UGA is reducing capacity in Sanford Stadium to 20 to 25 percent for its four football home games under the SEC’s revised schedule, the school announced Wednesday.
That’s between 18,550 and 23,180 fans per game in a season that would be played during the pandemic.
“We hope this is the plan that we end up with but as well all know things change rapidly,” athletic director Greg McGarity said.
The Bulldogs sell out their 92,746 seat home stadium in a normal season.
The 20 to 25 percent capacity is along the same lines as others in the SEC, but the numbers at Georgia are considered tentative depending on health conditions. Alabama and Auburn are at 20 percent capacity, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Missouri are at 25 percent .
With 58,000 season tickets regularly, Georgia is having to dole out its tickets.
Instead of season tickets, donors have to opt in or out to get single game tickets. Donors will not be able to receive their exact seat locations as previously.
Those that opt out are still eligible to renew established season ticket locations for 2021.
Tickets will go in blocks of four and be $150 per ticket—which is $75 for the ticket price and $75 for the Hartman Fund contribution requirement. Costs will be deducted from previous payments.
It remains to be seen if there will be any tailgating permitted. Georgia says it will closely monitor CDC and state and local guidelines to determine if tailgating will be allowed. McGarity mentioned other SEC school that already decided no tailgating.
“We’e going to wait and see,” he said. “We don’t have to make that decision right now.”
The reduction in capacity is based off six foot social distancing in the entire bowl of the stadium.
The Bulldogs have home games with Auburn on Oct. 3, Tennessee on Oct. 10, Mississippi State on Nov. 21 and Vanderbilt on Dec. 5 in the SEC’s 10-game conference only schedule.
Georgia says its plan provides as many season ticket holders as possible the opportunity to attend at least one game.
The highest-paying donors will have access to get into more games. Those who donate $250,000 or more can request four tickets to all four games, those who donate $5,000 or more can request four tickets to two games and those up to $5,000 can request four tickets for one game.
Student tickets will remain available but also be reduced down to 20 to 25 percent of its regular total. McGarity said that will be more than 3,000 tickets. Student leaders were to meet with Georgia athletics on Wednesday about the plan.
Refunds on balances will be offered to donors before the end of the year but would be deducted from priority point totals. Georgia said they can instead be turned into “a charitable contribution” for a UGA athletics COVID-19 fund that would give triple priority points.
In an email to donors, McGarity wrote: “A reduction of capacity to 20-25% in Sanford Stadium translates into significant changes in our FY21 operating budget; however our top priority is protecting the resources necessary to continuing our commitment to provide an exceptional experience to our student-athletes and we are confident we can be successful in this effort. While revenues will be affected throughout the program, we are also hard at work limiting our expenses and are in a ”must-have“ mode with regard to any expenditures.
McGarity told reporters there will be a “significant” revenue drop with four home games with limited attendance and increased expenses of COVID-19 testing for athletes and providing masks, face shields and gloves to stadium workers.
“We’re going to assign a custodian to every rest room ,” senior deputy athletic director Josh Brooks said. “They’re going to constantly be wiping down touchpoints. We’re going to disinfect all the restrooms the day of the game and all common areas.”
No tickets are available for games away from Athens except the Georgia-Florida game in Jacksonville. That allotment is likely to be less than 9,000 tickets per school.
Georgia says its 500 ticket allotment for road games will go to the families of players.
Masks will be required in Sanford Stadium when entering and when moving on the concourse.
It is still to be determined if the Redcoat Band or cheerleaders will be permitted in the stadium.
The player “Dawg Walk,” prior to the game won’t look the same if it happens at all.
“To practice social distancing, that’s not really conducive to the Dawg Walk as we know it today,” McGarity said.
Here is how tickets will be allocated, according to Georgia:
–The UGA Ticket Office will be allocating tickets to each individual game based on cumulative TGBC priority points and availability. Ticket allocations for the 2020 modified season are subject to change on a game-by-game basis based on demand, priority and availability. Seat allocations will be socially distanced throughout Sanford Stadium in the 100, 200, 300 and 600 levels. This plan follows the same ticket allocation model that is used for away, neutral site, and postseason games.
–The number of games in which you are eligible to qualify for will be based on your 2020 Hartman Fund annual giving level and/or involvement in the Magill Society, with projected opportunities for requests based on availability below:
–Requesting tickets does not guarantee assignment.