“They just want to be able to say they were there.”

Yay for us!

In fact, demand for tickets for this game is even greater than we witnessed last year when Georgia took over Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend. The cut-off score for UGA donors to qualify to buy LSU tickets was 99,000 points, according to McGarity. Basically, that means one would have to donate a total of $99,000 over the years to qualify for tickets through UGA’s priority distribution system for this game. The cut-off for Notre Dame tickets last year was “in the 70s (thousands),” McGarity said.

“So it’s a higher demand this time,” McGarity said. “Having fewer tickets makes a difference, too.”

UGA received 6,000 tickets in its ticket swap with LSU, which seats 102,321 in Tiger Stadium. The Bulldogs got 8,400 from Notre Dame for its 80,000-seat stadium last September.

When you gotta go, you gotta go.  And there’s a lot of gotta in our fan base these days, especially compared to others.

At present, Georgia’s fan base appears to be one of the most mobile and motivated in the SEC. Thanks to last year’s successes — which included a run to the SEC championship and the College Football Playoff finals — the Bulldog Nation remains excited about the potential of its team at a time when overall attendance is down. Visiting fan travel is markedly down.

Tennessee and Vanderbilt returned huge portions of their ticket allotments for Sanford Stadium, Florida used only 2,500 of its allotment at Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium earlier this year and LSU did the same last week when the Tigers went to Florida.

Even traditional powerhouses programs such as Alabama doesn’t appear to be bringing as many fans on the road. Perhaps they’re jaded — or maybe broke — from the Crimson Tide’s long succession of championship seasons.  Meanwhile, the Bulldogs continue to maximize their tickets allotments, even at Missouri earlier this season.

“I think we are separating ourselves from our peers when it comes to traveling to road games,” McGarity said. “Whenever we play a Western (division) opponent, we always travel well, and that’s definitely the case here. We haven’t been to LSU in a decade, so Georgia fans are eager to get back.”

This comes at a time when visiting team ticket lots are shrinking. SEC teams used to have to guarantee the visitor 10,000 seats. That number is now 6,000 and is expected to continue to decrease.

“Schools are weighing whether to sell seats late that are returned from a bock as opposed to lowering the number in the blocks and offering more opportunities for your own fans,” McGarity said.

Another canary in the coal mine?  Probably.  Does McGarity realize how fortunate he is to have a fan base bucking that trend?  Probably.  Nothing like making hay while the sun shines.

17 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

17 responses to ““They just want to be able to say they were there.”

  1. 79Dawg

    Did not read the article in full, but of course one of the reasons visiting teams are returning tickets is because they are being asked to pay $125-150 to sit in nosebleeds, while home fans are paying half or two-thirds as much to sit in much better seats. And that is doubly true if you are playing a crappy team (like Tennessee this year) or think your team has no chance to win.
    The other thing not mentioned and that I think helps us particularly, is that Atlanta is home to a major airport with flights to everywhere, and we are also somewhat centralized and also within reasonable driving distance to most schools (other than ATM, Arkansas and Mizzou). For example, South Carolina fans are driving 2-3 hours to Atlanta, and then have our drive to points farther west, for example (unless they are going somewhere like Knoxville or Gainesville of course).

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    • PTC DAWG

      You realize why we charge the road teams what we do for tickets right? UGA started charging them what they have charged our fans for tickets in their stadiums. Started this a few years back….fair is fair.

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      • 79Dawg

        I’m not sure what “fairness” has to do with anything here, but I am aware we are participating in this race to the bottom that has now led to (almost) everyone wallowing in the muck of “why don’t visiting fans travel well anymore?”
        There’s a reason everybody we’ve played at home except Auburn and Scar (I believe) has returned tickets the past few seasons – a very big part of it is that we are charging them $100-150 to sit in the 600 level, and their fans find it just as absurd to pay that to come to Sanford Stadium as I find it to pay to go to most other places.

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  2. DoubleDawg1318

    Away tickets are stupid expensive for the worst seats. Drop the price to around $75 and I think you would solve a lot of that issue.

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    • Greg

      it’s a combination of price and seat location. It’s like bowl game allotments for each school. The schools and the bowls expect us fans to fill the crappy seats while corporate sponsors get the prime seats. It’s too easy to go on Stub Hub or some other ticket broker – people will pay a premium for a better seat. If you’re going to spend as much money as you do for the rest of the trip, why settle for a crappy seat at the game. Of course, UGA fans can’t complain about the seats given us by other schools when you consider what we do to them. As I was watching the UGA-UT game, I looked at that 600 level full of orange and thought about what a miserable experience that would be with that sun directly in your face for most of 4 hours and being so high up that you can’t make out numbers without binoculars. If you’re sitting there, you might as well stay home and watch on TV.

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      • You must have been watching a different UGA-UT game than the one I attended. They had one section at best in the 600 level that was even majority orange.

        On the ticket price for visiting fans, our policy is that we charge visiting fans the exact same price their school charges our fans to attend. If Fech has their Georgia tickets at $95, the tickets in the 600 level that are in their allotment are $95. The rent a win games are $55 … the same price we pay in the season ticket package.

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        • PTC DAWG

          Exactly correct, other schools started gouging for visitors…UGA decided to match for visitors…correctly, I think.

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        • 79Dawg

          As I said above, us charging the visitors the same they charge us is a race to the bottom that unexpectedly is a race with no winners, as visiting team travel/support dwindles.
          The question McGarity and his peers should be asking themselves is, do we have enough fans to fill the 600 level when the visitors stop coming???

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  3. DawgFlan

    What’s wit the “we” Greg? Unless McGarity is paying out of his own pocket to travel and buy tickets, he should give the fans their due without trying to wrap himself up in glory.

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  4. The Georgia Bulldog Club

    Send in your 2019 donation before Christmas and you’ll receive a commemorative wristband as a token of our appreciation!

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  5. No Axe to Grind

    Nothing like winning.

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