Georgia set to approve football ticket price hike

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The price to get into Sanford Stadium could increase as soon as this season.

ATHENS — UGA is set to raise the price for tickets to football games when the school’s athletic board meets Tuesday.

It is expected to be a modest increase from the $50 per-game price last year, according to someone familiar with the plans. That, of course, does not include donations to the Hartman Fund, which are required to give fans the right to purchase season tickets. The minimum donation levels were raised two years ago.

It was not clear whether the price increase would happen for the 2018 season.

UGA sells approximately 58,000 season tickets, all of which require Hartman Fund donations. The rest of the seats to Sanford Stadium, which seats nearly 93,000, include an allotment to the opposing school, student and faculty tickets, and single-game ticket sales.

There also could be a change to the price for student season tickets, which was $8 per game last season.

Athletic director Greg McGarity said two years ago that Georgia ranked “sixth to 10th” in ticket price among SEC programs. The price went up to $50 in 2017 as part of an increase that was voted on in 2014.

The school is planning this increase after the Bulldogs’ run to the National Championship Game in 2017. The home schedule for the upcoming season is not overwhelming (it includes Auburn, Tennessee and Georgia Tech, but also UMass, Austin Peay, Middle Tennessee and Vanderbilt). But the 2019 season includes a home game against Notre Dame.

The UGA Athletic Board also is expected to approve $1 million in new facility projects, which were discussed at the finance committee meeting earlier this month:

  • $700,000 for a new video board at the Ramsey Center, used for swimming and diving.
  • $200,000 for a design fee for the equestrian complex.
  • $100,000 for a feasibility study for an indoor tennis complex.

The state of the current indoor tennis complex — only having four courts rather than six — was considered a key reason for UGA losing the NCAA Tennis Championships, which had been a near-mainstay in Athens. The soonest the event could return to UGA is 2023.

The board also is expected to receive an update on the construction and fundraising for the Sanford Stadium west end zone project, which began last year and is aimed to be completed in time for the upcoming football season. The complex will include new locker rooms for the football team and a recruiting area, as well as refurbished fan areas.

The budget for the west end zone project is $63 million, with $53 million of that aimed to be paid for through fundraisers. UGA Athletics has access to a little more than $80 million in reserves but has said it is unable to dip liberally into it because of limitations set on it through bond covenants for debt.

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