Notre Dame will have to pay Georgia $2 million dollars if it backs out of playing the Bulldogs in Athens after the two teams play in South Bend, Ind., in September of 2017. Financial penalties are substantially less if either team changes its mind before then.
That was just one of the details enumerated in the five-page written agreement exchanged between the traditional football powers to play a home-and-home series. The schools announced Wednesday that UGA will play at Notre Dame Stadium on Sept. 9, 2017, and the Fighting Irish will visit Athens on Sept. 21, 2019.
Georgia turned over an unsigned draft of that agreement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in compliance with a Freedom of Information request.
Therein it is stipulated that either team could back out of the game by paying a liquidated damages penalty of $150,000 as long as it offers a notice of cancellation two years or more before the date of the game. That penalty increases substantially over time, rising to $500,000 if its more than a year and less than two years and $1 million if it’s received within a year of the game.
However, there is a clause that would allow Notre Dame or Georgia to wiggle out of the game without penalty if either team is required by its respective conferences to play more league games. The Irish are currently obligated to play five ACC games a year under its new agreement with that association. The SEC recently decided to stick to eight conference games rather than nine for the foreseeable future.
Television rights will be negotiated by the hosting team. In Notre Dame’s case, that means the 2017 will be televised by NBC, as all its home games have been since 1991. The game at Georgia will be dictated by obligations to the SEC and its television arrangements.
But the most important news in the drafted agreement is what it means to team’s fans. According to the document, each school will be allocated 8,000 tickets for the visiting school. That does not include free admission set aside for band (400), cheerleaders (12) and mascot (1), which has been capped 413 individuals.
Notre Dame Stadium has a seating capacity of 80,795. UGA’s Sanford Stadium holds 92,746.