Readers here know I have a rule: when someone says it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.
So don’t kid yourselves, folks, over the maneuvering about the renewal of the deal with Jacksonville for the Georgia-Florida game.
“Going down there was not about the money,” (University of Georgia executive athletic director Frank) Crumley said. “It’s about the tradition of the game without a doubt. These are things they did just to show both schools they wanted both schools there.”
Sure. It’s all about the love, man.
Here’s how Jax expressed its civic appreciation for those two fine academic institutions:
• The City of Jacksonville will pay for travel for the Georgia football team to fly out of Athens into St. Augustine, Fla. — where the team hotel is located — and fly back from Jacksonville to Athens after the game. That’s worth more than $100,000 per year. Florida is currently picking up half of Georgia’s travel cost.
• Each school will get an additional $50,000 to offset expenses including hotel costs and meals.
• The schools will be allotted an additional 500 parking spaces at lots around Jacksonville Municipal Stadium to give each 1,500 to distribute.
• Control of the marketing assets to the game go to the two schools instead of being split three ways with the city of Jacksonville. Georgia received about $80,000 last year from marketing of the game last year.
Do the math. Georgia makes more money playing the neutral site game than it does playing home and home.
… Georgia nets about $1.6 million annually for the Florida game, which has been played in Jacksonville since 1933 with the exception of 1995 and 1996 when it moved to the campuses when the stadium was being renovated. A home game in Athens is worth about $2.8 million for Georgia, but the Bulldogs rotate home and away with their SEC opponents.
I can’t wait to see what they squeeze out six years from now.