Greg McGarity savors the moment.

I hope he didn’t throw his shoulder out patting his back.

Screenshot_2019-09-25 Georgia Athletics

Perhaps he should speak with a few of these folks (h/t eethomaswfnc) about that pure magic.

But not all UGA students were satisfied with their experience at the historic game. Some are alleging they were removed from the stadium due to a lack of seating in the student sections.

UGA negotiated a deal with Notre Dame in 2014 to schedule two games, one in South Bend and in Athens, with the promise of hosting 8,000 Fighting Irish fans in Sanford Stadium. The agreement meant UGA needed to prepare 500 extra seats than usual in the visitors seating area, so the university planned to “shift” one of the student sections in the West End Zone area to make up for the surplus.

Some students believe UGA athletics oversold tickets and prioritized the experience of higher paying ticket holders and Notre Dame fans over students.

The Red & Black talked to students who were removed or could not find seating in the stadium and how they felt. UGA officials did not respond to requests for comment as of press time. The Red & Black is continuing to report this story.

Caroline Stevens, first-year doctor of pharmacy student from Cumming

After arriving an hour before kick off and not finding seating, Stevens said a police officer then grabbed her by the arm and tried to drag her out of the stadium.

“This was a big game, and kicking out students to make room for certain fans just because they paid more money for their ticket is incredibly unfair. Overall, Sanford really let me down.”

“UGA officials did not respond to requests for comment”?  Color me shocked, shocked.  Don’t harsh Greg’s mellow with your silly questions about money and seating priorities, kids.  Just chalk it up as part of your educational experience.

Twenty years down the road, they’ll be wondering why they can’t coax people like Ms. Stevens into becoming loyal season ticket buyers.

31 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

31 responses to “Greg McGarity savors the moment.

  1. Gaskilldawg

    The J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics makes it clear to those students that there is no minimum age requirement for the Magill Society. Heck, had she done the responsible thing and joined the Magill Society at the $100,000.00 level she may have been able to find a seat at the beer and wine plaza in the concourse. She would not have been able to see the action there, either, but no police would be grabbing at her to leave, unless a Magill Society guy at the $250,000.00 level needed her seat. Hell, Ms. Stevens, just join the Million Dollar donor club and get introduced on the field.

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  2. Mark

    I was a student in the 70s, and our student tickets entitled us to a specific seat, as in “Section XX, Row XX, Seat XX.” Does it not work that way now? Or is student seating now some kind of general admission deal?

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    • Derek

      When I was in school (1989-92) those seat assignments meant nothing, at all, to anyone. If you thought someone would enforce it and put you in your assigned seat, you were woefully wrong. I assume it still works that way.

      I doubt seriously that the students who paint themselves and sit in the first row have those precise tickets issued to them. They just get there really, really early.

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      • 79Dawg

        20 years ago (and assume it is the same today), the only ones who care what their tickets say are the Greek orgs who want block seating…
        Me, I’m proud to be a f’in independent Neidermeyer!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Reverend Whitewall

        Don’t remember the specific game, but this would have been around ‘96 or so, some dude shows up with his girl halfway through the first quarter of a pretty big game that was totally packed, and tries to make us move because we’re in “his” seats in the student section. My 6’5” buddy tells him to eff off. So he goes and gets an usher and tries to convince him to make us move and pretty much got laughed at. So then he tries to start squirming his way between us into his seats until he was informed by the previously mentioned buddy that he was about to get thrown 5 rows down if he kept it up. Dude finally gave up and disappeared. Was the only time I ever saw somebody actually try to sit in their assigned seat in the student section.

        I have no idea how it all works now though. Been a LOOOOONG time since i sat there.

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        • Derek

          I hope ATL doesn’t read about your experience in the donnan years.

          It may trigger additional irritation of his sensitive areas.

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    • It does not work that way any longer. The student section are general admission and you are supposed to have a wristband (one color for the west end zone and another for the north sections).

      Most students (other than freshmen) this year did not get full season ticket privileges. My daughter was lucky enough to arrive in time to get a spot in the west end zone with her friends but was on the top row of the west end (not in the temp seats). She said it was absolutely packed to the gills (that means the stadium was likely over capacity).

      Liked by 1 person

      • mwo

        My daughter and niece, both student ticket holders,went early and found seats. They went to the restroom just before kickoff and were not allowed back into the student section due to overcrowding. They waited for some other students to leave their seats then took them.

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  3. Derek

    Adapt, adjust and overcome.

    If you don’t want to deal with the hazards of the standing room only student section, go to section 600, and trade your tickets. Someone will be willing to improve their position.

    Or recognize that the student section operates on a first come first serve basis and that this is the biggest home game…ever…and get there on time. Others obviously had that figured out. That’s why it was full.

    Easy.

    For years after graduation I used to ignore what was printed on my ticket and go to the student section. I only stopped when they started checking tickets.

    Best place on the planet to watch a football game. I would not be surprised to learn that hundreds of people in the student section did not have student section tickets, thus the lack of available “seating” whatever that means. I know I never “sat” in the student section.

    You could solve it by making the students sit in their assigned seat, but is that worth doing? I know I’m glad it was first come first serve when I was in school.

    But I’m sure this is all on Greg somehow. I blame him for the ND fans sitting in front of me in 319. That’s not visitors seating, Greg!!! Who will print my sad tale?

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    • ATL Dawg

      “When I was in school”…

      “For years after graduation”…

      Proceeds to describe what he did during the Ray Goff years.

      SMH

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    • Did you actually read the article? At least a couple of the people mentioned specifically said they arrived an hour before the kick-off and couldn’t find seating.

      It doesn’t sound like The Red & Black reporter was talking to students who stumbled in from downtown halfway through the first quarter.

      It’s on the athletic association including the AD for screwing this up. They took the athletic fees and the revenue from the tickets that were either oversold or for giving out wristbands to people who didn’t have seating rights in the student section.

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      • Derek

        I went to high school with a guy who was on the front page of the red and black claiming that he had been kidnapped and robbed and that the police ignored him.

        Dude was lying. It happens. People say things to the media that aren’t true. Shocking I know.

        It seems to me that the question is whether they sell exactly the same number of student tickets as there are seats? If they oversell it may make some sense to make sure it’s full vs. say Arkansas state. It may cause issues vs other teams but I can understand the rationale. If they don’t oversell, then it seems the problem lies somewhere else and perhaps in the “shit happens” category.

        That is to say that if the section were invaded by non students at 600 or 630, what do you really want security to do about it? Start beating the fuck out of people? Water hoses? German Shepherds?

        I saw the ramps to the right of the scoreboard full all night with people watching. This can be figured out by people who are interested in looking out for their own interests without all the whining and finger pointing.

        It’s 100,000 drunken dawg fans. You expect perfect? I don’t.

        Btw: at half they were out of hot dogs.

        McGarrity!!!!!

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        • “That is to say that if the section were invaded by non students at 600 or 630, what do you really want security to do about it? Start beating the fuck out of people? Water hoses? German Shepherds?”

          No, I would expect that the event staff make sure that those in the student section have a wristband that allows them to be in those sections allocated for students who have paid the athletic fee and have authorized tickets. People who had seats elsewhere but decided to relive their college days or upgrade to a better seat because they know the student section is general admission should have been instructed to leave by the event staff and if they wouldn’t, be escorted out of Sanford Stadium by a law enforcement officer.

          If 3 random people decided to sit in my seats because they wanted a better view and I showed up 5 minutes before kickoff, I guarantee those people would have been ejected from Sanford Stadium if they didn’t move after I showed them my tickets.

          No reason students shouldn’t have received the same courtesy.

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          • Derek

            Except we all know that section is treated differently.

            Not saying they shouldn’t have been policed it in advance but:

            1) who knows if this had been an issue before that they should have anticipated it? I don’t.
            2) seems like one of those issues that once it happens it’s too late.
            3) this is hardly an AD level issue.

            Now about my hot dog, Greg!!!

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            • “Except we all know that section is treated differently.”

              Silly students, the student section is for anyone who wants to be there. Just because you paid a mandatory fee that’s going into your student loan and were lucky enough to be permitted to buy a ticket to the biggest non-conference game in the history of the program doesn’t mean you have a right to be in the sections allocated to students … go stand on the ramp to the Fech Deck if seeing the game is that important to you.

              “Who knows if this had been an issue before that they should have anticipated it? I don’t.”

              Students with valid tickets on their student account were turned away at the 2014 Clemson game. This ain’t the first time something like this has happened. If they weren’t thinking about it, shame on the AA and especially the ticket office … students were offering to buy IDs with tickets for $400 the week leading up to the game. Why else bring in the additional “500 seats” into the student section if you thought the drunk students weren’t going to show up?

              “This is hardly an AD level issue”

              If it ain’t Greg, whose is it? He is responsible for getting the athletic fee and ticket prices approved by the University and by the Regents (I think the fee is approved at that level). His people are responsible for allocating student tickets and for operations at Sanford Stadium. Everything athletically related at UGA stops at the AD’s desk.

              It’s a load of crap that is a hell of a lot bigger than restroom cleanliness and concession lines.

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              • Derek

                Get the facts first:

                Are they overselling OR are people invading the student section?

                If they are overselling, do you want them to only oversell some games? “Here’s your student season tickets minus the game you really want!!”

                If they aren’t overselling student seats what we do know is that there was a seat for every ticket and several hundred watching from ramps.

                In that event there was a place for every ass that wanted a seat.

                Complex problems rarely have easy or perfect solutions. You take the best of the available evils and move on.

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                • “Are they overselling OR are people invading the student section?”
                  The answer is likely yes. It isn’t an either/or situation.

                  “If they are overselling, do you want them to only oversell some games?”
                  The AA knows that every student isn’t going to show up for Murray State even though the ticket was allocated to the student ID. They should have known before the ticket allocation was done that every student who got a ticket to ND was going to show up or sell the ID to another. It was a horrible lapse in judgment. By the way, most 2nd & 3rd years didn’t get full packages this year (my daughter as one of them even though I don’t believe she had a single strike from last year).

                  “In that event there was a place for every ass that wanted a seat.”
                  Guess what? Students don’t have paper tickets if you didn’t know that. You can’t just walk up and take a seat to a game like that. A student with his/her friends isn’t just going to find space together in the regular seating sections. They enter the stadium with the assurance that there will be space in the allocated sections for them.

                  “Complex problems rarely have easy or perfect solutions.”
                  Allocating 93,000+ seats to a football game isn’t like going to the moon. There were more people in the stadium than seats allocated and more people in the sections allocated for students than student tickets sold.

                  Derek, you’re smarter than that.

                  The reason I sent the article to the Senator is this:
                  “UGA officials did not respond to requests for comment as of press time.”

                  People on South Campus in Butts-Mehre are hiding under their desks.

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    • jtp03

      There are no assigned seats for students, general admission. You go to a section based on what gate you enter, and your tickets are on your ID. There’s nothing to trade.

      -For students wanting to sit in the 100 Level seats by the band (Sections 109-114), you must enter Gate 3.

      -Students wanting to sit in the 100 Level seats in the West end zone (under the videoboard) you must enter from bridge level through Gate 1 under the videoboard – adjacent to the bridge.

      -For students wanting to sit in the 300 Level seats (Sections 307-313), enter Gate 4A.

      -Sections 309, 310, 311 (Rows 1-20) & 312 (Rows 1-20) are reserved for student organization block seating with the appropriate wristband. Any available seats at kickoff are open to all students.

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      • mwo

        If a student gets a ticket and doesn’t show up for a game, they receive a strike on their account and it impairs or precludes entirely their ability to get student tickets next season. So they will show up for the Murray State, etc. games, whether they stay or not is another conversation.

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  4. Gaskilldawg

    Those two recreation center T-ball field temporary seats TPTB put in on the plaza did not look to me to be big enough to handle the 500 displaced from the area normally the student seating. . If McGarity took away 500 north stand tickets and brought in bleachers that only accommodated, say, 200, then yeah, he gets blame for 300 fans with tickets being screwed.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Godawg

    “Twenty years down the road, they’ll be wondering why they can’t coax people like Ms. Stevens into becoming loyal season ticket buyers.”

    Or to even make a simple gift to the Georgia (annual) Fund.

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  6. Bright Idea

    Retired HS coaches with a GHSA pass who make reservations get in free and they get better seats than the ones I’ve donated 40 years for. Go figure.

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  7. Remember the Quincy

    Not that people over exaggerate things to make others sympathize more over their plight…but, what caused the police officer to “grab her by the arm and try to drag her out of the stadium?” The way she explained it, it sounds like this officer saw her standing somewhere in the stadium other than in an assigned seat, was perturbed by this, and randomly grabbed her arm and forced her to leave. That doesn’t make any sense. Standing in a concourse an hour before kickoff isn’t something that would typically cause a cop to do that. So, was there something else going on that would have caused the cop to ask her to leave?

    It’s an incomplete story by R&B.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have no idea if this story is true or not, but based upon behaviors that I have witnessed from some of the university “police officers” at games, I can believe her story. Some, not all but definitely a good number of them, are rude and extremely unprofessional toward fans.

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  8. This article points out a few things:

    1) Clearly the AA oversells the student sections with the knowledge that for most games the no-shows make it possible to fill the student section.
    2) No one said, “We probably should assume every student ID with a ticket to this game is going to show up. Therefore, we probably shouldn’t oversell this game and be diligent about monitoring wristbands.”
    3) No one thought about those whose tickets are elsewhere but move into the student section to relive their college years and their impact on students who can’t sit somewhere else.
    4) I have to assume the new recruit section in the west end zone has reduced overall student seating.
    5) As Gaskill notes above, the temporary seating wasn’t for 500. I noticed that when I saw the bleachers.

    This is a bad look for the university no matter the spin.

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  9. Admiral Sackbar

    Hardly the first time students have felt shafted at a big home game (I was a student when Clemson last came to Athens, and there was an open letter being passed around that detailed how many students were drinking water straight from bathroom sinks just to stay hydrated). It seems like college athletics is in a bubble; how much time left before it pops?

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