Georgia’s longtime ticket manager resigns amid distribution process

ATHENS – The timing doesn’t seem ideal, but UGA Athletics insisted that the recent resignation of longtime football ticket manager Tim Cearley is not going to upset the 2022 distribution process.

Cearley, Georgia’s senior associate athletic director for ticket operations since 2013, turned in his resignation to athletic director Josh Brooks on Tuesday. Season tickets for the coming football season have yet to be distributed, but will be in the coming days.

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“I’ve found that there’s no ideal time to make a move in ticket operations,” Cearley said. “Timing on a new opportunity just happened to coincide (with distribution). I’ll continue to partner with my talented and capable staff over the next couple of weeks to keep football tickets on schedule.”

Cearley, a 1996 UGA graduate, has worked in the ticket office in various capacities for 23 years. A native Athenian who attended Prince Avenue Christian School, Cearley will remain at UGA with the university’s auxiliary-services transportation and parking team.

Managing football ticket operations in the SEC is an extremely challenging and exhaustive position. It has been somewhat simplified with the recent advent of digital distribution rather than the physical mailing process. But the job still involves a lot of personal relations, and Cearley long has been the point person who rectified complaints and relocation requests as well as overseeing Georgia’s increasingly complicated ticket-priority system. Cearley’s cell number remains in the contacts list of thousands of season-ticket holders.

“The timing’s actually not that bad because Tim is going to help us get through assignments,” Brooks said. “The summer through August is the hardest part. I mean, there’s never a great time, but getting through this cycle is the most challenging part, and he’s staying through the nuts and bolts of that.”

Georgia typically sells out of its season-ticket allotment, which stands at about 60,000 a year. Sanford Stadium seats 92,746 and UGA carries a sellout streak of 58 consecutive games into the 2022 season. The school record of 64 games occurred from the opening game of the 2001 season through Sept. 15, 2012.

The Bulldogs’ weak home schedule in 2022 could threaten that streak. Georgia’s six home games this season are against Samford (Sept. 10), Kent State (Sept. 24), Auburn (Oct. 8), Vanderbilt (Oct. 15), Tennessee (Nov. 5) and Georgia Tech (Nov. 26). Tickets are available for several of those games.

The Bulldogs begin defense of their 2021 national championship Sept. 3 against Oregon in a Chick-fil-A Kickoff game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.