A data point for the suits in Butts-Mehre to ponder, if they’re not doing so already:
Although the announced attendance for that game was Georgia’s standard 92,746 — defined as tickets sold plus passes issued — the actual attendance counted by the hand-held ticket scanners at the gates was 53,646, according to figures obtained from UGA by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution via an open-records request.
Georgia officials said the announced attendance at each game includes about 4,000 people who don’t have tickets scanned, such as band members, recruits, media, players’ guests, student-athletes, stadium workers and team staffs. Even so, more than 30,000 people with tickets were no-shows for the Kentucky game — a reflection of the Bulldogs’ three losses in October and a poor weather forecast.
It was the smallest Sanford Stadium crowd since Georgia began using the electronic ticket scanners in the 2013 season, records show.
Weather, shmeather… that ain’t good.
Now, I would agree that attendance isn’t as important to the reserve fund as season ticket purchases, so let’s not go overboard. But I’ve always said the biggest thing to fear if you’re watching the dollars is fan apathy. There’s no way you can chalk up that many fans in absentia to anything else.
Before you go off on your aha! fire Mark Richt! horse, though, keep in mind if this has a huge bearing on his fate, it’s bound to have an equally large affect on who is hired as his successor. A fan base unhappy or indifferent as to the next man in isn’t going to make those numbers look better, unless McGarity hits a (surprising for him) home run with the new coach and Georgia rattles off to a blazing start like Florida did with McElwain this year.