A canary in the pandemic mine?

If you’re a donor, you received this email yesterday.

Dear Georgia Bulldog Club member –

Thank you for your support of UGA Athletics through your contribution to the 2020 Hartman Fund drive.

For the first time since 2017, our football season ticket supply will exceed Hartman Fund donor demand. A variety of factors contributed to this including, but not limited to, the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as UGA Athletics recapturing 1,500 tickets from the visiting team allotment to make available in the form of season ticket opportunities. Currently, we anticipate having 400+ renewable season ticket opportunities available in the 300 level or below to go along with additional sideline seating opportunities in the first 10 rows of the 600 level.

As a result, we are planning to offer 2020 Hartman Fund donors, who have less than the maximum of 8 season ticket per account, the opportunity to partake in a secondary Optional Seat Selection Process. This will occur the first week of June, directly after the completion of the original seat selection process. This presents an opportunity for Hartman Fund Donors to obtain additional season tickets with the inventory we have left following the completion of the first round of selections…

If you opt-in to this secondary process, you will be prioritized based on cumulative TGBC priority points, and assigned a time to explore the open season ticket inventory that is still available after the completion of the initial Seat Selection Process. You do not need to make any additional payments at this time. If you choose to add new seats, any additional payments needed for Hartman Fund and/or Tickets can be completed during the checkout process.

To opt-in to the second Optional Seat Selection Process, please click here and submit your intended interest by Monday, June 1st. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at seats@sports.uga.edu

Thank you for your continued support.

Go Dawgs!

The Georgia Bulldog Club

Would this have been needed but for COVID-19?  Of course not.  Is this the last bump in the road we can expect from COVID-19 this season?  Doubtful.

32 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

32 responses to “A canary in the pandemic mine?

  1. ATL Dawg

    “Would this have been needed but for COVID-19? Of course not.”

    I disagree. They added season tickets and the home schedule isn’t very compelling and won’t be for the next 5 years. Not to mention the declining attendance trends that have been sweeping across the college football landscape for a while now (including the SEC). Georgia has been an exception to that trend up to this point due to the 2017 team’s success AND Notre Dame being on the 2019 home schedule. Both of those are now well in the rear view mirror.

    Now…would season ticket demand be this weak but not COVID-19? Of course not. Would this have still been needed? Yes.

    But if you think this is shocking, just wait until 2021.

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    • ATL Dawg

      Also, the personal seat license fees (aka “required donations”) for season tickets were due in mid-February. So anyone who was buying season tickets was locked in to doing so a month before the virus started hitting the US hard.

      Now, did some of those people eat the fees they paid and forgo buying season tickets? There were probably some. But not enough to account for all of these unsold season tickets. This was going to be an issue anyway. The virus just provides convenient cover to pretend like it wasn’t.

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      • I am one of the people who made the donation and then did not buy the season tickets. So there’s four for you.

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        • ATL Dawg

          You haven’t been able to get that “donation” back yet, have you?

          If not, you should be able to this summer/fall when they issue refunds.

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          • That donation has not been returned and I dont believe I will get that money back, because it was a donation. I could be wrong but I would be amazed if that refund is ever offered.

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            • ATL Dawg

              They’ve already said they’ll be refunding the donations if the season is cancelled. And a lot of schools have said that they’ll be pro-rating the donation refund if there’s a partial season. All of this would of course also apply if fan attendance is eliminated or restricted.

              I would try and get it back when the time comes. If everyone else is getting some kind of donation refund, I don’t see why you wouldn’t.

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    • PTC DAWG

      2021 issue is going to be jobs.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Huh. Can anyone tell me the minimum donation to get 2? Might be a good time to get back into it, even if I just tailgate and let my kids go to the games.

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    • ATL Dawg

      It sounds like the still available season tickets will be ones that require either a $300 or $275 donation per ticket (see the link below for the seat map). Then the season ticket price is $410 per ticket on top of the required donation.

      https://thegeorgiabulldogclub.com/get-involved/annual-giving-memberships/football/sanford-stadium-seating/

      They’re first offering these to current season ticket holders but I’m skeptical as to whether they’ll sell out to that group. If you want them, you may want to call and ask what you would have to do.

      Liked by 1 person

    • GC, the donation will only be required if you want renewable privileges. If you want to roll the dice, you could wait and buy tickets without the donation.

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      • We let ours go several years ago, ee. I still don’t care to sit in the stadium but my two sons (oldest is a UGA grad) love it. I think I would enjoy seeing some old friends at tailgates or hanging out at a bar while they go to the games. I’d want them renewable.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The donation / points game is a suckers game UNLESS you want box seats.

        You can pay market value at $1000/seat/game for only the games you care to attend for a lifetime between the 30’s on the south side or in club level and still come out ahead of going the Magill route,

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        • I’m a season ticket holder and Hartman contributor. I don’t sell my tickets. If I don’t go, I give them to my daughter (if she doesn’t get that game in her student package or she has a non-UGA friend in town for the game), friends or business contacts. I’ll never go the Magill route.

          I know I overpay for the baby seal clubbings, but I understand that’s a price to pay to know I have tickets for other games.

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        • Maybe I’m looking at it wrong so correct me if necessary. If can get seats below the 300 level at minimum donation due to lack of demand? Why not buy ’em? If they allow only limited access this year and I don’t get to attend all the games I want, I’ll get some sort of credit moving forward, points or discount plus I’m guaranteed renewal next season, right? Is the donation tax deductible?
          Plus feedback from all three kids is “Yes please.” I’ll do it just so they can go and have a good time.

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          • Castleberry

            Unless you plan to attend every game (or can afford to give your unused tickets to friends / loved ones) it is hard to get value out of the donation and ticket cost. The donation is not deductible. I agree with the comment above that your best bet is to pay premium $ for the games you want. You’ll sit in the best seats and be in control about when you go. When you do the math you’ll realize you paid way over $100 / seat to see East Tennessee St and Vandy and so on. Plus you may be up in the 600s. You’ll be walking by folks trying to give away seats to those games. Save that money and put it towards scalped seats to Auburn in the lower level.

            Liked by 1 person

          • From a money perspective, you should not buy them because you would be able to buy better seats on stubhub for less cash than your donation+ticket cost. That has held true for me since 2013. In post-covid world I only see value of tickets on market going down anyway.

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          • I have three kids, all who love Athens and the Dawgs. Having guaranteed seats without having to do the legwork on the secondary market sounds very appealing to me. I’ll let them fight over who gets to see what game.
            I need something clarified though, when the AA says “Seats 300 level and below” do they mean 4,5 ,and 600 level or 1, 2, 300 level ?

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            • Castleberry

              you’ll be upper deck 300+. long-time donors get first dibs on new seats opening up each year. you’ll be in the back of the line behind people who’ve given a looooong time. if you’re planning on hitting every game, you’ll be happy. if you’re thinking of selling your seats to the non-premiere games, you’ll be deeply disappointed. upper deck seats to East Tennesee St and Vandy are giveaways.

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  3. BuffaloSpringfield

    May I ask your reaction to well I bought my season tickets and received a e-mail from B-M saying their restricting seating to 30,000 ( see the OSU ) instead of going to the games B-M is just gonna up my points so in 2021-2022 I will still have have my same seats. That is if I up my donation.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m a donor, but I didn’t get that e-mail.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The wild thing is – the people who buy those seats are not going to be allowed in the game anyway. Those seats will be the LAST folks allowed in if the school has to dial back attendance due to COVID safety measures. This is essentially just a way for the school to get a free loan from some unsophisticated UGA football fans, of which there will never be a shortage.

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  6. Dovedawg

    There is very little inventory left–none in the lower level or 200 level. I participated in the first set selection process going on now. All the donors with over 1M in contribution points and those with over 100,000 in contribution points scooped up the available lower level and 200 sets Monday and Tuesday. The system is currently weighted against anyone with less than 100000 points. The seat selection process is now the only way to potentially upgrade your season ticket seats but practically speaking you won’t ever get that opportunity unless you are a max contributor. It used to be that you could request a change in your seats, send in the extra money and the ticket office would do that for you. Now, that old system has been scrapped in favor of the “seat selection process” which caters to the rich contributors. Another benefit of the Georgia Way!

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  7. Bigshot

    Why would I want more tickets? I’m just hoping to get rid of or use the ones I have.

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