AD Evans wants Dogs to kick off a season in Georgia Dome

Georgia athletics director Damon Evans said Monday night that he wants the Bulldogs to open a football season in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome at some point.

“It’s something I’m definitely interested in,” Evans said on UGA’s “Bulldog Hotline” radio show, “and I think that Mark [Richt] has some interest in it as well.

“It’s one of those things where [it's difficult] trying to get it to fit the schedule [and] trying to find the appropriate team to play in that particular game, but we’ll get it in at some point in time. And I think it’ll be exciting for us, because it’ll be sort of like a home game, playing in our state.”

Evans said he’s aware of how the Kickoff game has benefited Alabama, which has opened the past two seasons at the Georgia Dome –- vs. Virginia Tech in 2009 and Clemson in 2008.

“Atlanta is fertile recruiting ground, and [the game] gives [Alabama] an opportunity to bring their program in once a year so people in the state of Georgia can see Alabama up close and personal,” he said.

UGA last year rejected overtures to move an occasional Georgia-Florida game or one Georgia-Georgia Tech game to the Georgia Dome. But Evans favors, at least in theory, a season-opening game at the Dome against a non-conference opponen that doesn’t typically appear on the Bulldogs’ schedule.

The game would be in lieu of a road game; it would not replace a home game on UGA’s schedule. The opponent might come from the ACC, given that the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game so far has featured an SEC team vs. an ACC team in each matchup.

LSU and North Carolina are scheduled to play in this year’s game.  Tennessee and N.C. State are committed for the 2012 game.

But the Kickoff folks also have talked with programs from around the country about playing in Atlanta.

Evans chatted with voice-of-the-Dogs Scott Howard for about 90 minutes on the final “Bulldog Hotline” show until the fall:

  • Aside from the Georgia Dome possibility, Evans said UGA, which has played six home games each of  the past two seasons and will do so again this year, “may look at adding another home game in the future to bring it up to seven home games” some years.
  • Asked what he wants to accomplish in the year ahead, Evans said: “I know everybody wants to hear this. I’m going to do all I can from my chair to get our football program back to the level that people are used to, and I have no doubt that will happen. I have utmost confidence in Coach Richt to continue to do the things that he’s always done and … position us to compete for championships. And I want to see us grow our basketball program on the men’s side, to make some improvements from this year and get that program to consistently getting in the NCAA tournament. And I think next year is a big step forward for us.”

193 comments Add your comment

JimDog85

March 15th, 2010
11:17 pm

Can’t be first????

AJGREENFAN

March 15th, 2010
11:20 pm

Oh let’s do it……….UGA vs MIA or UGA vs OH ST

JimDog85

March 15th, 2010
11:20 pm

On another note, I think its time to change the BBall coaching on the women’s side as well. Not that I have ever watched a game of Lady Dogs bball, I know without even watching that Andy Landers will never take us to an NCAA title. He can’t even win and SEC title. He is too old, too male and too white to connect with today’s women players. He needs to retire gracefully and lets get a coach who can make the program proud.

Johnny DangerDawg

March 15th, 2010
11:47 pm

JimDog85,
I agree that Landers will probably never bring in an NCAA title. Considering the amount of talent in the state of Georgia, a title is definitely possible with the right coach. Also, I think the job is very attractive because the women’s b-ball team is consistently good and just needs the right coach to push them up to the elite level (like the situation Coach Richt inherited when he was hired). However, Landers has been here too long and accumulated too much good will for Evans to fire him. The only thing Evans can really do is not give pay raises to Landers. In a sport that doesn’t generate revenue, it would be highly unusual to fire a coach who brings in consistently good-not-great results.

LOWNDES COUNTY

March 15th, 2010
11:51 pm

SAVE THE CONFEDERATE FLAG AND PUT THEM GAYTORS IN THE DIRT DAWGS!!!!!!!!!

AltamahaDawg

March 15th, 2010
11:58 pm

So proud that you would actual watch a game?

Tired Of It

March 16th, 2010
12:24 am

LOWNDES COUNTY@11:51pm…,

Do you actually think the majority of uga’s football team care about a confederate flag? dude, what century are you living in? have you ever noticed the make-up of uga’s football team? u think those guys care about crap like the “south gone rise again”? lol at the stuff some dufuses post. they’ll probably take your flag and stomp it into the mud where it belongs. man, this is the 21st century, why can’t y’all let all that ol’ evil mess be. it’s always you kind of people coming on blogs stiring this mess up, over and over and over again. let it rest! please!

Grandad

March 16th, 2010
12:36 am

U of Georgia annual Chick/Fil/A ['Peach Bowl'] v. Clemson!
Then, quit traveling all over the country to play games to
spread the ‘Georgia’ brand.
Playing a kick-off game on national TV every year [rivalry]
would do as much. I imagine Clem. would jump on the idea.
Lewis might’ve called it:
” The World’s Largest Indoor Sweet Ice Tea Social”. Or not.

RED DOG 77

March 16th, 2010
1:14 am

I love the idea of playing in the opener at the Dome, But I also think some serious thought should go into whom we would, and should play. Where do we want to recruit? one article tonight is about, “Are we losing our hold on S.Ga.? How about starting the season off with Fla. State? Hell, I can’t think of a better way of putting a death grip on S.Ga.. Another idea is posted above, why not Clemson? Every year it seems the state of S.Carolina has some stud we want and need………Beat South Carolina and Clemson in the same year and wala…….we get the dude from S.Carolina ! Last, but not least, would be to strengthen our grip that CMR has established in South Florida……….Start the season with Miami………Anyone of those three would make this DOG fan a happy camper…………GO DOGS!!! GATA !!!

proud dawg

March 16th, 2010
2:06 am

Would love to play opener at the Dome. Maybe the SC game when we are to host?

Our first SEC games in the dome. I like the Tech game or another rival like Clemson in the game would be good as well. Or maybe FSU or Miami?

Go DAWGS 30-24!

Dawgfan17

March 16th, 2010
2:07 am

Evans says he wants to do everything he can to get us back to the level we should be at. One thing I have never heard a recruit say about UGA is that he is blown away by our facilites. I have not heard that we have bad facilities just never that they are a great plus to any recruits. Hopefully with the new weight room and upgrades they have made we can continue this in the future and work towards us having top ten facilites in the country, with the profit they are making it would be a good investment in the future of the program.

hop

March 16th, 2010
4:42 am

MAYBE… scheduling some off the wall places like stillwater,okla,boulder colorado, and tucson arizonia to play a game will be far better served playing at the dome against florida state or clemson will serve is better.
damon please do your job and get the schedule more in line with where our focus should be.

76-Dawg

March 16th, 2010
5:16 am

In 2014 move the Sept. 20th game with Clemson to the Dome on Aug. 30th and have sept. 20th as a bye.

Bulldog59

March 16th, 2010
6:24 am

Agree, agree, agree. 1) Stop travelling all over the country to “spread the Georgia brand” only to come home the next week and lose a crucial SEC game, 2) recruits are NOT blown away by our facilities because we spend millions and millions on Butts-Mehre but don’t upgrade over show piece, Sanford Stadium, and 3) move the 2014 Clemson game to the opener, ONLY if we make the following week a bye week, so we have time to recover for our SEC opener in Columbia, against SC.

TheNumber34

March 16th, 2010
6:41 am

I disagree with you gentlemen who say that athletes are not impressed by our facilities at UGA. Have you ever read the comments of the players and recruits? They rave about the dorms, practice fields, locker rooms and the stadium. Millions has been spent on Sanford Stadium in recent years and is continuing and the expansion of BM will truly make the facilities at UGA among the best in all of college. I’ve toured many college athletic facilities, and I would put the football-related facilities in the top 5. Now, as for baseball…that’s another story. However, that is coming too.

Douglas

March 16th, 2010
6:43 am

JimDawg: I agree. As much as Landers has done for women’s basketball at UGA, he really no longer connects with this age group and this generation. We need to hire one of UConn’s assistants to coach UGA.

Steve

March 16th, 2010
6:45 am

Hmmm…two sides of the mouth…you dont schedule like we have to “get the brand” out there and go play the normal SEC schedule and expect to win championships. Look at UF and Bama- their “brand” is out there playing Fla International, Charleston Southern etc etc……Schedule smart not stupid

buzz

March 16th, 2010
6:48 am

Damon, you had the opportunity when GT approached you and you failed to seize it.

waffleeater

March 16th, 2010
6:59 am

I agree Steve. Although playing in the Dome to open a season i believe is smart, i find it smart for media purposes. Media purposes will get more attention than who we play. Playing Miami, Florida State, or Ohio State to open the season is NOT smart, especially for a slow starting team like the Dawgs. MOST recruits do not make a selection based on who you have beaten but better yet on the stability of the program and what direction you are headed. I don’t think a stud will chose Georgia over SC or Clemson simply because they have beaten two teams from the same state. I had rather see us work in a Notre Dame or Michigan in the middle of the schedule than place one at the top on neutral ground. We play and travel well on the road. Lets go up north every other year and make a “mark” on some unchartered territory rather than play a risky game to open a season at the Dome. However, that being said, I have yet to see a team out run us on the indoor turf at the Dome! Maybe outsmart (W. Virginia), but not outrun.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

March 16th, 2010
7:11 am

agreed waffleeater- big 10 vs Sec would be a better match up.

OrlG8r

March 16th, 2010
7:13 am

I think any old trick Richt could dream up is worth a try. Heck, it can’t get much worse for them pound puppies…

Yep, some of you have it right...

March 16th, 2010
7:14 am

Either Clemson, Miami or FSU since the premise has been an ACC v SEC game…I prefer Clemson since one of my kids went to UGA and the other went to Clemson…

Standing on the sidelines

March 16th, 2010
7:19 am

They could open at Dynamo stadium in Moscow (Russia, not Idaho). If they get blown out, as they have a propensity to do in big games, what good does it do where they open? Better for Evans to concentrate on getting better coaches then worrying about where they open; that will get the program plenty of exposure. Hint to Evans: Convince Richt he needs a capable, first-class SEC offensive coordinator instead of “Home Boy”.

Why cut capacity?

March 16th, 2010
7:23 am

It’s novel, but by cut attendance capacity by over 20,000? Plus, it changes the entire experience. If you want to see a game at the dome go see Georgia State. There will be plenty of seats for those games.

Michael Foster

March 16th, 2010
7:24 am

do it vs. Clemson or FSU. Those are the two southeastern schools we have the biggest ties/history with

JB

March 16th, 2010
7:36 am

As the AD, the MAN in charge, The person responsible for putting the correct and proper personal in place to give us a chance to be successful, as an ex Georgia player, he SHOULD of gone to Coach Richt AFTER the 2008 season and STRONGLY suggest that he replace Martinez. The 09 season was embarrassing on the D side of the ball. Watching a very very average Tennessee team lay wood on us to the tune of 40 + points is unacceptable. Willie” no lead is safe” is gone and this year should be better from a coaching standpoint, we’ll just have to see what they can do with the talent coming back. I have a feeling average QB’s won’t have career days against us anymore, hopefully, they are running for their life.

Otis from Mayberry

March 16th, 2010
7:36 am

Awebum blew away dawgs in recruiting this year and they have the worst stadium I have ever seen plus, a bottle of Night Train is $6 there.

Winner take all

March 16th, 2010
7:45 am

Alabama will play Georgia for all the recruits, loser leave the State for 1 year. My bad, we own the state anyway.

A. Landers

March 16th, 2010
7:50 am

Actually, I think the women’s basketball program is in great shape, with a very strong coach.

lanier

March 16th, 2010
7:52 am

facilities are important but not paramount to a 4-5 star recruit. 100% of these guys think that they can go to the NFL and will sign with the school that in their mind will get them there.

whats important to them is Coaches, Exposure and System

[...] Tim Tucker of the AJC reports that Georgia wants to start a football season with a game at the Georgia Dome. [...]

The Grinch

March 16th, 2010
8:06 am

buzz

March 16th, 2010
6:48 am

Seize what? The free hot dogs and coke offer? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Tube Steak Shapiro

March 16th, 2010
8:08 am

If Miss Landers would have offered Maya Moore’s mama an assistant coaches job, he could have had Maya. Alas, he will be second rate to Pat Summitt as Vince Dooley was second rate to Paul W. Bryant and Mark Richt is second rate to Urban Meyer.

bulldog12

March 16th, 2010
8:09 am

I think it’s a good time for the UGA football program to get back to top shelf in every area. We have not been at the top of our game in every area for some time. Good job on the new coaches; needed to happen. We are looking for a new bulldog mascot- can’t wait! We are building some new facilities- needed these! We haven’t built new athletic facilities in the football arena since the 80’s. One final area we need major league help is our radio broadcast: There was a time when EVERYBODY listened to the broadcast of Larry Munson. Since his retirement, no more; we no longer have a sought after, over the top, UGA brand in voices of the dawgs………it’s a disappointment that we can’t have our kids buy in to the broadcast brand like we did growing up………..just another area we need to make a change. It’s sad that we no longer have that personality that everybody relates to UGA…….all the other SEC schools do. Unfortunate. Our broadcast is typically very boring and blah……….bad job Damon!

Bremen Dawg

March 16th, 2010
8:12 am

Damon was so interested in spreading the UGA brand all over the country that we have lost ground on recruiting in Georgia. We don’t need to spread the UGA brand all over the country. We need to be playing in the Georgia dome at the start of the year or playing Florida there every other year. That would help UGA, not helping playing cross country. Damon, lets concentrate on playing more in Georgia.

[...] Tim Tucker of the AJC reports that Georgia wants to start a football season with a game at the Georgia Dome. [...]

Stupid Mutt Fan

March 16th, 2010
8:22 am

ALABAMA cheats! Saban will leaf Alabama soon. They suck.

UGA 2010 national chumps baby! Write it down, Mettenberg win heisman then drink some ICB’s.

Dawg fan

March 16th, 2010
8:27 am

Screw the fans & alumni and just take away a home game???? No way!!!! If you want a game on the Dome change the GA-UF game to alternating between Atlanta & Jacksonville. DO NOT TAKE AWAY OUR HOME GAMES!!!!!

If they do we’ll show our displeasure by giving only the minimum donations to get our tickets!!!

UGA Alumni

March 16th, 2010
8:29 am

We don’t want to play our opening game in Georgia State’s stadium. I think Damon is vastly underestimating the anger he will cause amongst the DawgNation. We want our home games in Athens!!!!! Athens DAMNIT!!!!

athenian

March 16th, 2010
8:30 am

uga should probably play someone like Tenn Tech…wouldn’t want to risk losing opener by playing a real team.

Crue Daug fan

March 16th, 2010
8:30 am

why i lack dims daugs days were dim blak shrts in blak hats

Drive-by Media Guy

March 16th, 2010
8:34 am

Don’t change a thing ! Vision is bad ! We like things just like they are ! Don’t try to improve ! Gee,sounds like a bunch of Republicans. Oh, wait.

GW

March 16th, 2010
8:38 am

Playing a regular season game in The Dome and splitting the tickets makes no sense to me. We should do like the rest of the SEC and strive for 7 true home games every year. How will playing in Atlanta help us recruit Atlanta? Those kids know full well where Athens is and most know it is only an hour away. Can recruits even be invited to these Dome games?

Hell no Keep it the Same

March 16th, 2010
8:40 am

We don’t need a National Championship, keep things the same don’t play in the Dome and don’t play for a National Championship. After 30 years no need to win a BCS Championship

SimpleDawg

March 16th, 2010
8:44 am

In 2013 schedule the Georgia vs Clempson game for the Dome in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic.

We need to play Clempson every year as a non-conference game instead of some hokie-dok from Podunk.

JBogg75

March 16th, 2010
8:46 am

I say we bring FSU up to the Dome and open the season against the Noles! I’d buy those tickets.

PULPWOOD

March 16th, 2010
8:58 am

We’ve got the prettiest stadium in the country, and we want to play the opening game inside in the Georgia Dome? This makes no sense to me at all. Do you really think that playing one game in the Georgia Dome is going to have any effect on recruiting or anything else? Athens is only 60 miles from Atlanta, and every game we play is already on TV. Season ticket holders already miss out on ever watching Georgia and Florida play in Athens, and now we want to have two neutral games in one season? I don’t get it. I’ve been to every stadium in the SEC, and Sanford is the best, hands down. Why go play a game in the ghetto, inside, with no parking and no tailgating to kick off the season?????

Seamus

March 16th, 2010
9:01 am

Notre Dame is attempting to schedule a neutral site game every season. Why not match up the Dawgs and the Irish at the Dome in the near future?
By the way, Happy St. Patrick’s Day !!!

WonderDawg

March 16th, 2010
9:05 am

I hate to burst a bubble of some fellow UGA fans, but we need to go into the ‘10 season with a mindset that it will take a couple of years to see real improvement. First the defense. Remember, even Saban’s new defense got kicked around (6-6) in his first season. How can we expect better with our new guy, until the team learns his D?

Our offense got no makeover, which it needed almost as badly. Bobo cannot out-scheme nor out-adjust SEC DCs. He did okay for the second half of ‘07, but who couldn’t have done okay with Stafford and Knowshon? We ran the ball pretty good late last year, but that was against KY, GT, and Texas A&M. Think we can do that this year? DCs will stack up against the run and make our baby-faced QB beat them with his arm, which means never-ending passes in the flat. Branden Smith will trot in for an end-around once or twice. He is a Percy Harvin-type talent who needs the ball in his hands 6-8 times per game. Our offense is predictable and easily stopped by quality DCs (see OSU, LSU, UT, UF in ‘09). When Richt gets the nads to demote Bobo back to QB coach, and get a NFL/Grantham counterpart to build a dynamic offense that utilizes the speedy and talented players we have, THEN UGA will challange for the SEC title again.

PMC

March 16th, 2010
9:17 am

Won’t playing anywhere besides Athens infuriate the bulk of the gameday crowd that cares much more about the pregame festivities than the actual game itself?