Cost to obtain UGA football season tickets to rise in 2017

Credit: UGA Sports

Credit: UGA Sports

Georgia has sold out its allotment of 58,000 season football tickets for 2016, as always. Next year, however, the costs to obtain those tickets will go up.

Athletic Director Greg McGarity asked for and was granted by the UGA Athletic Association’s board of directors Thursday an increase for per-seat donations for the right to buy season tickets in 2017. The motion was approved at the end-of-year meeting here at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge on Lake Oconee.

The minimum donation for the right buy season tickets went up an average of 17.3 percent. That includes a high of 20 percent for Sky Club seats ($1,200 from $1,000 per ticket) and a low of 10 percent for the Champions Club ($2,250 from $2,000 per ticket). General stadium seating increases from $250 per seat to $300 per seat (20 percent).

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There will be no increases for the cost of student or faculty tickets since they do not require donations.

It represents the first increases since 2005, according to McGarity. McGarity said UGA remains “seventh to 10th” among the SEC’s 14 teams in that regard.

“It’s something our staff has been looking at the last couple of years and felt like it was the right time to do it,” McGarity said.

The increase is expected to raise $2.5 million in generated revenue, which will be used for “future facility projects.”

The board also approved a record $123.1 million budget approved , operating expenses increased by $11.1 million over this time a year ago. Not surprisingly, a lot of that spending is attributed to increased spending within the football program.

“One of the most significant increases is football expenditures relating to compensation, guarantees, recruiting travel and game expenses,” the board’s treasurer said in his report.

Georgia hired Kirby Smart from Alabama to coach the football team last December. Smart and his staff produced 25 invoices totaling $558,741.29 during the two-month span that followed on chartered air travel, including helicopters and private jets, for recruiting and hiring staff.

The good news for UGA is it is bringing in a lot more money. So far the Bulldogs have brought in $24.9 million in football ticket revenue, up from $22.6 million in April of 2015. Most of that growth attributed to $5 rise in ticket prices for home games. Ticket contributions of $24.4 million were on par with previous years, according to the treasurer’s report.

UGA used only $2.2 million out of its reserve fund toward the Indoor Athletic Facility. That’s considerably less than it originally planned to spend — $15 million. That’s because private donations raised for the project far exceeded projections. Almost all of the funds for the $30.2 million construction project were donated.

McGarity told the board that 339 members of the newly-formed Magill Society donated $25.4 million toward the indoor facility. The board approved $9 million from the reserve fund requested by McGarity for new projects.

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