home schedule started with us 0-1, coming off a 14 point loss to Boise State, and following 8-5 and 6-7 seasons. We then lost at home to South Carolina and played Coastal Carolina, Mississippi State, New Mexico State, Auburn (6-3 at the time), and Kentucky the rest of the way. And the best home games last year were Vanderbilt and Ole Miss.

          • Blumine

            In 2011 we won 10 games in a row and clinched the SEC East at home.

            In 2012 we ran an undefeated home campaign, featuring what was an elite 8 level game against our archrival to close out the season. 8,549 student seats went unused at that game.

            But never mind that, read this article and tell me a better schedule and team would make things different. Alabama has, on average, weaker student attendance than UGA.

            Some highlights, of 17K student seats at Bama…

            – 10,851 were used for the 2012 Iron Bowl
            – 13,486 were used for Ole Miss (highest student attendance of the year)
            – 12,646 were used for 2011 LSU-Bama “Game of the Century”

            http://cw.ua.edu/2012/11/29/high-tide-low-turnout/

            • DawgPhan

              you mean they might have actually looked around the conference, looked at their own data and come up with a solution that benefits young alumni and the bottom line with limited impact to students. I dont know..I think I will just continue with working on this foil hat and not worry about your “numbers”.

              • cube

                Yeah, how dare anyone question the motives or tactics of our altruistic athletic department. They aren’t at all obsessed with profit margin and there’s been no evidence (numbers) over the last decade to suggest that they are. They deserve our unquestioning loyalty.

            • cube

              If that attendance figure for the Game of the Century is indeed accurate, that pretty much tells us all we need to know. I’m having a hard time believing it though, especially since we supposedly had about 3,000 more students than that at the 2011 Auburn game (a matchup of 7-2 and 6-3 teams). That just doesn’t make any sense at all.

        • Kershdawg

          This! Well stated Blumine.

    • Debby Balcer

      I know that is not true my daughter was a grad student and did not get tickets to every game nor did other undergrads she knew. She graduated in May of 2012. She used one of our tickets when she did not get a student ticket.

  12. Dog in Fla

    Rolling the dice “and it seemed like . . . well, our home. If not Athens, then a land not too far away . . . where all parents are strong and wise and capable, and all children are happy and beloved. I don’t know. Maybe it was Bogart. Or Montana,” Michael F. hard at work thinking, flat on his back watching the ceiling fan blades, listening to this like it was Spring Break and then drug-testing himself

    • AthensHomerDawg

      “When yer head gets twisted and yer mind grows numb

      When you think you’re too old, too young, too smart or too dumb

      When yer laggin’ behind an’ losin’ yer pace

      In a slow – motion crawl or life’s busy race”
      Robert Allen Z.

  13. ncdawg

    We were at a Wisconsin game this year and they have security file the students in a row at a time. Once the lower section is full, no more are allowed and they begin to fill the upper deck. All very orderly and all seats were full before kick-off. We were amazed. Not to EVER look to the Big10 but asking their system might be helpful. I just don’t want to look at empty student seats anymore in basketball or football and they are the future. Scary!

  14. Bulldog Joe

    When it comes to a revenue item like student tickets, UGA has no problem with oversigning.

    Soak in the irony.