Cost dropping to get new UGA football season tickets

The cost of getting into Sanford Stadium as a first-time season-ticket buyer is dropping.

Two years ago, one had to donate $10,651 to qualify for the right to buy new University of Georgia football season tickets. Last year, the cutoff dropped to $4,205. This year, it will decline again.

UGA associate athletics director Alan Thomas said Wednesday that the final figure won’t be calculated until next week, “but it certainly will be lower than last year.” He declined to speculate on how much lower.

The reasons for the drop: a rise in ticket cancellations and a decline in donations. Georgia attributes both factors to the economy and the team’s disappointing 2009 season.

The way the system works is that all of the previous year’s season-ticket holders retain the right to buy their seats if they make a prescribed annual contribution to the Athletic Association’s “Hartman Fund” — a minimum of $250 per seat, more for prime locations. But becoming a first-time season-ticket buyer in the perpetually sold-out stadium can be much costlier because orders for new tickets are filled from the limited supply of non-renewals on the basis of prospective buyers’ lifetime Hartman Fund contributions, starting with the highest and continuing until no seats remain.

The contribution level of the person getting the last available season ticket becomes the cutoff –- a closely watched figure among some Georgia fans.

In 2008, amid the hype of a preseason No. 1 ranking, there were only 804 non-renewals and so much demand for those seats that the contributions cutoff reached the stratospheric and jaw-dropping $10,651.  In 2009, the number of season-ticket seats not renewed almost doubled to 1,560 and the cutoff returned to earth. This year, coming off an 8-5 season in a bad economy, there were 2,021 non-renewals.

Still, there won’t be enough vacated seats to fill all of the new orders that have been received.

“We again will have to refund some season-ticket orders,” Thomas said.

That’s a situation no other sports team in the state, college or pro, enjoys.

“We have more contributors wanting tickets than we have tickets for,” UGA executive associate athletics director Frank Crumley said, “so that’s a great scenario to have.”

Crumley said most of the non-renewals resulted from customers reducing their number of seats, rather than canceling altogether.

“The number of people actually dropping all of their tickets is a very, very small number,” he said. “What [some] may be doing is going from eight to six [seats] or six to four or something like that.”

Thomas also noted a drop in first-time contributions.

“What we did not see this year was as many large first-time gifts,” he said. “We saw some fairly significant first-time gifts but not as many.”

Overall, Hartman Fund contributions this year totaled $22.8 million from 14,002 donors -– the lowest on both counts in at least four years, according to UGA records.

In 2009, contributions totaled $23.3 million from 14,332 donors. In 2008, contributions hit a record $26.1 million from 14,713 donors. In 2007, contributions totaled $23.5 million from 14,396 donors.

The contributions go toward funding the overall athletics program.

Georgia athletics director Damon Evans is confident he knows the reasons for this year’s declines -– “the economy and how we performed as a team” last season -– but said it’s hard to assess the relative impact of the two factors.

Said Evans: “Look back a couple of years ago. We were preseason No. 1 [and] had beaten Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl -– a big win and a great season -– and things spiked up. . . . The support is still there, but I just think when people are excited and when people have a little bit more expendable income, they’ll put more toward their ticket priority. Right now, with the economy and so forth, people are a little bit more hesitant. But we’ll still be sold out.”

94 comments Add your comment

Dixie Clear

June 3rd, 2010
11:06 am

why would anybody in their right mind donate anything to uga???…. talk about a bad investment!

Doesn't ...

June 3rd, 2010
11:11 am

…really matter – a sellout is a sellout – 92K every game in Athens every year, or 55K once every other year for one game in Atlanta…

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

June 3rd, 2010
11:14 am

i just want to be able to afford some single game tickets for SEC games!!!!

Iraq Dawg

June 3rd, 2010
11:20 am

I agree that’s too much money to pay just to have the right to own season tickets. But on the other hand, it helps the school and the association. Always keeps fans like Dixie Clear, and Yellow Fuzz from getting seats. Only real fans and alumni will buy our tickets

oh yeah……………(((((30-24))))))))))))))))))

The Plain Truth

June 3rd, 2010
11:20 am

Why does this surprise anyone? This is a perfect example of Economics 101: Supply and Demand. Not that anything that complicated would be taught at UGA.

With the increasing ineptitude and the growing irrelevancy of the UGA football team in the SEC race, there is less and less demand for tickets. After all, who wants to center their weekends around a bunch of illiterate, poorly disciplined goons and felons who make up the UGA team?

And that’s the plain truth.

Will

June 3rd, 2010
11:21 am

Does anyone have a guess as to the contribution point cutoff for the UGA vs. Colorado game?

If you are not familiar with this – away game tickets to UGA games are available to season ticket holders who have accumulated the minimum number of contribution points. The minimum number varies according to the opponent.

heartofdarkness

June 3rd, 2010
11:23 am

Does this mean they will be cutting player salaries?

ozzfest

June 3rd, 2010
11:35 am

I CAN SAVE YOU EVEN MORE MONEY…..I HAVE 2 SEASON TICKETS LISTED ON EBAY RIGHT NOW FOR UNDER $800.

EBAY USER ID : BHUZZ

BAIL ME OUT…I NEED SOME $$$ TO PAY FOR THE TRIP TO SEE THE DOGS PLAY IN BOULDER.

WOOF, WOOF.

ROTFLMAO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

June 3rd, 2010
12:01 pm

Whats REALLY funny is that so many UGA fans
were stupid enough to actually pay the $10,000.

The UGA-AA simply ramped up the price
based on all the hilarious 2008 pre-season hype.

Looks like the UGA-AA took a page from Wall Street.

Steve

June 3rd, 2010
12:08 pm

Think the nerds on North Avenue will ever have this problem? Ha ha ha. Nope!

Starring Kam Fong as Chin Ho

June 3rd, 2010
12:19 pm

Dixie Clear, I look forward to the day you can donate your carcass to science.

ripped off

June 3rd, 2010
12:19 pm

10,000…and all i got was 3 prime-time a$$ kickings
….and this stupid t-shirt.

Old Dawg

June 3rd, 2010
12:21 pm

Dixie Clear: I thought they buried you along with Dixie Carter when she passed.

Jim Donnan

June 3rd, 2010
12:30 pm

Reggie Brown is as fast as an antelope.

Stinger

June 3rd, 2010
12:33 pm

4 hot dogs; 4 fries; 2 cokes; 2 football tickets $10.00. What a bargain, the only catch is you have to go to the game. BWHAAAA, HAAAAA,HAAAA!! Would could sit through that?

Shishkebob Warhole

June 3rd, 2010
12:34 pm

FOOTBALL SUCKS!

the real Old Gold

June 3rd, 2010
12:34 pm

4 tickets, 4 hotdogs, 4 cokes and parking..

Stinger

June 3rd, 2010
12:36 pm

But,But, how will you raise money to post bonds on all your criminals, if you lower prices? LMAO

mcdawghna

June 3rd, 2010
12:37 pm

sounds like the dawg fans have the money to spend…….why is it that the tech fans can’t fill up their little dung heap of a stadium with their so-called thick walletts?…….or is it that nobody cares!

Billy T.

June 3rd, 2010
12:42 pm

To The Plain Truth:

They clearly don’t teach reading at the fine institution you came from, but if you can R-E-A-D, then look back to this part of the article (story):

Still, there won’t be enough vacated seats to fill all of the new orders that have been received.

“We again will have to refund some season-ticket orders,” Thomas said.

***That’s a situation no other sports team in the state, college or pro, enjoys.***

“We have more contributors wanting tickets than we have tickets for,” UGA executive associate athletics director Frank Crumley said, “so that’s a great scenario to have.”

It seems that plenty of fans want to see the Dawgs play on Saturdays. How’s that for illiterate. Dumb@$$.

beatdowns galore

June 3rd, 2010
12:49 pm

The way the dawgs played last season UGA should give refunds……

ozzfest

June 3rd, 2010
1:01 pm

BY THE WAY, THE REAL PROBLEM IS

*****THE WORST HOME SCHEDULE EVER*****

WHO THE HELL SCHEDULES “LOUISIANA” AND “IDAHO STATE” IN THE SAME YEAR WE PLAY “ARKANSAS” AND “VANDERBILT” AT HOME?

I HAVE BEEN TO 250+ UGA FOOTBALL GAMES….AND THIS YEAR THREE (ARGUABLY FOUR) OR OUR SIX HOME GAMES SUCK.

NOTRE DAME? MICHIGAN? TEXAS?……………IT IS JUST NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN, IS IT?

Cracker Jacket

June 3rd, 2010
1:02 pm

Four Cokes and Four hotdogs when you buy Four tickets at Tech…and still can’t sell’em even with his Highest coaching !

Koz

June 3rd, 2010
1:18 pm

@BHUZZ – not interested in your Season tickets on ebay but could you sell me some photocopied Ozzy posters? What a racket

tim

June 3rd, 2010
1:29 pm

ANYONE who makes a “contribution” and buys season tickets is a sucker. I watch the games for FREE. S-U-C-K-E-R WOOF WOOF!

30-24 Dawgs - WE RUN THIS STATE!

June 3rd, 2010
1:31 pm

Looking forward to 11/27/10 and making it 9 out of 10 against the maggots!

30-24 ALL YEAR LONG!

Georgia Mom

June 3rd, 2010
1:33 pm

I have worked on this campus 25 years and was a student before that. Nothing EVER goes down at UGA. They’ll get their money somehow! Beside, I have a new HD TV, free parking, 4 bathrooms, and a fridge loaded with food: forget the stadium!

Jim Donnan

June 3rd, 2010
1:35 pm

All you all tek NERDS need to go to a FISH FRY.

UGA.....

June 3rd, 2010
1:38 pm

….WE RUIN THIS STATE!!!

JacketManClassOf84

June 3rd, 2010
1:46 pm

LMAO @ the mutts in the cesspool up north! Nobody wants to see those losers play, I guess stadium must be half-empty now for games not involving Coach Paul Johnson.

Richt is on the hot seat and will be out after the new sheriff returns to town on Thanksgiving weekend!

45-42

2_dawgs

June 3rd, 2010
2:01 pm

I am disappointed in the home game schedule this year, but football game Saturdays in Athens are the best days of my life, except for my wedding and births of 2 children (had to add that, or go to the upcoming games alone).

UGA = 2010 National Champs!

June 3rd, 2010
2:03 pm

Mark it down NERDS! I can promise you right now…

This is our year DAWGS! I can’t wait till Tech. My prediction:

UGA – 45
Tech – 3

On to the SEC Championship and from there we play Oklahoma in the National Championship. You heard right folks! This is the year for us. Aaron Murray is the man! Get ready. Oh and Mark Richt is 10 times the coach that Paul Johnson is. Tech can’t even get 10,000 people in their stadium and they give away cokes and hot dogs. Bunch of NERDS. What losers!

UGA – 2010 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!

ozzfest

June 3rd, 2010
2:13 pm

Nobody else is either.

and yes, I can…but I have to run by Kinkos first.

supsalemgr

June 3rd, 2010
2:22 pm

I can’t imagine any Tech fan would even attempt to duscuss this topic. These folks are supposed to be the smartest on Earth. What part of a full 94,000 seat compared to a less than full 55,000 seat stadium do they not understand?

SOOHSO

June 3rd, 2010
2:39 pm

Will the Redcoat Band please play DIXIE!!! The fans really want it to pep things up.

Jim Donnan

June 3rd, 2010
2:43 pm

FISH FRY is coming up in November…..

read n black

June 3rd, 2010
2:54 pm

Tim watches for Free cause he is a loser.

UGA Alum

June 3rd, 2010
2:54 pm

Um..it is 2010 not 1850. Nobody wants to hear Dixie played. Do you really want 98% of the football team to walk off the field?

Definition of Dixie: The song “Dixie” is one of the most distinctively United States musical products of the 19th century, and probably the best-known song to have come out of blackface minstrelsy.The song originated in the blackface minstrel show of the 1850s and quickly grew famous across the United States. Its lyrics, written in a comic, exaggerated version of African American Vernacular English, tell the story of a freed black slave pining for the plantation of his birth

Give me a break. Continue playing the songs that you play RedCoats. You guys are awesome. Actually I am sure SOOHSO did not even attend UGA. Otherwise he/she/it would know that this generation does not care to go back in time to make some hillbillies feel good for existing.

Thanks.

Michael

June 3rd, 2010
3:02 pm

@ heartofdarkness – :-)

LOL

June 3rd, 2010
3:10 pm

@rednblk I totally agree! There is nothing more sad than passing someone on the way to the game that is watching it on TV in the back of their SUV. I mean who drives more than an hour to Athens just to sit out in hot sun and babysit the vacant chairs? I guess a true friend or someone to drunk to actually attend the game.

SOOHSO

June 3rd, 2010
3:15 pm

UGA Alum, I’m a 2004 UGA graduate. I know what the fans want!!!!

Stinger

June 3rd, 2010
3:20 pm

UGA winning the National Championship in 2010. LMAO!!!!! You haven’t won anything since 1980 and won’t win anything for another 30 years.
You are the most over rated program in the history of college sports.

GEORGIA97

June 3rd, 2010
3:27 pm

The real reason ticket sales have tanked is because the Adams administration has absolutely killed the game day experience in Athens. This is the first year since I graduated that I decided not to buy tickets and it paid off because my tailgating spot on North Campus is now off limits.

Gators

June 3rd, 2010
3:28 pm

what a joke….How much for the Fl/Ga game? wait this is ajc.com I guess its the Ga/Fl game….I guess reality has hit Athens I cant wait to see G’ville this season without Tebow! I think all sports need to get real, prices are out of line with reality

Don "Vito" Leeburn

June 3rd, 2010
3:34 pm

Don’t fall behind on your payments to my Athletic Association, or you will sleep with the fishes.

The Ghost of Wally Butts

June 3rd, 2010
3:36 pm

Wow, good grief. If President Adams ain’t careful, we could wind up with a bunch of middle class reff-raff actually being able to attend some games instead of the upper class wealthy power brokers who currently attend.

C from Marietta

June 3rd, 2010
3:37 pm

In 5 years. GT will be the 3rd best team in the state. Go Panthers. BTW… I only paid 230$ for 2 50 yard Georgia State tickets.

Bill

June 3rd, 2010
3:44 pm

You could go to a tech game and get robbed – by either the locals or by the GTAD – paying for a tech game in a mickey mouse league is larceny.

Chiefdawg

June 3rd, 2010
3:46 pm

Ozzfest, it is schedules like this one that make National Champions. Just look at UF’s the last few years.

Dawg Stephen

June 3rd, 2010
3:48 pm

Keep in mind, the amount needed to buy season tixs is a CUMULATIVE total. And I DID go from 8 to 6 tickets in 2009….but this year, have gone back up to 8 again. Actually RAISED the contribution from past years.

Ohh i did it without Barry Hussein Obama’s help too.