Demand for UGA football tickets impacted by lackluster home schedule - By Seth Emerson
ATHENS – Last week UGA athletics did something that, given the proximity to the season, struck more than a few of its recipients as quite remarkable: It let fans know that football season tickets were still available.
That wasn’t all. For those fans that wanted to renew, they could do so for less than half it cost them last year.
The efforts worked, as the remaining season tickets, about 600 total, were lapped up within days by Bulldog fans. That amounted to 55,000 out of 92,000-plus seats for each game at Sanford Stadium in 2017.
Still, the lag time and the drop in renewal requirement would indicate that Georgia’s home schedule, and perhaps some other factors, had an effect.
Georgia has six home games this year, and none of the opponents are projected top 25 teams: Appalachian State (Sept. 2), Samford (Sept. 16), Mississippi State (23), Missouri (Oct. 14), South Carolina (Nov. 40 and Kentucky (Nov. 18).
“That could be part of that. I don’t know what the full cause is,” said Tim Cearley, UGA associate athletic director for tickets. “But yes we were thankfully able to meet all the Hartman Fund demand anyway. We didn’t turn any donors away. (And) the bigger takeaway is we have sold out. That’s encouraging.”
The Hartman fund is the vehicle through which donors can buy season tickets. (A Hartman fund donation is separate from a season ticket, as a donation gives you the right to then purchase one. And the more you contribute the better your seats tend to be.)
This year donors with at least 550 priority points (a point for every dollar donation) who contributed at least $275 per seat last year can automatically renew their tickets.
That’s drastically lower than last year ($1,201 points who contributed at least $250 per seat).
Another factor may have been the Bulldogs coming off an 8-5 record, which head coach Kirby Smart acknowledged was “disappointing.”
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