Bottom line on donations: UGA season tickets still sold out

As usual, there are no season tickets going unclaimed at Sanford Stadium. (University of Georgia)

As usual, there are no season tickets going unclaimed at Sanford Stadium. (University of Georgia)

Somewhere over the past few years the annual cut-off level of cumulative Hartman Fund/Bulldog Club donations necessary to become a first-time UGA football season ticket holder became a “magic” number to be breathlessly reported and discussed.

Previously, the only folks who anxiously awaited the cut-off score were those on the cusp wondering whether they’d get season tickets or not.

Now, however, it’s held up in the media like some sort of barometer of fan interest or support for March Richt’s program within the Bulldog Nation.

I think probably the tipping point was a couple of years ago when the bandwagon effect generated by preseason expectations for the then top-ranked Dogs prompted a bunch of folks to up their donations in a frantic bid to get season tickets. As a result, the cut-off score soared from $1,991 in 2007 to a ridiculous $10,651 for 2008. A jump like that naturally attracted a lot of attention from folks who previously didn’t pay any attention to the cut-off level.

Naturally, the next year when the donation levels dropped off to $4,205, it was widely reported. And ditto this year with the cut-off dropping to $1,550.

That’s basically back to normal, only a bit under three years ago, but UGA athletic officials felt the need to attribute the drop to a combination of the poor economy and the hangover from a disappointing 8-5 season.

They hastened to point out, however, what should be the most important observation in all of this: Season tickets still sold out. UGA had more requests for season tickets than they had tickets to sell and had to refund some folks’ ticket order money.

So, yeah, less money was donated than in some recent years. Some people didn’t renew their season tickets. That happens every year, some years more than others. With families struggling economically in this state, a drop-off in money donated in order to be able to buy college football season tickets should surprise no one.

And yet despite all that, the season ticket situation is tighter than it used to be. I remember during the Donnan years when Bulldog Club members didn’t snap up all available season tickets, and some were put on sale to the general public. My Dad and my brothers bought season tickets that way during several seasons, without any donation necessary.

You can’t do that any more. That’s the hallmark of the Mark Richt era.

So let’s keep all this fascination with the cut-off score in perspective. Donations might have been off this year, but there are still more people willing to make a donation just to get the right to buy season tickets than there are season tickets to be had.

There are many schools playing big-time football where that’s not the case.

77 comments Add your comment

1eyedJack

June 12th, 2010
12:19 pm

Donation required to buy GT season tickets? None. They’ll even give you two hotdogs and two cokes to buy two tickets. WOW!! Now that’s a good deal!!

KornDawg

June 12th, 2010
12:47 pm

In 2004, as a first time donor I contributed $600 to the GEEF (as the Hartman Fund was called then) and did not get tickets. I donated $700 more in 2005 and did get them. The point being it still costs more today than it did in 2005 to get your foot in the door.

82Dawg

June 12th, 2010
12:53 pm

Bill…what do the other SEC teams require?

RxDawg

June 12th, 2010
12:58 pm

Good point Bill. The irony runs thick when certain fans love to trash our program when at the same time their own teams aren’t selling out season tickets. You can say what you want, but we have a great fan base that can compare with anyone in the country. Go Dawgs!

Jennifer

June 12th, 2010
1:20 pm

In 2001, GEEF GAVE us $400 to start our donation process(just had to pay for tickets). The next year, they gave us $200 and we paid $200. We’ve come along way.

Dawg 39

June 12th, 2010
1:20 pm

I agrre entirely with everything that was said.

Dbalcer

June 12th, 2010
1:25 pm

Also a lot of those high price ticket holders bought the tickets and then resold the seats per game. I am so glad not to have opposing fans sit next to me in seats that in the upper club level. This only happened in the years that the tickets were priced so high that tickets were bought as an investment and not by true fans.

Alphare

June 12th, 2010
1:44 pm

The way UGA sells tickets is basically a scheme or scam to squeeze money out the fans. Cann’t the prestigious UGA receive money thru voluntary donation as Tech does? Tech’s voluntary donation (endowment) is twice as big as UGA’s while Tech’s student body is a 3rd of UGA’s.

Instead, UGA choose scam their students and fans thru the ticket selling schemes. Truely pathetic.

guy

June 12th, 2010
1:47 pm

this really only became an issue in ‘08 when you guys were spouting off about how you couldn’t even get season tix without donating 10k+ and such, as if that makes your team any better on the field. you brought it on yourselves by somehow pretending the # had to do with anything more than hype.

KJ

June 12th, 2010
2:09 pm

“Cann’t (sic) the prestigious UGA receive money thru voluntary donation as Tech does?”

Um, I don’t think you really know the meaning of the word “voluntary”.

I haven’t donated a dime, and I’ve always gotten tickets through ebay or CL any time I’ve wanted. Funny how that works.

Standing on the sidelines

June 12th, 2010
2:18 pm

Season ticket sales will hold out for a couple more years whether or not Richt wins the East or not. After that who knows? It is not unthinkable that the 3,000,000 dollar man could end up like poor old Phil…with one big difference: no national championship ring.

Dawg

June 12th, 2010
2:25 pm

My wife and I love to attend the games and spend a lot of money while we are in Athens. I finally realized I could save a lot of wear on my wallet and vehicle and not have to fight the crowd on the way to the men’s room and when my wife and I decided that when we were hungry and thirsty spend twenty dollars on two cokes and two hotdog’s. I guess the bottom line is we will pick one game and this will be it and catch the rest that are shown on TV. The cost has gotten out of hand, and with the economy the way it is I suspect this will be the norm for me unless drastic changes happen.

Alphare

June 12th, 2010
2:40 pm

Isn’t this scheme(scam) called Hartman fund?

If I am the Hartman family, I’d ask UGA to remove the name from the scheme. Of course, that’s assuming Hartman did not come up with the idea.

Big time?? Not

June 12th, 2010
2:54 pm

Four tickets, four hot dogs, four cokes

KJ

June 12th, 2010
3:01 pm

LOL, in one ear, out the other.

IMO, the advent of affordable HD cable and home theatre systems provides a much better viewing experience, which is a big factor in people eschewing the gameday atmosphere for the comfort/convenience of their couch.

A good strategy is to attend the games that aren’t televised (which are typically much more affordable on the secondary market anyway), and watch the rest at home.

GT Tickets

June 12th, 2010
3:04 pm

Radio stations in Atlanta run promos on Tech tickets all the time with contests, etc.

First prize: 1 ticket
Second prize: 2 tickets

Get Clued

June 12th, 2010
3:07 pm

Yeah Yeah whatever Bill…. 8 – 5 has a lot to do with it and so did the sorry play of 10 – 3 the year before. Hanging on for dear life with the likes of Vandy and getting blown away by both Tenn. and the Gators sure doesnt help. Yep ole UGA led the nation in punting last year which also means the offense bogged down a good bit from inept play calling from Boo Boo. Expect more of the same this year as well.

Alphare

June 12th, 2010
3:17 pm

I went back and re-read Kill King’s original writing: “there are still more people willing to make a donation just to get the right to buy season tickets than there are season tickets to be had”.

Bill, you used “willing to make a donation”, willing is a magic word of yours, Bill.

If you change “willing to make a donation” to “willing to be scammed”, that would be interesting too.

The truth is, so much money is received by the Athletic Department, but they are considered a separate entity. A $2million donation to UGA this year is considered generosity on the Athletic Department, comparing to CMR’s salary of $3mill, Demon Evan’s $.5mill, one assistant coach’s $0.7mill.

UGA fans, thinking your money helps the university? Yea, right.

scott

June 12th, 2010
3:30 pm

why would any one want to go to that redneck university let alone go see its overated football team to what?sit in tobacco spit left from some redneck?a university that hates blacks but loves to see them carrying a football and only good for thier saturday entertainment!!just an observation from a boston native..the school is way,way overated with its holier than thou coach..sit dap in the middle of a 1950,s atmosphere..(athens way to backwards)..come on folks uga is not DUKE UNIVERSITY and duke is something to be proud of…

KJ

June 12th, 2010
3:38 pm

LOL @ a Boston native calling something overrated, and complaining about racism. Also, it’s “do”, “overrated”, “their” and “too”. I guess your “superior” Massachusetts education somehow glossed over 3rd grade spelling.

Now GTFO of my state.

1eyedJack

June 12th, 2010
3:40 pm

When has Duke won anything?

1eyedJack

June 12th, 2010
3:40 pm

In football?

82Dawg

June 12th, 2010
3:47 pm

scott …your are a idiot & a fool, carry yourself back to Boston. Until you have proof of what you say go away……………….

One, two, free, fo, fi, dem der Gator don't take no jive!

June 12th, 2010
3:55 pm

I agree with Bill. The donation level was driven up with the pre-season hype from 2008. That made news. Quite possibly from UGA themselves “bragging” about it. Then it has come back down to earth, much like the expectations. That has made news, as well. UGA will continue to sell out but the expectations along with the donations have dwindled.

Kris G

June 12th, 2010
3:56 pm

Hey Scott… as a Black man who is also a Georgia native… I never played football but they actually allowed me to attend classes in Athens. Go figure. Talk all the trash about racism you want, but until you have more than 50 of us in your whole lame state, no one is listening.

Dawg D

June 12th, 2010
4:19 pm

The Georgia D will dominate the SEC in 2010—-Dawgs win the SEC east and the ticket prices go way up!!!

Roy D. Mercer

June 12th, 2010
4:29 pm

Scott – You had to make over 550 on the SAT to get in. I’m sorry!

supsalemgr

June 12th, 2010
4:34 pm

Why do Tech fans even come to this site. Do they enjoy misery and making fools of themselves. UGA sells more season tickets than their stadium seats. All these folks who contribute and buy them is because they want to. This seems proof positive UGA fans are not as dumb as some of these “cricket” fans would like to admit. They are successful enough to afford them. And what in the world is a “dukie” doing commenting on football? They have issue search warrants to find fans at Wallace Wade Stadium.

RedGADawg

June 12th, 2010
4:54 pm

Yella Bugs listen up! Yes non alumni, fans, just folks love to spend a day in the Classic City because it is fun! Tailgating, seeing friends, have you checked recently who are the political leaders under the dome, members of board of regents, don’t see many Techsters. Sure we draw attendence from all four corners of GA and out of state. Last time I checked my buds who are North Avenue pocket protector alumni show up for games, wives don’t go and leave ASAP after defeat. Wow it would be pitiful if Bubble Bees played with the Big Boys every saturday instead of with the snobs of ACC. I like the slogan I saw on an Ole Miss fans wall “we may not win them all though we have never lost a party”. I know this is lost on you Yella Bugs!

Alphare

June 12th, 2010
5:44 pm

“who are the political leaders under the dome”?

I have no doubt most of them are UGA fans (not necessarily UGA grads). Can that be the reason this great state is among the most corrupt, and the unemployment among the highest?

Most educators (all my respect to them) are UGA graduates too. Can that be the reason Georgia is the education backwater? The educator union removed Roy Barnes as the previous governor because government jobs don’t pay that much.

Actually, not just in the dome, you’ll find more UGA graduates hold government jobs in this state in every level.

The Real World

June 12th, 2010
5:59 pm

The truth is that Georgia fans are the biggest suckers in the world. 2008 just proves it. The only reason they are even still getting (any) donations for season tickets at all is because they’ve got UGA people all dreamy eyed with the new DC and with this stupid concept that a freshman is gonna step in at QB and win the conference. That’ll be over by the fifth game or so….

CorneliusWashington

June 12th, 2010
6:23 pm

The trust is that Georgia Tech fans are nerds not interested in football. They are and always will be…..

CorneliusWashington

June 12th, 2010
6:24 pm

The truth that is….

Monticello Dawg

June 12th, 2010
7:12 pm

Scott, you made some observations about this area of the country. I will make a couple regarding your home, Boston.
Observation #1. When a federal judge ordered busing to integrate the defacto segregated Boston schools years ago, riots broke out in opposition to having to attend school with blacks.
Observation #2. For years now, there has been a net migration southward from blacks whose parents had moved up north seeking better opportunities in the earlier years of the 20th century. Blacks and whites seem to enjoy living down here, as do a large number of Hispanics.

Saint Clarkston

June 12th, 2010
7:15 pm

Yeah Duke. Alma mater to Richard Nixon.

GoDOGS1

June 12th, 2010
7:27 pm

Roy Barnes
University of Georgia (B.A.)
University of Georgia School of Law (J.D.)

He would CRUSH you Alphare!

Alphare

June 12th, 2010
7:55 pm

GoDOGS1,

Yea, Roy Barnes, another UGA graduate looking for a government job. You guys have to vote for him since he is an alum.

GoDOGS1

June 12th, 2010
8:23 pm

Ha ha Alphare….fair enough! Good come back….touche! : )

82Dawg

June 12th, 2010
9:22 pm

Alphare …you are a damn fool plain and simple

The Real World …you are just stupid

Chuck Uga

June 12th, 2010
10:22 pm

Alphare:
Perfect example of a government school undereducation. UGA tickets are not only not a scam, they are DISCOUNTED.

UGA does not require any more than a $400 per seat (for prime) down to a $200 per seat (upper deck, end zone, etc.) The amount UGA fans pay is significantly less than Florida, Tennessee or Alabama. Ticket prices are ALSO less than those schools. Why? Because Georgia Bulldog material is #2 in the NCAA in revenues!

Chuck Uga

June 12th, 2010
10:30 pm

Scott,
Hope you aren’t the same Scott who is from Missouri. Anyway, you know not of what you say. You must be lying about having been to Athens. It is one of the most desirable places in the U.S. to live. When in doubt, use Google!

Habanero

June 13th, 2010
12:34 am

Mark Richt is paid $2.8 million plus bonuses and endorsements per year and now due to the 7-5 regular season last year season ticket sales are down to $1550, which is a loss of another million. Coach Richt is not worth it!. Go back to Boca!

BuLLdawg

June 13th, 2010
1:44 am

Robert Hall, Georgia tek Defensive End ARRESTED for beating up a girl Friday June 11, 2010.

Paul Johnson suspended Robert Hall. Probably be suspended for the Summer.

Nothing more will ever be said about it. You can bank on him playing against UGA, as Georgia tek ALWAYS does.

Brenda

June 13th, 2010
7:39 am

whats up with christian lemay? any insight on that? do we have another mettenberger situation?

AltamahaDawg

June 13th, 2010
8:31 am

Guy, sounds like another in a long list thing that You Guys make up and attributed it to what Us Guys said.

AltamahaDawg

June 13th, 2010
8:37 am

Looking forward to being informed about how many brand new Bama fans there are are this year. As if a glace across the Georgia boards in the past year and a half wouldn’t have been proof of that.

AltamahaDawg

June 13th, 2010
8:38 am

“we” Brenda? Perhaps you coould cut and paste that Jan Kemp rant one more time this week.

Coach Small Johnson

June 13th, 2010
10:50 am

Tech Season Tickets

Season Ticket holders 58
Cost of season tickets $12

To fill the rest of the high school stadium at historic Bubba Dump Stadium free Airfare to anywhere in the world plus a 5 night stay in Maui for the first 49,000 fans

macrotech

June 13th, 2010
1:43 pm

“Big time?? Not”, you forgot four National Championships.

“1eyedJack”, they were pretty good when Coach Spurrier was there….in football. Your ‘name’ comes off a little dickey…am I close?

“supsalemgr”, it’s called slumming….OR, a poor attempt to get away from all the uga fans on Tech blogs.

Bill, with the exception of your mentioning of the ‘bandwagon’ effect (we ALL know that the bulldawgs don’t enjoy such an offensive thing)….yours’ is a reasonable explaination.

ANYONE else ready for the season to start?!

1eyedJack

June 13th, 2010
2:18 pm

macrotech…are you trying to hit on me? Well just forget it. I don’t hold with that backdoor stuff!!