Butts-Mehre is a money raising operation that happens to control a football program.

Georgia’s new IPF — or, as we choose to refer to it around these parts, the JPMIPF™ — was given its formal introduction to the masses yesterday and the school’s powers that be took the opportunity to make mention of the athletic department’s next big thing.

The University of Georgia Athletic Association is pleased to present details on a major enhancement to the west end zone of Sanford Stadium.

The project covers 120,000 total square feet of new and improved space. These enhancements include a new home locker room for the Bulldogs, a space to host and entertain prospects on game day, improvements to restroom and concession areas below the bridge, and a new scoreboard and upper plaza. The project is expected to take approximately 17 months to complete and is estimated to cost $63 million. When completed prior to the 2018 season, the west end zone expansion will have a transformational impact on Sanford Stadium.

It won’t have a transformational inpact on the reserve fund, though.  That’s because Morehead and McGarity plan on sticking with what works.

The athletic board approved a $10 million request that will come from athletic reserves. The other $53 million will come through fundraising over two or three years. The board approved using a line of credit during fiscal year 2018 to help pay for the project…

Morehead said Georgia, which had $67 million in reserves at the end of the fiscal year 2016, is one of the most financially sound athletic programs in the nation and cautioned that he will be hesitant to support more facility projects anytime soon.

“We are going to be extremely careful moving forward while we are in this fundraising initiatives until the pledges and payments are coming in,” he said.

He asked the athletic board to “help us stay focused on the donor prospects and energy and excitement to raise the funds to make this success.

“I have news for you in the next few years, there will be something else with respect to football or one of our other athletic programs,” he said. “I am absolutely committed for our athletic director and our head football coach as they make the case for this project (in fundraising).”

McGarity said Georgia has just “scratched the surface” in fund raising.

“We have 16,000 season ticket holders,” McGarity said. “There’s naming facilities (in the indoor facility) as well as in these new areas. I think there’s tremendous upside for maybe a once in a lifetime chance for naming opportunities that are going to be available in Sanford Stadium.”

He sounds more excited about naming opportunities than winning SEC championships.  Maybe he should be — Chip Towers reports that word is they already have nearly $10 million of their $50+ million goal after donors stepped up past the goal of $31 million for the IAF.

Keeping in mind that pledges from the some 475 members of Georgia’s Magill Society have exceeded $36 million, it’s easy to see where the athletic department’s priorities are focused.  No wonder they just brought this guy on board; he’s gonna be a busy dude just taking care of the (almost) 500.

It’s a great thing they’ve got a football program that inspires passion among the fan base that can be financially tapped as needed.  It’s almost like if they didn’t, they’d have to invent it.  Best of all with this business model, championships appear to be optional.

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25 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

25 responses to “Butts-Mehre is a money raising operation that happens to control a football program.

  1. At this point, I won’t be making a pledge to something that has likely zero benefit to me as a fan. Amazing how all of this stuff starts happening when you know your head is the one in the noose if all of this change doesn’t work out.

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    • Bright Idea

      Yeah Kirby and McGarity now have a $100 million bounty on their heads. If they don’t win some games I’m still not sure the unwashed masses have the clout to pressure a change.

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    • Normaltown Mike

      “I won’t be making a pledge to something that has likely zero benefit to me as a fan”

      you don’t know how Magill is structured, do you?

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      • I don’t know, but I wouldn’t make that type of commitment to the athletic program.

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        • Normaltown Mike

          true enough. the reason people are throwing $$ at the projects is they get bonus priority points. I’m sure there are a few that are giving for naming rights but the majority want better seats or a guarantee for away games and willing to pay to get it.

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  2. 81Dog

    I’ve been told by professional fundraisers that you don’t announce the fundraising campaign until you have the majority of the money pledged behind the scenes, and you only need 20 or 30% of the total to come from the small donors. That way, when you hit whatever your total number is, you can pronounce the effort a success, and point proudly to your ability to round up a huge sum in a seemingly short time period. The flip side of this? If you dont lock up your huge donors before announcing the campaign, you run the risk of looking like a loser if you cant close it out. McCheapskate doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to get way out over his skis on something like this, so I suspect he’s holding some pretty big pledges in his pocket already. He’s just counting on the rabble to flesh out the pot. And why wouldn’t we? We’re getting FOUR NEW BATHROOMS, AND SOME ROOM TO MOVE IN THE CONCOURSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I certainly hope the new giant-er video board is a more effective vehicle for more expensive and numerous and earsplitting ads. Maybe we can get some more ribbon boards out of the deal, too!!!!!!!!!

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  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    The whole college industrial complex lives off fund raising. I think you’re arguing about magnitude here. OTOH quantity has its own quality.

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  4. Athens Dog

    Will this help us beat tech?

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  5. Chi-town Dawg

    So glad I finally kicked the Hartman Fund habit this year and will gladly let other suckers foot the bill for this and future BM projects! If only BM put the same level of organizational commitment into winning NCs as they do into fiscal management, we’d have a couple or three more trophies by now.

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  6. ATL Dawg

    The college football bubble is going to pop in the next 10-15 years and it is going to be UH-GLY.

    Anyone who looks at their donations/season tickets as some sort of investment in their future fun and leisure is going to be mighty disappointed with how things turn out.

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  7. This reminds me of the dirtbag tactics used in getting Cobb county tax payers to foot the bill for the Braves stadium. Apparently, folks don’t mind paying a premium for an average product. It’s also amazing how UGA wouldn’t give this kind of support to one of our greatest coaches. I’m not convinced this program deserves real success. The fact that McGarity is still employed and supported says a lot about where peoples heads are.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. lakedawg

    Would like to see how any of us did actually cut back or drop contributions this year due to the huge contribution increase. Doubt McGoofy will let those numbers be shown however.

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    • aladawg

      Agreed. I cut last years by $1,200 and chose not to be in the McGill Society despite the extra priority points and I cut another $200 again this year. I believe the data did come out the donations were down last year, but with TV money and selling ads and such the AD is unconcerned.

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  9. dawgfan

    What are the annual costs of staffing and maintaining the new IPF? I’m sure it doesn’t clean, heat and cool itself.

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  10. dawgfan

    Could we do a fundraiser to add a couple of additional port a potties outside the gate next to the north pavilion?

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  11. Sherlock

    By my last count, the Athletic Association had on the order of $150-180M in debt (if someone has better debt numbers, please ring in) and a $100M annual budget. So the reserve fund of $67M would cover 8 months of expenses. Standard organizational procedure for non-profits is to maintain at least 3-6 months of expenses in reserve with six being the most used target. Two full years of expenses is considered kind of the high end. With the amount of debt, the inflexibility of budget, fund raising volatility, and the need to be able to make it though a large recession (most of NPO can just fold), 8 months is not nearly as conservative a many of you think.

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  12. sUGArdaddy

    Sherlock, you have hit the nail on the head. B-M has been cheap, but we are turning the worm on that and I don’t believe we’re being overly conservative now. Reaching for a project like this without fundraising initiatives would be Leadership Malpractice.

    I also don’t get a lot of angst over a lot of this. I’d like for some newer restrooms, but this is a titanic. The greatest thing that would improve my fan experience would be for more winning, especially between those hallowed hedges. The best way to win more is to have better players. The best way to get better players is to create a better experience for them.

    Our locker rooms are a joke. And, yes, I’ve been in the locker rooms of just about every SEC stadium. They haven’t changed much at all in 20 years. Recruits are being shuffled into the Lettermen’s Club now, which is okay, but that kicks out the lettermen and it’s not as nice or big as it needs to be.

    We also desperately need a larger scoreboard, which is part of this initiative. Ours is tiny compared to what we’re seeing across the league. The stadium needs many upgrades, but this absolutely is where it needs to start. Rules prohibit us from paying players, so shouldn’t we at least invest FIRST in the facilities that will most directly impact their lives and performance?

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  13. Bright Idea

    UGA is in this position because of Michael Adams. Oddly enough McGarity and the big money folks are finally realizing that Adams is gone. Richt would not use the collateral he built during his early years to usurp Adams to get nice, shiny new stuff. That helped him last 15 years, although the last 5-6 were spent on the “hot seat.” The whole operation became complacent because they saw no future in bucking Adams. Pruitt did what Richt should have done but his only capital was with the players. Now Kirby has the support from McGarity, Morehead and the big money. He’s wise enough to know that he has to deliver the goods now and that is the good news.

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  14. UGA85

    I just wonder how many programs can drum up this kind of cash? Texas, certainly, USC, Notre Dame, a few others. We are in high cotton in almost every way, resource wise. We have to knock the ceiling out soon in football; maybe the message will then be sent that championships are the standard across the board in UGA athletics. It would be a first, IMO.

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  15. Napoleon BonerFart

    How much to have a WiFi hotspot named after me?

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  16. Mayor

    Let me be clear on this. Until they start putting a product on the field that we can be proud of DON’T GIVE THEM ANY MORE MONEY! I adopted that philosophy several years ago and have had no reason to change it.

    Like

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