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Post From the Dep’t of Bad Ideas

Tuesday February 6, 2007

From today’s AJC:

Faced with what he calls an “eroding” financial situation in his department, Georgia Tech athletics director Dan Radakovich today will announce a plan to bring in more money from football and basketball season-ticket sales.

The plan, to be outlined in a letter to season-ticket holders, will require a minimum annual donation to a new “Tech Fund” for the right to buy prime season tickets. The required donation, which is in addition to the face price of tickets, will be as high as $450 per seat per year for football and up to $500 per seat per year for men’s basketball.

Talk about bad timing. Now that Calvin Johnson’s departure has closed the most interesting era of Georgia Tech football in the past decade and now that the basketball program has slid back into the lower half of the ACC from a Final Four trip, they want to turn the screws to get a bit more cash from their fan base to make up for an operating deficit.

The reason for such measures: Radakovich said Tech’s athletics department was $2.7 million in the red for fiscal 2006, not including debt service and the revenue earmarked for paying it. He said the projected operating deficit for fiscal 2007 would be $2.89 million without changes.

Georgia’s incredible legacy of operating in the black is certainly an exception in the world of college sports. Tech’s situation isn’t unusual, but it is a reminder how good we’ve got it and how good the financial stewardship of the program has been under Dooley and Evans. Radakovich is known as a sharp financial guy with a good head for business, but we’ll see how the Tech fan base reacts to this decision given the quality of the product they are now asked to pay even more to support.

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