“But we do want the game experience to be an enjoyable one for students.”

I heard a number of concerns/complaints both before and after the game about student seating.  I guess that’s what happens when you do this for a popular game:

However, Tim Cearley, University Associate Athletic Director of ticket operations, says that even highly-anticipated home games do not typically garner enough student attendance for capacity to be met. This year, the ticker office sold 18,800 full home season tickets awarded, and there are only 16,000 student section seats available.

Looks like they guessed wrong.  But they also added fuel to the fire.

On Aug. 27, The UGA Athletic Association sent an email stating that the student gates will open at 4:00 p.m., and if capacity is reached, access will be denied into Sanford Stadium despite having the ticket privilege inscribed onto one’s student ID.

“Looking back at it, I feel like it was shouting fire in a crowded theatre,” UGA Law student Sarah Darden said.

Leave it to Jimmy Williamson to explain the facts of life to students.

“No matter what process we choose, whether general admission or assigned seating, I don’t know if we could meet all expectations,” Williamson said.

Why bother, in other words?  Resistance is futile, peeps.  That’s the attitude that’ll keep students coming back for more.

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50 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

50 responses to ““But we do want the game experience to be an enjoyable one for students.”

  1. Debby Balcer

    How not to fill the student section 101. They charge them for the ticket so turning they away is fraud.

  2. Bulldawg165

    You know what would’ve been EPIC this past Saturday? Industrial sized fans blowing on the crowd to keep us cool. Granted, that probably sounds a bit ridiculous, but I would’ve frickin loved it. The sun shining on us was BRUTAL for about the first hour and a half of the game.

    Now, I’m no logistics expert so I very well could be asking for the moon here, but it sounds reasonable and affordable in my head.

  3. my freshman daughter got caught up in that nightmare. she saw one female student who broke three ribs in the crush. ridiculous!

  4. BulldogBen

    I agree with the person in the Red & Black that said something about the Fire Marshall. I got caught in that crowd near the lower level student section a few years ago for a South Carolina game and it was down right scary. I can’t BELIEVE they don’t have a better solution. It’s simply not wide enough to accommodate 15,000 drunk kids all trying to fit through at the same time.

    • JCDAWG83

      One big issue on the North side is the number of students and other ticket holders who wait and tailgate to the last minute before trying to get in to their seat in time for kickoff. The lower level concourses, on both sides, were not designed to carry the load of people they now have to carry. There is no way to widen the concourses, there is nowhere to expand to with the location of the stadium. When the stadium seated 55,000, the concourses were adequate. At 94,000 capacity, they are not. The only solution is for people to arrive earlier or later. It’s not a good solution, but it’s the only one that will work.

  5. JCDAWG83

    I imagine all the problems will be solved for the big game with Troy. A noon kickoff and a crappy opponent will ensure that there will be no shortage of student seating. Nothing the university can do will remedy the problem of 16,000 students trying to get into seats while another 78,000 people are trying to get to their seats within a short period of time before kickoff in a stadium whose concourses were built to accommodate a crowd of around 50,000 total people.

    As to the overselling of tickets, that’s a different issue. It appears the ticket office has committed fraud by taking money for tickets they know they don’t have. What would the response be if the university sold 105,000 tickets to the game with only 94,000 seats and began randomly turning people away with valid tickets. I would imagine a lawyer would have a field day with that.

    • Bulldawg165

      It’s a crappy thing to do, but the student tickets go for like $8 each. As my grandma would say, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

      • JCDAWG83

        2800 oversold seats a game equals $134,400 a season. It’s not millions, but it’s not chump change either.

        • Bulldawg165

          That would require every student that was given a ticket to show up (unlikely, even for big games), and for them to care enough about the $8 they missed out on to actually pursue something. We’re still talking about a max of $48 per student, and that’s if they get turned down for every single game. Ain’t happening.

          Plus, they probably put something in the fine print about it when the students purchased the tickets.

  6. Chuck

    I have a sophomore daughter who loves the Dawgs, wouldn’t dream of missing a game, and escaped the crush on Saturday. I’m not sure I have a problem with them overselling to get the students there early, AS LONG AS THEY CAN GUARANTEE THEIR SAFETY (see above); but, refunds should be made if they turn students away. You should pay for entry, not the right to entry. I have a few lawyer buddies who say they’ll take this pro bono if my kid gets turned away (which she won’t because she’ll show up early).

    • Another thing that makes me very disappointed with McGarity. I’ve never given the issue any thought at all, and as I post this can think of several alternatives.

      Of course, my mind doesn’t have the constriction of fear that we might risk losing a $1 by doing it right.
      ~~~

  7. Nick Saban

    Can’t they just greyshirt some of the students?

  8. DawgPhan

    It’s the Georgia Way.

    make things really difficult for ourselves and then complain that there is no reason to make an effort to improve.

    They ran out of ice in the concession stands, ran out of bottled water, lines to get a hot coke with no cap lasted for 15+ minutes. Also powerade fucking sucks and I would rather eat dirt than drink another hot powerade.

    There is simply no way to know that it was going to be hot and that 92000 people would want a cold drink. There is simply no way that anyone could have ever predicted that.

    Funny thing is that I wrote an email to John Bateman 6 years ago about the same thing…Ga Southern game. hot as blazes. Ran out of ice. Got a nice long email back about master plans, architect, consultants, and long term improvements. Except here we are. 6 years later, still unable to sell cold drinks on hot days.

    • Bulldawg165
      1. You should reply to the email with some snarky like “Hey John, just wanted to follow up…”

      2. Can you or anyone else tell me why they won’t give you the damn lid with a bottle of water or powerade?

      • You might throw your $3 bottle of water onto the field and hit a cheerleader in the head.

        My friend always takes a cap with him into the game.

        • Bulldawg165

          Is that the real reason? If so, couldn’t I just plug it with my sock or something?

        • BMacDawg87

          Duh… because without a lid, the buffoon next to you is more likely to kick it over requiring you or him to go purchase another one. This made sense at least before the “bottomless” souvenier cokes which… by the way they will no longer refill more than halfway through the 4th quarter.

      • DawgPhan

        I just did.

        lulz…that’s why he gets the big bucks.

      • Greg McGarity

        Did you know that UGA office of sustainability’s recycling of 92,746 bottle caps nets the UGA Foundation, I mean the Athletic Department a return of $92.74 each game?

        That’s another Bulldog Point of Pride.

        I want all of you to think about this the next time the Society of the Miserable complains about the water being warm.

    • Anon

      That’s funny. My wife ended up in the ambulance near the stadium getting fluids at that ga southern game for the same reason, and we hadn’t had a drop of alcohol that day. There was no ice or water available anywhere on the NW side of the stadium. A storage room was locked with no key or management to be found. Got the same bullshrimp response from the facilities/marketing/whatever guy.

      As much as I love the dawgs, we have a horribly run athletics department. It may be a big deal to pull if an event like a football game, but to not be prepared for a home opener when you know the weather and crowd months in advance is ludicrous.

  9. 69Dawg

    This student ticket crap is just another problem caused by the AD not wanting to spend money or devote resources to the students. Like the e-mailer said they may not contribute thousands of dollars but they shouldn’t be treated like cattle either. The problem for the AD comes when one of those student’s daddy is a lawyer or a big booster.

    It really is all about not wanting to spend money or allow anybody to profit but the school. It’s really so simple just go back to student reserved tickets. Have the students limited to two tickets and sell them by class GS and seniors on Monday, Juniors on Tuesday, Sophs and Frosh on Wednesday. Let the students resale the tickets if they want. If your worried about the scalping then give them an arm band or require that the ID be shown at the gate. Have more than one gate for students. No body in their right mind except other students or recent grads or students from other colleges want to sit in the student section anyway.

    We used to have an old saying “He could fu*k up a two car funeral”. I say that describes the Athlete Department pretty well.

  10. I have the solution! Easily transferable paper tickets! If you have one, you get in! If you don’t, you don’t! Easy!

    The AD already fleeces EVERY student (with or without season tickets) to the tune of $53 per term ($106/year, $424 over a normal 4-year college experience). So the AD pockets that. (That’s 33,000 students give or take, yo).

    Then the AD charges students lucky enough to not have their credit hours all cacked up and get tickets whatever the student season ticket package costs. $8 a game? So, $56? Really? OK. And there’s 18,000+ of those.

    But it’s just too damn much to allow those students with tickets to redistribute them in a free secondary market because the AD can’t get its hands on that money. So we do something complicated and unnecessary, jeopardize student safety, piss everybody off, etc etc. Then wonder why students don’t show up? Ahem.

    Just give it up and do the simple thing and stop being so damn greedy.

    • Go Dawgs!

      DING! DING! DING!

      Give the kids paper tickets and let them make back some of that fee money. Or let them just have some freaking beer money if they don’t want to go to the games. By the way, when I was in school (1998-2002) the student section was ALWAYS full even for the crap games. It was either packed with students or with people who really wanted to be there.

      Funny, by the way, how the student attendance “problem” was solved with a quality opponent coming to play between the hedges. Those kids were jammed in there on a miserably hot day and I don’t think they were there for the free Wi-Fi. And I don’t think they’ll be en masse for Troy.

      • Will (the other one)

        Hell, in 1998 we were waiting in line for 8+ hours just to buy season tickets, and that was coming off Donnan’s not-that-lofty peak (though I’ll always love that upset of Florida…and pretend the game after it didn’t happen.)

    • Krautdawg

      Now now, Stoop. These students are being prepared for their life as American consumers. If college doesn’t teach them what it’s like to be (a) an airline passenger flying coach, (b) a computer purchaser with a warranty issue, (c) wage-earning taxpayers, or (d) patients at any healthcare facility — what will?

  11. Go Dawgs!

    The situation at the regular gates for the upper deck southeast gates was a disaster, too. The ticket scanners weren’t working very well and the idiots using them just kept starting at each ticket, re-clicking the stupid things until they scanned. It was taking 20-30 seconds per ticket if not more and a HUGE throng of people was gathered out there. I was beginning to get concerned that there was going to be a crush of people. It took about ten to fifteen minutes to get into the stadium and it was only getting worse behind me. Some stuff needs to get fixed.

  12. Macallanlover

    Just doing like the airlines do, simply offer a refund for the ones who get turned away when the students exceed capacity. I there is no one to complain, keep the change. On the other hand, this is quite the incentive to get their butts there and act interested, first come gets the seats, others we will give a ride to the Georgia Theater. I say the above only half facetiously, they do need to make sure there is a safe way to handle any crowd crush.

  13. Dawg521

    Call me crazy, but why not move the student section to the Southeast corner where the dangers of being in the sun are not compounded by an increasingly overpacked student section? Would those sections of Alum/non-student tickets that switch places no longer fill up? I highly doubt it. The open concourse/plaza on the East side of the stadium could be used to corral and manage a larger crowd than the concourses on the North side.

  14. 78DAWG

    At Auburn the student section opens 4 hours prior to kickoff, UGA could do that then students could get their ass in the stadium and not wait until the last minute playing beer pong. Can’t have your cake and it it to.

  15. AusDawg85

    I recall the problem with paper tickets was that if you wanted to sit with a group of your buddies, you all had to get your season tickets together at the same time. If you found a date, you don’t have seats together, so that leads to the overcrowding in any given section. In theory, open seating alleviates that problem, but to mismanage the entrance process, etc. is utterly inexcusable.

    • Dawgaholic

      In my day they checked stubs only in the lower level sections, especially 109 and 110. The students all understood that the seats were first come first serve. To sit together in 109 or 110 you just needed two stubs in those section. One person would go up with both stubs and keep bringing people in until your group was there. Everyone knew that 109 and 110 would be packed and you made a decision whether to sit there. You also knew the upper deck and endzone would be a lot less populated – it was fine for all. I remember multiple games where we sat two people per seat, girls in front of guys – it didn’t bother me.

  16. AthensHomerDawg

    I sent the following email to both Bluto and Bernie on Monday… I post at both and my son has written a few lines for Bernie…
    Per the game. (xxx) left the law school tailgate and got to his line at 3:45. After standing in line ( and doing a +/- headcount) he and 175 students were waiting there to get into the student section. There were GSP, ACC-PoPo, and GBI there to keep an eye on things. It soon became apparent to (xxx) that they had “grossly over sold the student section.” The line had grown and the chant “LET US IN” had started. Being a savvy guy he quickly concluded that the preferred student section by our band was filled and that unless he aborted his line and sped to the less attractive and USUALLY last to fill up section under the scoreboard, he would be left out of Saturday’s opener. While he did get a seat, close to the Clemson band,he was disappointed that he was unable to cheer with his group. He was able to talk with them on the phone though. He was not pleased. Here is a loyal, future Double G Dawg that sits little higher on the ladder than a freshmen per season ticket purchase, almost missing the opener. I call BS!
    GO DAWGS!
    Bernie sent this link from a twitter in response.

    Yeah, yeah we need to cultivate more fans, aging base… blah, blah, blah. Goodness this really is only about the $ that’s how the kids lost seats to begin with and why they lost paper tickets. I’m really not proud of the way UGa has carried themselves.

  17. indemnitor

    Why don’t we have all students in a pre game ‘ Michael Adams rockin fun zone’ in the reed quad (alcohol free but with bouncy houses) so we can stage their entry .. And have one trash can per thousand students so they don’t litter

  18. MGW

    Go back to transferable paper tickets. Problem solved.

    There is no argument against this that doesn’t involve some sort of socialist slant.

    • FisheriesDawg

      The University shouldn’t subsidize the students’ beer money if they have no intention of using the tickets. That was always the problem with the paper tickets.

      The University doesn’t want the public scene that comes with camping out for tickets. So, they gave everyone an equal chance with credit hours being the only variable. This led to lots of dorm rats and international students buying tickets only to sell them to the students who actually wanted to attend but didn’t get tickets.

      I’d argue that it is actually a much more socialist argument to say that students deserve the right to sell highly-subsidized tickets to Georgia games when I have to pay $250 + $40/game for the same games. I’m all for setting aside affordable tickets for UGA students, but every effort should be made to ensure that’s exactly who is using it. Screw their buddies from West Georgia and screw the dorm rats who sign up for tickets (while extending virtually zero effort) with no intention of attending any games.

      • Dawgaholic

        Sell the tickets starting on the Sarurday morning of spring break, first come first serve. Keep it going the next week. If there are any left, sell them the Monday after finals. Sell freshman tickets on the Saturday before classes start.

        All paper tickets.

        No classes missed.

        • To which someone will complain about doing it over spring break when they are out of town. As Williamson rightly said, someone will whine about how awful they are doing their job no matter what they decide to do. There is no perfect process to this.

  19. I entered the Stadium by the library and walked across the Reed Plaza about 4:30 to get to our seats in the east end zone. The students were literally bulging out onto the Plaza from inside the concourses – it was definitely a mob of people, but didn’t seem disorderly. The CSC basically guard the entrance to that part of the concourse with their lives, which is one reason no one can move around that area…

  20. I’m a student and the way the athletic dept handled this was horrible. My roommates and I got to the Reed/Memorial Hall gate 30 min before they opened and it was so backed up I thought we might not even get in. There were at least two people around me who passed out and needed medical attention because of the heat, and it got pretty claustrophobic waiting. They didn’t even open our gate until 4:10, and by the time we got in the stadium at 4:30 there were no seats left. NOT ONE, in any of the sections- trust me we searched. And yet they were still letting students in the stadium and giving out wristbands. We missed kickoff (over an hour later) because we were so busy looking for seats. The emails threatening to not let people in if they reached capacity didn’t help- basically scared everyone into coming way earlier than they usually would and creating mass chaos as a result. The game was fun once I found someplace to stand (and eventually sit) but the beginning was horrible. I’m a senior and I’ve never had an experience like that before- just awful. I think it was worth it to see that game but I’m sure there are plenty of students who would disagree. Here’s hoping the athletic dept learned a lesson or two.

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