Tim Tucker leads with what will be good news to would-be Georgia season ticket holders: "The cost of getting into Sanford Stadium as a first-time season-ticket buyer is dropping." The picture Tucker paints might be seen as one of declining enthusiasm surrounding the program evident in "a rise in ticket cancellations and a decline in donations."
Fan frenzy certainly isn’t what it was heading into the 2008 season, but let’s be clear what’s going on here: there will still be a cut-off score for new season tickets, and there will be some Hartman Fund donors who ordered first-time season tickets but will see their order refunded due to excess demand.
The current cut-off will be nowhere near the lofty 10,651of 2008 or even the score of 4,205 that was required a year ago. But the fact that there will be a cut-off at all is still news. The cut-off was as low as 1,991as recently as 2007 and non-existent prior to that. Even with a down economy and a disappointing 2009 season, demand hasn’t cooled off to the point that Georgia will have unsold season tickets.
For perspective, here’s what other schools around the area are dealing with. These are all major programs who are having to go beyond donors by selling season tickets or ticket packages to the general public.
- Clemson’s IPTAY members bought 48,039 season tickets. That’s about 1,000 more than last year but well short of selling out. Clemson sold a record 58,134 season tickets in 2008. The remaining season tickets are now on sale to the public.
- South Carolina is dealing with a general decline in interest and will also likely come up short of selling out of season tickets. "Attendance at some Gamecock Club meetings was light this spring, according to Spurrier…Spurrier said enrollment for his football camps is down and figures season-ticket sales are off as well."
- Tennessee is selling groups of 3-game "mini-packs" to the public. They claim that these mini-packs are available "based on the number of tickets claimed by visiting teams," but the deals include the Florida game. Remaining individual seats will go on sale later in the summer.
- Georgia Tech also hasn’t sold out of season tickets, but their numbers are slightly ahead of last year as of late April.
- Auburn is currently selling season tickets to the public as of June 1st. They’re also offering a mini season ticket which excludes the Georgia and Clemson games.