“We can shave that down some more as we get closer to the end of the fiscal year,” said Brooks, who succeeded Greg McGarity as Georgia’s AD on Jan. 6. “Again, I can’t say the word ‘thank you’ enough to everyone about the way everyone has stepped up in a difficult situation and made it a more manageable situation. We’re not out of the woods, but if we stay the course we ought to be in good shape and maintain a healthy reserve into FY 2022.”
Those same fans are stepping up when it comes to new expenditures as well. According to Brooks, Georgia’s development office has raised $71.5 million in donations and pledges toward the new $80 million football operations facility being added to the Butts-Mehre athletics complex. Phase I of that construction project will be competed in late April, with Phase II scheduled for completion in January.
“That’s a phenomenal update,” Brooks said, referring to an update from UGA’s development team. “They’re doing great work, and it’s a true testament to our donors, who have stepped up again and again to provide us with first-class facilities.”
Brooks said the board voted in November for access to $24 million from the athletic association’s reserves. However, none of it was required. Georgia reported a surplus of $40 million from Fiscal Year 2020.
As for FY 2022, which runs from July 1 of this summer to June 30, 2022, UGA’s financial picture will be dictated by whether a full football schedule will be played before capacity crowds. They’re tentatively planning on full stadiums.
“We’re going to be ready for that,” Brooks said. “But we can’t commit to a budget until we know where we sit next fall. So, we’re going to have to play a lot of that by ear. But we’ve proven we can pivot quickly, and we’ll adjust from there if needed.”
At least for the April 17 G-Day instrasquad game, Georgia is planning for the same limited-season, socially distanced plan that it utilized last fall. That allowed for 20,524 spectators in the 92,746-seat stadium.