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.