Georgia will pay Florida Atlantic $1 million to play a 2012 football game in Sanford Stadium – the most UGA has ever agreed to pay an opponent for coming to Athens.
The game will be played on Sept. 15, 2012, replacing an originally scheduled game at Louisville on that date. A two-game, home-and-home contract with Louisville was canceled as part of Georgia’s arrangement to play Boise State in the 2011 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta.
Georgia and Florida Atlantic last week signed a memorandum of understanding on the 2012 game. The document was obtained Tuesday by the AJC under an open-records request.
Florida Atlantic is an FBS (formerly known as Division I-A) team and a member of the Sun Belt Conference. The Owls are 4-7 this season and are coached by 76-year-old Howard Schnellenberger, who was Miami’s coach when Mark Richt, now Georgia’s coach, played quarterback for the Hurricanes.
The $1 million payout has become about the going rate for non-conference FBS opponents who do not require a return visit to their stadium. The most Georgia had agreed to pay previously was $975,000 to Buffalo for a 2012 game and North Texas for a 2013 game.
The agreement between Georgia and Florida Atlantic calls for the Owls to receive 300 complimentary tickets and another 3,000 tickets to purchase and states that there will be a $1 million game cancellation fee.
Florida Atlantic’s non-conference games this season have included a 30-17 loss to Michigan State in Detroit and a 51-17 loss at Texas.
Georgia now has seven home games scheduled in 2012. The Bulldogs’ other non-conference opponents that season, all in Athens, are Buffalo, Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech.
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