UGA’s McGarity concerned with how football schedule impacts Athens

Greg McGarity is concerned about how the loss of a home game impacts his hometown. (University of Georgia)

Greg McGarity is concerned about how the loss of a home game impacts his hometown. (University of Georgia)

Some interesting tidbits came out of the UGA athletic board’s spring meeting this week, including athletic director Greg McGarity shooting down the likelihood of a matchup between Georgia and Florida State in the 2016 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta.

McGarity confirmed discussions have taken place but said: “I think that is a long, long shot.”

The problem, he said, is that playing a neutral site game like that means UGA doesn’t have seven home games. And while the payment from the Chick-fil-A game would make up “from a budget standpoint” what the athletic department would lose in revenue, McGarity said, it wouldn’t make up for the loss of revenue to the city of Athens.

We’re very sensitive to our role in the community,” he said, “and if it’s not the best thing for the community, (and) there’s no question it is not,” then he’s hesitant about going forth.

McGarity brought with him from Florida a scheduling sweet tooth (as in a fondness for cupcakes), so the emphasis on seven home games is to be expected. But this isn’t the first time the Athens native has mentioned his concerns about what’s good for the Classic City.

When the subject of holding concerts at Sanford Stadium like the recent Jason Aldean show came up, McGarity spoke of it as “a way of using your venue and creating events that generate revenue for the city and county and that are just good for the university community and the Athens community.”

As UGA associate athletics director Josh Brooks put it: “Greg McGarity is big about taking chances and doing things for the right reasons. Being an Athenian, he gets it. He knows what it means [economically] for the town to have another major event.”

UGA and downtown Athens are next door neighbors. (Georgia Department of Economic Development)

UGA and downtown Athens are next door neighbors. (Georgia Department of Economic Development)

Home football games mean a lot to Athens. Business of College Sports, a website that evaluates the legal and business aspects of collegiate sports, found that, for the 2011 season, each UGA home game brought in about $2.95 million to the surrounding community.

It even makes a difference what time kickoff is and the who the opponent is. With a noon game, people tend to arrive just in time for the game and head home right afterward, meaning they don’t patronize local businesses as much. With a 3:30 p.m or later kickoff, Athens merchants and restaurateurs not only get lots of pregame business, but more fans are likely to spend the night.

During the 2010 season, which saw a lackluster home schedule with lots of early games, local businesses howled about the loss of revenue.

Granted, the primary factors in Georgia’s football scheduling should be what’s best for the program and the school. But too often there’s a town and gown split in college towns that isn’t healthy for either side. As a fellow Athens native, I find it refreshing to see UGA’s athletic director keeping the interests of his hometown in mind.

TICKET SCANNING SET

Another item of business at the athletic board meeting was the approval of $1.25 million for tweaks at Sanford Stadium, including closed captioning boards on the inside north and south sides of the stadium, an upgrade to the Champions Club and ticket scanning equipment. A UGA news release confirmed that means ticket scanning will be implemented this fall for all ticket holders entering the stadium.

That will put the general ticketholders on the same page as students, whose tickets have been scanned since 2009. So athletic officials will know not just how many tickets they sold, but exactly how many folks actually showed up. It’ll be interesting to see whether they make the latter figures public in addition to announcing “paid attendance” (tickets sold).

LATEST PRESEASON RANKING

Athlon Sports has been releasing its 2013 preseason Top 25. As this is written, they haven’t yet revealed the top two (so we don’t know whether Alabama or Ohio State will be No. 1), but Georgia is ranked a lofty No. 4 and is picked to win the SEC East again. Athlon has South Carolina at 5, Clemson at 6, LSU 12th and Florida 13th.

Looks like they’re putting a lot of faith in Georgia’s offense and are figuring the youth and lack of experience on the rebuilding defense won’t be as much of an early-season factor as a lot of UGA fans fear.

What do you think? Is No. 4 too high for a team that lost as much talent on defense as Georgia did, or did Athlon get it about right?

NEW LOOK ONLINE

new uga logoThe UGA athletic department’s official Website, Georgiadogs.com, unveiled a new look this week that they’re touting as cleaner and easier to navigate.

One of the major changes is the main navigation bar, which has been moved to the very top of the page and will remain there throughout the site, no matter what page you’re on. Also, on the main page major areas of interest have been grouped under tabs at the top And elements that previously were presented using Flash media have been converted or are in the process of being converted to a more compliant system so that the full site will work better on mobile devices and for those fans who have opted not to install Flash.

It’s definitely a less cluttered look. Here’s an explanation of the new look and features.

Got something you want to discuss concerning the upcoming football season or UGA athletics? Or a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? Email me at  junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

45 comments Add your comment

Dawgs Run This State

May 24th, 2013
9:44 am

A little too high, the polls should probably start with the Dawgs #7, Gators #11, Auburn #27 and tech #47.

P-Man

May 24th, 2013
9:52 am

The higher you are in preseason polls, the better your chances of playing in the national championship game. It doesn’t make a difference whether I think we’re ranked too high or not. In college football, it’s all about perception.

Pdx

May 24th, 2013
9:57 am

Agree 4 is too high….somewhere around 10 is about right. I would prefer LSU, Clempsun, and SCe all be ranked higher so when UGA beats them it’s that much sweeter.

UGA Insider

May 24th, 2013
10:13 am

#1 seems right to me. We are LOADED this year… Defense will be lights out… UGA will trounce Clemson, LSU and get by USCe. I predict this is CMR’s year finally to get his MNC.

Marvin

May 24th, 2013
10:13 am

Sorry – Not loving the new Bulldog head logo. Bring back the dopey Bulldog with rat cap head.

Mark Long

May 24th, 2013
10:18 am

Yes, I am afraid to say that number 4 is too lofty a ranking for the Dawgs, given their huge losses on defense. Time will tell, of course.

SimpleDawg

May 24th, 2013
10:43 am

Love the new Dawg head. It’s more regal, modern, serious looking….

Doesn’t matter where you start….it only matters where you finish, but it does make it easier to climb to the top the closer to the top you start.

McGarity should seriously consider the Kick Off Classic against FSU…..maybe, his one will turn out better than the last one did….

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

May 24th, 2013
11:01 am

This staff loses its typical 2 or more games again count on it

Ohio St has the easiest schedule I have ever seen in college football; the local high school team would go undefeated with their schedule

Buckeye will be on here shortly talking about how great Ohio St is

Dawg89

May 24th, 2013
11:10 am

I don’t think anybody wants to see the dawgs play buffalo or a similar team. Play FSU. The players don’t come to UGA and put the work in to play cupcake teams. If economic reasons are so important, then switch to independent and play 12 home games against pansies. That would generate economic impact in Athens, right?

Flo- Ri - Duh

May 24th, 2013
11:18 am

Ohio State plays one good team a year – in their Bowl Loss to the SEC usually.

Nothing new about their crip schedule…. same ole same ole

Easy schedule aside – I see the Buck Teeth losing 3 games (yes 3) this year.

Michigan
Illinois or Wisconsin
SEC Bowl opponent

Urban Crier will be wishing he had stayed “retired”

Flo- Ri - Duh

May 24th, 2013
11:19 am

Tech? Forget about it !

Flo- Ri - Duh

May 24th, 2013
11:20 am

When is Tech going to the bank and get a “college” coach?

Flo- Ri - Duh

May 24th, 2013
11:22 am

After Dawgs whip Clempson & the Game Crocks they will definitely come in at #4

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

May 24th, 2013
11:22 am

When is Tech going to drop to Div II or better yet just drop their football program

dawggirl

May 24th, 2013
11:26 am

I think what the Athlon people are saying is that even WITH all of the talent on defense last year, they kind of sucked. So losing that talent perhaps should not matter. I still think #4 is too high, I’d be okay with #7 or #8.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

May 24th, 2013
11:26 am

When is Mcgarity going to spend money for facility upgrades

7576DAWG

May 24th, 2013
11:52 am

“we’re very sensitive to our role in the community” . That statement makes me sick to think how many ten’s of millions of dollars the Athens community has lost the last 25 years because we play Florida in a Florida town every year. Maybe Georgia get’s some extra money from Jacksonville but nothing extra from TV because if it was in Athens and Gainesville the TV would pay the same. I hope the University get’s some extra money from Jacksonville but Athens doesn’t benefit any and that is one game that some of the Florida fans would have to send the night.

Randy Ellison

May 24th, 2013
11:57 am

-Not loving that new Dawg Head logo either…the other one was more “classic” and the new one looks like a 3rd.grader drew it with a dull pencil on a bad piece of construction paper..

Granthams The Man!

May 24th, 2013
12:00 pm

I really like the new UGA logo. It has a new look as well as having a bold Art Deco quality to it.

The #4 ranking is about right. It’s going to be Georgia’s year. Go Dawgs.

Nope

May 24th, 2013
12:16 pm

Too high. Sorry, but we should be around #15. Too many questions on the defensive side of the ball.

Skokie Dog

May 24th, 2013
12:57 pm

‘Dogs are ranked fourth? How could they be that low? Remember, we have the presumptive Heisman trophy winner calling plays, the best coach in college football, not to mention the most brilliant defensive coordinator ever to scrap with Coach Franklin at Vandy, all the young talent in the world competing to get onto the field, and competing in the most respected football conference in the land. What could possibly prevent U.Ga. from going undefeated?
Oh, and I would like to offer some advice for Mr. McGarity, and I write this as a former resident of Athens, Georgia, my birthplace. If you continue to schedule games against cupcakes, TV producers will shun the games, or the games will begin at noon on a lower-tier network, and local Athens businesses will suffer the consequences. If you’re going to schedule a cupcake instead of playing FSU in Atlanta, it won’t make that much difference to Athens businesses. The Athens/Clarke County police force might thank you for moving a game to Atlanta, since they have more than enough business already.

AltamahaDawg

May 24th, 2013
1:49 pm

Insider, you are such a homer! Richt has lost it and need to go.

UGA Insider

May 24th, 2013
2:00 pm

I’m back on board drinking the CMR cool-aid at the moment!

AltamahaDawg

May 24th, 2013
3:00 pm

AH, well. Welcome back on the bus. We saved your seat.

AltamahaDawg

May 24th, 2013
3:02 pm

Might want to keep that MNC jug in your backpack till we clear the tollbooth, though.

Dawg-Gawn

May 24th, 2013
5:11 pm

Instead of an indoor practice facility how about do a study to see how much it would cost to put a fully retractable roof on Sanford Stadium…. instead of being the last University to build an indoor facility UGA could be the first in the SEC to have a roof over their stadium… probably twice the cost of an indoor facility but look at the space one would save and the sure weather proof concerts one could put on… just a wild crazy proactive thought….

“BELIEVE” in the “G”

DAWGMAN

May 25th, 2013
2:11 am

I like the new Bulldog logo. Was that sent over by Nike?
Has anybody noticed that our uniform colors have been changed? Was that sent over by Nike too?
If McGarity cares about how our vaunted football program impacts the bottom line of Athenian merchants, he should start searching for a more successful head football coach.

dawgfan

May 25th, 2013
7:30 am

Usually when our offense is highly hyped we come out a little flat. It sounds like the O-line did not have a good spring, and of course it all starts with them. I predict the offense will disappoint but the defense will surprise, all adding up to another 10 or 11 win season with losses in our biggest games. You know, the usual. Central Florida is lovely in the winter.

Thanks.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

May 25th, 2013
7:34 am

Altamaha

Glad you finally admitted your the bus driver of (2 loss every year Bus Lines)

Always knew you put the coaching staff ahead of the program;

AltamahaDawg

May 25th, 2013
9:06 am

admitted???

You think I have been hiding the fact that I was a proud fan and supporter of my alma mater football team up till now?

Bill King

May 25th, 2013
9:26 am

The uniform colors have not changed. You can’t always judge by photos online.

Bill King

May 25th, 2013
9:29 am

Flat Tire: Have you visited any of UGA’s facilities lately? There have been quite a few upgrades and they continue. More have just been approved.

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

May 25th, 2013
9:48 am

Bill King

Yes I have but our indoor practice facility needs to be more than a short field facility

We also need a weight room that equals Bama’s

Our baseball stadium needs upgrades; I don’t agree with moving the stadium from its current location though

And you will probably disagree but we should have spent money on a new basketball stadium instead of spending money on an outdated facility that still looks basically the same

UGA ranks second behind Texas in money; its about time we look the part so that we use it to our advantage as Texas does in keeping our in state recruits in state. ( I do understand there are other factors involved with recruits going elsewhere but every little bit helps)

Bill I will also say thinks for all the great articles; I really enjoy how you are too the point and never try to sugar coat things

Flat Tire doesnt live in Delusionalville Ga.

May 25th, 2013
10:15 am

Altamaha

You know what I meant

So when does the bus leave to go to Koo-aid World

You and your patrons are going to need to be refreshed before the season of excuses starts again ;)

AltamahaDawg

May 26th, 2013
7:57 am

No, actually, I don’t know what you mean.

The bus I am on is the one headed off to support the 2013 Georgia Football Team. We’ll save a seat for you too.

RED DOG 77

May 26th, 2013
11:30 pm

RED DOG 77

May 26th, 2013
11:41 pm

BULLDOG NATION………..Please, find and sign the Kolton Houston petition…………This kid should be playing college football, The ncaa has screwed him………….Please for just a day or so, set aside your bickering, and get folks to sign the dadgum thing……………Thanks RED

Columbus Dawg

May 27th, 2013
4:38 am

Well it looks like Nick Chubb is over at Auburn listening to the payment plans. Word is they have Clemson commit Deshaun Watson there as well. Chubb now has changed his mind on his committ date. If Chubb and Cam, err, I mean Deshaun Watson just up and change to Auburn, then there is no doubt in my mind that Auburn University is paying players. The honorable Hugh Freeze is following suit, it is not hard to figure. He probably thinks that if Auburn and Alabama can recruit any way they want, then so can he. The NCAA is the biggest joke next to the DOJ in the United States. Just look at that Emmert guy, he just looks like a P.O.S.

RED DOG 77

May 27th, 2013
10:45 pm

Bill King……….I love the stories you put up here for us to read, but how ’bout ‘ol Kolton Houston………………..Is this not an issue all BULLDOG SUPPORTERS should get behind, and actually do something about?……………Hell, I’ll put up 1k $ for his legal team………..just help get the ball moving…………whatdaya say Bill, BULLDOG NATION ?………………I’m waiting………..RED

[...] go grab a beer.  If the athletic department really needs the money that much, throw a couple more Jason Aldeen concerts to cover it.  And while we’re on the twin subjects of blare and music, is it really [...]

Desert Fox

May 28th, 2013
9:42 am

I guess its true, Spurrier was right, GA cannot get thru an off season w/o its players getting suspensions. Pretty good bet Josh harvey C will miss at least one game for getting busted for smoking weed. Knowing CMR, the suspension will be effective immediately and JHC will miss the Clemson game. Thats sure to hurt w/such a young D full of new starters. Also, now we know why Ty F. Smith is leaving. He was caught w/JHC. Two idiots.

David

May 28th, 2013
1:22 pm

Well here we go again….player suspended from opening game…Total BS yet again- this is WHY UGA will never contend for a championship. I wish he would be kicked off team to send a message to the rest of the guys. I am disgusted!

Skokie Dog

May 28th, 2013
4:32 pm

@David: I agree that kicking a few of the offenders off the team would send a clear signal about expectations.

RED DOG 77

May 28th, 2013
11:04 pm

Yea, Yea, Yea……..I’m upset about JHC too………..But wake-up people !!! Kolton Houston did nothing, and is in danger of losing is chance to play college football…………and you guessed it …………..he is a great big ‘ol O tackle out of Buford I believe…………we need him………….all you need to do is look around, the petition is out there…………..This kid and Georgia is calling for your help…………..don’t let him down, please………..RED

Bill King

May 29th, 2013
6:27 pm

Red Dog 77: I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the Kolton Houston petition.