Is this what Bulldog ennui looks like?

One year ago, I posted this:

Second, while nobody at Butts-Mehre wants to acknowledge the possibility that there is a limit to our wallets’ generosity, you better believe somebody has taken notice of the fact that the cumulative Hartman Fund cut off score to renew the receipt of two season tickets fell from 6701 in 2015 to 1201 in 2016.  Sure, one season doth not a trend make, but in the wake of a coaching change supposedly jazzing up the fan base – #93k, good times, remember? – it doesn’t appear to reflect the sense of enthusiasm for the program that’s being pushed in many quarters.

With 2017’s impressive home schedule in mind, you can probably guess where this post is headed.

Hartman Fund donors with 550 priority points or higher who contributed a minimum of $275 per seat and requested renewable season tickets will receive them.

Over two years, that’s a drop off in qualifying points of more than 90%.  That still may not be a trend, but what label would you apply?  Given what little we know about the 2018 schedule — Austin Peay is currently Georgia’s opponent in the opener, be still my heart — it wouldn’t be a surprise if that trend, or however you want to refer to it, has some staying power.

I went on in that old post to write,

Moar sure:  yeah, win an SECCG or two and that fall will be arrested.  The question is, will that be enough in the years to come for Georgia fans to continue shelling out “more for what’s likely to be a lesser home schedule”?  We know Greg McGarity hopes that’s the case.  If it’s not, is there any more of a Plan B in place than expecting television revenues to make up the slack?  You know how impressed I’ve been with the business acumen of the athletic department, but, obviously, your mileage may vary there.

Maybe we’re in the middle of a controlled experiment to see how much we’re willing to put up with to attend Georgia football games.  (Apparently, it’s a fair amount.)  Without a trip to the SECCG and a compelling showing there, it’s hard to see where the athletic department goes to generate more excitement from the paying fan base.

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61 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

61 responses to “Is this what Bulldog ennui looks like?

  1. sniffer

    Austin Peay? Seriously, was Marist not available? My friend who is in recovery has a saying. “Restless, irritable and discontent”. Sounds like us Georgia people these days…

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  2. AusDawg85

    Can two Cokes and a hot dog be far behind?

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    • Dog in Fla

      ennui or the other, Greg is going to make us regret our tired existence without the quintessential 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs and 4 Cokes

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    • The Georgia Way

      Never.

      Bottomless cokes put too much pressure on our volunteer concession and restroom labor.

      It drove some of them to the brink of asking us to pay them, leaving us no choice but to discontinue the bottomless cokes and other fan-friendly offerings we were considering.

      Now our general seating guests won’t have to wait as long to go Peay. And that’s another Bulldog Point of Pride!

      #COMMITTOTHEG

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  3. JCDAWG83

    Let us go 9-3 with losses to S Carolina, Florida and Auburn and not win the East and I think you’ll see a substantial exodus of ticket buyers. For that matter, I think there are quite a few ready to bail out if we don’t win the East no matter who we lose to.

    We will know things are bad if we start seeing billboards in the Atlanta area and around the state advertising tickets to Georgia football games.

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  4. Bright Idea

    None of us know how worried B-M is about this obvious trend for the future but as season ticket holders we should realize that this “privilege” is becoming less and less valuable, especially for those of us in the cheap seats. I think winning would help fix it but with the combination of TV, cupcakes, noon starts and failure to win anything meaningful many of us may find it easy to bail out. B-M knows the heavy rollers are less worried about these factors because for them it is more about prestige and social opportunities. That’s what B-M is counting on for all of us I bet.

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    • JCDAWG83

      B-M’s problem is; the cheap seat folks are the ones who become the future heavy rollers. If they lose enough of the cheap seat crowd they will find themselves with no one to offer upgrades to. The heavy rollers are important but the tens of thousands of folks who send in a few thousand a year are where the real money is.

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    • Chi-town Dawg

      Agree with all you said not to mention the tailgating experience has been watered down so much by the University that much of the socializing and fun has been taken away, which was a big part of the gameday experience. In terms of future demographic trends, let’s not forget that today’s UGA college students appear to be far less interested in watching a football game at the stadium. This will make it even harder to sell those cheap seats going forward.

      The reported attendance may be a sellout, but there are more and more empty seats every weekend. It’s a good thing the school thru apathy, blind luck or good business sense never decided to expand the stadium to 100,000+ seating capacity when all the other SEC schools were doing so.

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      • Butts-Mehre had best get to cleaning house or economics will clean out an entire administration ,both athletic and academic. I do understand that the kids that go to UGA today are not the same as a few decades ago but they had better start planting the seeds for future fans now or there will not be replacement numbers in the very near future. The idea that we would let Micheal Adams run off Coach Dooley for McGarity and Morehead would not stop the big donors and nattering nabobs from running off Coach Richt just shows how bad this administration is(Morehead was Adams lap dawg) Not only is there a lack of institutional vision I believe the administration is antagonistic to jocks,greeks and alumni in general. They just want us to give them our money and let them spend it on their own pet projects( See the ethno-botanical garden). Stop the madness …Weasel for President of the University….Senator Blutarsky for Athletic Director. Problem solved. I still want to go to games but these SOB’s are getting on my last good nerve.

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    • The Georgia Way

      No. We are not at all concerned about the additional time it is taking to sell football tickets this season.

      It only illustrates the importance of increasing the annual flow of athletic cash into our rainy day funds.

      Rest assured, The Georgia Way was in front of this from the very beginning, so do not attempt to email us about self-fulfilling prophecies while you are #COMMITTINGTOTHEG.

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  5. 3rdandGrantham

    Apologies if I’m being redundant, but for the life of me I can’t figure out why anyone would purchase season tickets. Perhaps if I’m living out retirement in the Athens area with nothing better to do I might think about it; otherwise… no way.

    The important money issue and bad home slate most years aside, the sheer hassle of trying to: get to/from the game, parking, weather issues, drunk idiots all around you or all those with extra girth taking up a portion of your seat, bathrooms, concessions, and all the rest — its so much more enjoyable to view the game at home on your 65 inch or whatever TV with perfect weather, no restroom lines, cold beer in the fridge, and a BGE on the back deck set at 250 for whatever you’re cooking.

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    • The day it becomes a better experience for me personally to stay home and watch a home game is the day I’ll find something better to do with my fall Saturdays than college football. Maybe that makes me a romantic …

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      • Otto

        Going to the game is fun but I have turned buying tickets due to so many good games being on TV. Part of the joy of college football is one game can change the pictures, granted the play off has taken away some from that.

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        • I get it and totally understand that perspective. I personally will find other things to do with my time than to watch games all day on Saturday if I ever give up my tickets. Fall has the best golf weather or just to be outside. Also, maybe I’m getting old, but I don’t watch a lot of games outside of Georgia now. I don’t care who wins a game other than the impact of the game on Georgia. I can get that through a 5 minute check of the Internet rather than 10 hours in front of the TV.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Otto

            I typically miss games for Petit LeMans and some years I’ll go hiking on a Saturday. I used to spend more time on college football but the pick’em I was in with member nation wide has for most part dissolved. Further Big12 football is flat out boring with their absence of defense.

            College football, F1 and the IMSA GT-LM class are the only sports I spend any time keeping up with.

            I grew up going to games in Athens and thankfully my uncle’s in laws lived in town, so we often went to their place to watch a big gameif it came on after the UGA game. However, that was in the dark ages when you had to listen to AM750 to get any updates on scores if you were on the road.

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          • 3rdandGrantham

            See, I’ve already done that actually — I DVR pretty much every game and watch later in the day or that evening. Very rarely do I watch any CFB game before 3-4 pm or so, which gives us most of the day to enjoy doing all the activities that we like. And when we do sit down to watch a UGA game, we can easily edit down a typical 3 1/2 hour game to 2 hours or so, sometimes even less. After that, we put whatever prime time game on as background entertainment only.

            Long gone are my days sitting inside watching football all day, and I’m far happier now than I was then with this format.

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            • Mayor

              ^^This. You can record the game and any others you care to see and watch them later. Plus, you can play golf that day or do any other outside activity you choose. I have been in this mode for years now. Sooner or later the idiots at B-M are going to kill the goose by making the experience so unpleasant that everyone simultaneously will start watching on big-screen at home–and it will happen literally overnight. Been to a Duke-Tech game lately? It will be just like that at Sanford Stadium for home games then.

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      • Otto

        *turned down

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      • Paul

        All you have to do is Invite a few friends, get multiple TV’s going inside and out, fire up the grill(s) and it becomes a pretty compelling environment. With a good sound system you can even feel the crowd right there at home. Excellent food, clean restrooms, comfy chairs and the company of friends and neighbors you actually enjoy. Plus, you save literally tens of thousands of dollars a year. That equals an upgraded vacation experience for you and the spouse and that begets lots of spectacular vacation, uh, experiences. What’s not to love?

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        • I understand, but as I said above, when the game day experience no longer is worth my money, I’ll no longer be a college football fan. I would rather play golf, do something with my family or take that trip than to spend all day on Saturday watching games I have little interest in. That’s just me but to each his own. I’ll record it and watch it later if I watch at all.

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        • 3rdandGrantham

          Truer words have never been spoken. Thanks for mentioning having a nice sound system — IMO, your TV setup is only half the battle. I cringe every time I see a nice video setup with horrible audio through the TV itself or, almost as bad, one of those soundbars. And don’t get me started on those putrid Bose speaker systems.

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    • PTC DAWG

      Obviously, tons of folks enjoy attending college football games…

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  6. Brandon

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong but wouldn’t you receive 550 Hartman Fund points for donating the minimum $275 per seat? Making this thereby being a fancily veiled way of saying pretty much everyone who applied for season tickets is getting them.

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    • Pretty much. Even with reducing cutoff to the minimum donation required, there weren’t enough season ticket orders as evidenced by all the single season tickets available to the general public. Not a good sign.

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    • Gaskilldawg

      No, because the ticket price does not count towards the Hartman Fund.

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      • jtp03

        He’s not talking about ticket price, but rather the lowest minimum Hartman fund donation price point.

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      • Chi-town Dawg

        Brandon is correct in his assessment. The UGAA said everyone who donated $550 was granted a season ticket. The minimum per seat charge is $275 or $550 for 2 seats. Since there were tickets leftover, we can assume that anyone who donated received the right to buy a season ticket. The ticket price has nothing to do with the donation as you point out.

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  7. Senator, when I saw the opportunity to buy additional season tickets come in, I immediately knew we would see a post about this. When the ticket locations come out on Wednesday, I better see that my seats have moved to a better location. Otherwise, I get closer to the end of the line.

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    • Otto

      I see your point on not being into it, if you’re not going to the games and know others of the same thought. Yes I disagree.

      Another big problem with season tickets is getting to the good seats. My parents went in with my uncle,and had 10 seats south west side ~35 yard line. My uncle’s 2 seats were under the overhang, 4 more literally 1 run below the overhang, and the final 4 about a 1/3rd the way up. He had it this way from the early 80s until the late 90s. We also had 6 for the WLOCP. As his kids, my sister, and I grew up, he gave up tickets. He had 6 when he passed which was enough to keep his parking spot, and sold off 4.

      The paradox of success is that grads coming out of school will have a hard time paying for everything and then getting tickets like he did. It makes more sense for most of us to pay even the high prices for a game here and there than to go in for a full season hoping to somehow get decent seats. If they get out of the habit of going to games they likely don’t pick it back up with Jr in Baseball, soccer and the daughter playing softball, dance etc etc. I don’t go now unless I am in at $100 per ticket in the lower deck for a SEC game which yes I only get off family friends and coworkers when they can’t make it.

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      • I don’t have great seats. I considered not renewing this year and going the StubHub route for games I wanted to attend. If I lose enough interest not to renew, I’ve probably lost interest, period. At best, I would DVR and watch it later if interested.

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    • DawgPhan

      I would be surprised if your seats moved.

      I had tickets for years, 2 pair in the lower level end zone. Every year I would call and email just asking to have my 2 pair become 4 together somewhere in the lower level. Those ticket never moved.

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      • I know – I’m not holding my breath 🙂

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        • Chi-town Dawg

          Let us know EE if your seats improve. My bet is there will be alot of disappointed folks because the McGill Club members will leap frog alot of ticket holders into the improved seat locations. I think part of the plan behind increased donation and ticket prices is to reduce the seats held by long time ticket holders paying the minimum donation threshold in order to open up space for the newer high rollers.

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          • This morning I looked it up … same seats. Disappointed but not surprised.

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            • Chi-town Dawg

              Ugh, sorry to hear that, but not surprised.

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              • I think what you mentioned about the Magill Society people is exactly what happened. As long as everyone plays by the same rules, I guess it’s hard to complain. I figured in this year of apparently some people cutting or completely dropping their contributions, long-term contributors and ticket holders would get the benefit. I guess that wasn’t their approach.

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  8. ALL HAIL!! The bulldog Lenten season is upon us!! McGarity has asked that we GIVE UP all expectations for a compelling home game schedule, convenient access to and from Athens, a pro tailgaiting atmosphere, easily accessible and clean bathrooms, games that start after 3pm, and an overall excellence in Georgia athletics in order to prove our devotion to the Georgia Way! 40 days and 40 nights. At the end of it all we will be a purified ‘true Georgia Bulldog’ and unquestioning true believer of the Georgia Way. Who is with him??

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul

      I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there.

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    • ApalachDawg

      Twist. You summed that up nicely.
      It all started for me with czar Adams and the anti tailgate campaign… How could our beloved state let that douche run the flagship university?
      I gave up my tickets a while back and enjoy watching the dogs win (or lose) on the Gulf De Mexico….

      Liked by 1 person

  9. 79DawgatWork

    The $60,000 question is, where will the new season ticket buyers come from? Young people are not interested/don’t see the value in shelling out these huge sums for season tickets. Would be interesting to see a distribution of Hartman Fund donors by age – my guess is it probably looks a lot like Japan’s….

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  10. 69Dawg

    Maybe UGA will finally go back to the good old days and let the tickets be inherited. Even the Masters saw the light and reinstituted some inherited benefits. A friend of mine whose father had Masters tickets for a long time thought they would lose them when her mother finally passed but the Masters now has Legacy tickets for the family available. I know by reading the propaganda that there are now rules in place to let the heavy contributors leave their tickets to the heirs. Just another way UGA pisses on the regular guy but goes after the big money. Think about contributing 50,000 to 75,000 over your life time and having it all be gone with the wind when you die.

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  11. WarD Eagle

    “…contributed a minimum of $275 per seat and requested renewable season tickets will receive them.”

    That sounds bad.
    I don’t know how bad it is at AU. Most of my friends still buy. But they’re significantly more wealthy than I.

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  12. Everyone is going to have a slightly different take based on their interests, age, income, and Athens availability.

    Outside of when I was at the war (which was kinda a fall ritual for me) I have tried to attend one game a year. My last game was now a couple of years ago (I moved yet again), and all I remember is that it was a pretty painful experience. I had to leave Atlanta at about 0500, to meet up with a bud to get to what I think was an 1100 game.

    Never again. At least not like that. Then it took me about 4 hrs to get back to Atlanta. After we lost. To Mizzou. And it was hot, the only food was old nasty CFA (those samiches sitting in the cart for like 4 hours).

    That’s not very motivational.

    Fast forward, we have the game of the millennium of the century of the year of the decade – Bama at home. People prepared. People circled their calendars. People were motivated. People really, really got motivated and took it serious. People were excited!

    And we got beat down in an epic fashion in the pouring rain. Our team looked like lost puppies as Bama frantically worked to keep their players dry and loose.

    Again, not a big motivational tool.

    I personally, separate from a few other people here, love college ball and I love watching all sorts of games across the land. If going to a Georgia game means a horrible experience and losing an entire day, then I (almost there, not 100%) would rather enjoy my big ol tv and snacks and relax. The drive in and out alone is the most painful game experience I have had almost anywhere in the south. I would still like to attend 1 or 2 a year in my heart, but it sure ain’t easy, especially when you are not near Athens.

    So yea, I would still like to attend one good/big game a year, but from here on out I am going to be pretty highly selective. And yea, when you start getting older, the bathroom thing becomes more of a deal. The traffic and the 12 hour day to watch a 3.5 hr game becomes more of a deal. Parking a county away also becomes an issue.

    It sure was nice living in Reed in the early 90s, at least for gameday experience.

    And winning a lot will fix a lot. Also, there are also reasons for not playing 8 SEC + GT + 2 major OOCs. That risk is not worth the reward on the W – L slate, even if fans want it. Winning out to Atlanta is simply more valuable for rankings, bowls, tv, and money. Most top programs follow a similar template.

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  13. Dawgflan

    This is the basic calculus of short term results vs. long term impact.

    Based on the increased minimum donation amounts (https://www.dawgnation.com/football/team-news/donation-requirement-raised-for-2017-football-tickets), UGA made this choice to squeeze at most 2 or so million extra dollars from season ticket holders. While the theoretical minimum donation amount went up a total of $3.7M, many donors were already giving more than the minimum, so they could give the same or less and still be eligible for tickets.

    I do think overall the AD is patting themselves on the back over the $2M increase in donations, and I doubt the single tickets are still available, but it just reinforces the Senator’s narrative on BM.

    The real squeeze was put on those with the tightest budgets (including new alumni) plus those already on the season-ticket fence because of… (insert reason here – schedule, fan experience, coaching change, lack of competitiveness, family priorities, life, etc.). In other words, the current and future rank and file. They are the people that will decide the future of the program once the wealthiest generation dies off and the broadcast revenue disappears. If enough of the under 60 walk away, there ain’t no reserve fund big enough to fix that.

    Like

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