Can we salvage the Nicholls State experience?

You were alerted to the exciting news in yesterday’s comments:

A home game against FCS team Nicholls State has been added to Georgia’s 2016 schedule, according to an agreement signed between the two schools earlier this month and obtained by Dawgs247 via an open records request.

No date has yet been determined for the game, and UGA is obligated per terms of the deal to pay Nicholls State $525,000 for the contest at Sanford Stadium.

The Colonels of Thibodaux, La., are members of the Southland Conference. They went 4-8 last season, losing their final six games.

When you’re only willing to release scheduling news in response to an open records request, it’s pretty obvious you’re not expecting a classic matchup.  Should make for must see watching on the SEC Network, right?

So, if you’re Greg McGarity, you know what you’ve got – a cheap cupcake game that isn’t going to generate much fan enthusiasm on its face.  But is it possible to make lemonade out of lemons?  I can’t say for sure, but it’s worth the effort, I would think.  So in the spirit of this post, here are a few suggestions to enhance the game day experience:

  • Suspend the tailgating rules.  This game is gonna have an early kickoff time and life is too short as it is.  So why not let people set up like they used to before Michael Adams got a bug up his ass?  While you’re at it, spend some of the money you saved on the guarantee fee by putting out plenty of trash cans, Porta-Potties and people to keep those accessible.
  • Roll back concession prices.  And make a big deal about it.  Another while you’re at it:  train plenty of staff to man the concessions and keep the lines moving efficiently.
  • Create an online portal for ticket exchanges.  No matter what you do, there are plenty of ticket holders who ain’t coming.  So why not come up with a way to get their tickets in the hands of people who would jump at the chance to see a Georgia game?  Create a way for people to transfer their tickets freely to others.  Promote it heavily.  What’s in it for Butts-Mehre if there’s no charge?  Well, if you do it right, you get an online list of people registering for tickets who you can reach out to and promote the program.

Beyond that, work with the city/county and local business to make people feel wanted and appreciated.  Make a big deal out of the efforts you make, too.  Overall, treat us like valued customers instead of wallets and you might be surprised by the response.  What have you got to lose?

Any other suggestions?

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38 Comments

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38 responses to “Can we salvage the Nicholls State experience?

  1. Duglite

    It should have been a home and home deal. Try the veal please!

  2. 69Dawg

    Well Senator as far as your list for the AD, as my old Daddy used to say “Wish in one hand and spit in the other and see which one fills up first.” If the AD GAS he would quit scheduling FCS schools. It’s going to suck when we have a great team and our SOS gets us a lower tier bowl.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      My Dad said the same thing. He used a different word for spit though.

      • Mayor

        With McGarity you get the worst of both worlds. He’ll schedule a good team but make that game be the opener so our team isn’t ready and ends up losing (hell, he schedules games where WE open the season on the other team’s field, an absolute no-no). Then later in the season he’ll schedule what should have been the tune-up game, but it’s such a snoozer that nobody shows up and it also hurts the team’s SOS. I wanted the guy for AD but…man, was I dead wrong. Show that dope the door! ASAP!

        • Mayor, McGarity didn’t schedule the OK State game (Mr. Red Panties did that). He scheduled the Boise game, virtually a Georgia home game, so it can’t be that. The only power conference team opener he scheduled was the Clemson game, and both schools agreed to open the season with a home-and-home. Everyone schedules a tune-up game late in the season now, and conference schedules don’t allow for a high-profile OOC game late in the year. The ND games are scheduled for later in September, so give him credit for that.

          I know you have something against him, but the OOC scheduling thing is an excuse. If you want better OOC scheduling, end the Tech series as an annual game or tell them we won’t come to Grant Field (the Dome/Falcons Stadium only), but not until we have broken Tech’s record for the Drought.

          • Mayor

            Nice post Greg. When did you start using ee’s handle? And who said anything about Okie State? (Another colossal scheduling blunder but done by your predecessor–one would think you would have learned from that.)

            • Mayor

              P.S. The LAST thing UGA needs is another annual “neutral site” game. We barely get 6-7 home games in Sanford per year as it is. Auburn has 8 home games regularly. FU, too. Do you not understand what an advantage that is?

              • Nice snark, Mayor. My point is that the only OOC opener McGarity scheduled is the Clemson game and they’re returning the favor this year. We didn’t have a problem going up there in 2003 and whipping them on the opening weekend of the season.

                I don’t know what you mean about a neutral site game. The Boise game wasn’t a neutral site game in Atlanta. Do you mean my comment about the Tech game? I meant that we should tell Tech we will only play them in Atlanta for their home game in either the Dome or the Falcons’ new stadium because the seating capacity would be closer to Sanford. I would NEVER suggest that we make the Tech game an annual neutral site game similar to the Cocktail Party.

                Is your real problem with McGarity that he hasn’t/won’t end the game in Jacksonville and move the game to campus? I don’t go to Jacksonville any more, so I could care less about the beach trip or the golf … I still don’t want it moved to campus because I don’t want the tank tops, jorts, and black Reeboks all over Athens. :)

                • Mayor

                  Nice retort, ee. :) I think the Georgia-FU game ought to be home and away because having it in Jacksonville every year screws up Georgia’s home schedule every other year with only 3 SEC home games. This puts the Dawgs at a disadvantage not just against FU in that 1 game, but against every other team in the SEC East since the rest of them all get 4 SEC home games. What we ought to insist next time the contract comes up for renewal is that when it is FU’s home game, the game be played in Jax and when it is Georgia’s home game, the game be played in Sanford. Sort of what you suggested above with the Tech series.

  3. Puffdawg

    Why limit these recs to Nicolls State? Should be this way for every game. Tailgating especially.

  4. You can already exchange tickets via Georgiadogs.com for hoops. Why would it be different for football. It’s a print at home service to boot.

  5. its called incremental ism. you get things started in your directions and than one more tiny step, like having security watch our tailgate tables and electronics while we are actually at the game (it can be done in the State of Alabama. One step at a time . How about just opening the school building and let us use the restroom facilities there.
    Hopefully McGarity has enough sense to schedule this cupcape the second game of the season so we can have all our two game suspension players back for the game against the gambling chickens
    All and all a great list Senator…it’s a start towards treating us like customers and actually a win-win form the Athletic Dept with the new data base idea.

  6. Chesterhighwater

    Whoa! This is crazy talk. To actually give back to those you fill the coffers is madness and just doesn’t make good business sense.

    How about piping really loud music in between plays…every play?

  7. Ron

    Nice post. All great ideas. One of the basketball programs best attended hashes occurs at noon on a Tuesday. Maybe they can offer free tickets to hundreds of eligible kids and their parents?

  8. Cojones

    Do all of the suggestions AND get NS off the schedule.

    This is not the old days of FU where you impress with big games while playing substandard competition. They got away with it under a differing media aegis than now who puffed up the big stuff while ignoring the ridiculous matchup. The media will drive the perception of the “13” who are judging team worth now for the NC. This ain’t the old days of FU riding high. Don’t run our schedule in like manner.

  9. Ron

    Another idea. ….

    Make it kid appreciation day. Every kid under the age of 13 gets to run the field after the game. Parents will be forced to attend the game.

  10. Andrew
    1. Make the team available for autographs afterwards.
    2. Let kids under 10 on the field before and after tha game. Braves used to have them run bases. Something similar.
    3. Every players game worn jersey is signed and awarded to lottery winners in the bleachers by their ticket #.
    • Mayor

      “Make the team available for autographs afterwards.” Yeah. And only charge the public $100 a piece for them. Except for Gurley–his is $200. All the dough goes into the Athletic Fund of course.

  11. Dawg Stephen

    We could make that game 4 tickets, a progam, 4 hot dogs, 4 cokes, and a parking pass…. … :see what i did there?

  12. Union Jack

    In an effort to keep people in the stands for the entire game, CMR will allow fans to tweet the plays for the offense in the 4th quarter. They can use the hash tag #Runthefleaflicker or #WheelRoute

  13. Bright Idea

    UGA changing the term cupcake to miniature marshmallow.

  14. 80dawg

    Hotels @ off-season rates with no 2-night min

  15. Buddy Arthur

    All great ideas. Sounds like a great family day for small kids, or future wallets if you will.

  16. Athens Dog

    Even though I live in Five Points, my home tailgate streak could be ending ………….

  17. JCDAWG83

    I don’t see the problem. With the new enhanced cell coverage and piped in music, the game should be a standing room only sellout. The new “enhanced fan experience” is going to make tickets to Georgia football games harder to get than Masters tickets.

    Keep those checks coming in and the athletic assoc will continue to reward you with these kind of matchups.

  18. WarD Eagle

    Not throwing rocks (because I want the same at AU), but my only other suggestion would be to schedule homecoming opponents that can actually win.

    I have no desire to see an SEC team play any second tier teams.

  19. H. Boots

    My suggestion is to not schedule Nichols state. I probably won’t even watch, much less go to that game. Zero interest in that pathetic match up.

  20. merk

    Those are all very useful and logical ideas, which is exactly why none of them will be brought up. Instead we will here about how the money is going to the practice facility or just into the reserve fund.

  21. Dawg19

    Roman Gladiator battles at halftime. Winner gets season tickets.

  22. Bob

    And this comes one day after the article about ADs around the country worrying about declining student attendance at games. Perfect timing. I am sure that piped in music will enhance the game experience for everyone and students will be camped out on the bridge to get in early for all the pre-game drama. Yes sireee. This is the solution to the problem.

  23. Senator, I agree with your ideas and a number of others from commenters. Maybe, we should start an online petition to Morehead and Ryan Nesbit (VP of Finance & Administration) about the tailgating rules. McGarity can influence that decision, but he has zero ability to make that decision. If the President wants to be his own man, he could do this tomorrow. I love the idea of opening up some of the buildings for restroom access. Once again, McGarity can’t make that happen. Morehead and Nesbit would have to do it. I would add relaxing the parking restrictions to the list. I hate to park downtown and make that walk after the game.

    For those of you who talk about the hotel rates, the only way that changes is if people don’t reserve the rooms. Let the HoJo on Atlanta Hwy have a high vacancy rate leading up to the game, and they will drop the rate and/or the 2-night minimum to fill that room.

  24. AusDawg85

    Provide free tickets, buses and rooms to all the Nicholls St. fans. Then jack-up concession prices to cover the cost. Hey, at least SOMEBODY will enjoy the experience.

  25. Nashville West

    They should use the dollar theater business model. Charge $1 admission and make the difference up on concessions. That’s what Hollywood does with an inferior or stale entertainment product.