Good morning, all-
I’ve got a few things to toss at you, including some notes from a conversation I had with Wayne Hogan in the athletics department and a Michael Johnson draft update.
1) Hogan, an associate AD, said that season tickets are coming in steady and at about the rate they expected. He said Tech has received about orders for about 10,000 tickets. Tech sold about 23,500 last year and hopes to get to 30,000 for 2009. He noted that, while the renewal date is April 1, he wasn’t that concerned at having received orders for 10,000 seats, as I imagine I would be. Hogan said that most orders come in at the last minute.
You can order tickets at www.ramblinwreck.com/tickets.
2) The department isn’t much closer to a 12th game for the 2010 football season. As he put it, “they’re still negotiating and bobbing and weaving.” I wrote awhile ago that my guess is Louisville.
3) The AA is going through its budget for the 2010 fiscal year, which starts July 1. I think a lot of what I talked about with Hogan will get folded into a story that we’ll run in a couple Sundays, but the gist of it is that the department is not impervious to the weakened economy. The budget, which was about $55 million this year, will shrink. He wouldn’t say by how much, as numbers are still coming in, but it sounds like it might be by a couple million or more.
Said Hogan, “We’re combing through every expenditure, every scholarship, every salary, every piece of equipment, every piece of travel that we do. It’s a matter of almost turning everything upside down and shaking the change out of the pockets. If you have a $55 million business, you have a lot of nooks and crannies. We’re definitely going to be leaner.”
Obviously, how Tech does selling season tickets could have a fairly significant impact on the budget. Here’s my attempt at math. A season ticket costs $260. The required Tech Fund contributions that accompany the better seats range from $75 to $475. Let’s use $200 for the example. If Tech sells 5,000 more (or fewer) tickets than anticipated, that’s a difference of $2.3 million.
It goes without saying that many of its potential buyers are going through hard times of their own. A layout of $920 for two such tickets isn’t small change. I’m curious if any of you out there are ticket holders who are deliberating this very matter.
As for Michael Johnson, I understand that he worked out for the New York Jets at Tech this week. The Jets pick 17th. While I didn’t find anything definitive – perhaps someone could share a link – it certainly looks like the Jets will play out of a 3-4 defense. They did last year, and new coach Rex Ryan used it in Baltimore, where he was the defensive coordinator. Johnson would likely be a rush linebacker in such a scheme, which could work out pretty well for him. The NFL’s three leading sackers last season were all 3-4 rush linebackers, as a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story from the combine reports. (DeMarcus Ware, Joey Porter and James Harrison)