3 things from Georgia board meeting: Hot tickets, Cocktail Party update, $300 million goal

Georgia's Sanford Stadium will undergo $68.5 million in upgrades with the south concourse expanding, new premium seating and a new press box in the southwest corner of the stadium. (University of Georgia)
University of Georgia

GREENSBORO — Georgia football has always been a hot ticket, and a closer look at the record-$162.2 million UGA athletics budget shows why.

The Bulldogs’ 2022-23 budget of $162,278,743 includes approximately $34.6 million in football ticket revenue, even though UGA athletic director Josh Brooks declined to raise ticket prices.

RELATED: Why Josh Brooks investing in Georgia fans

The biggest chunk of revenue remains the $48.9 million SEC distribution (television rights, bowl money), but a closer look shows just how important it is to fill the stands.

RELATED: UGA president hints at massive raise for Kirby Smart

Here’s a look at how much UGA will make in ticket revenue from each game this season, per the budget released on Friday at the Ritz-Carlton Lodge on Lake Oconee:

• Oregon (Mercedes-Benz Stadium), $4.25 million

• Samford (Sanford Stadium), $3.51 million

• Kent State (Sanford Stadium), $3.5 million

• Auburn (Sanford Stadium), $5.1 million

• Vanderbilt (Sanford Stadium), $4.85 million

• Florida (Jacksonville), $3.5 million

• Tennessee (Sanford Stadium), $4.97 million

• Georgia Tech (Sanford Stadium), $4.89 million

The variation in ticket revenue is related to ticket prices and allotment.

The neutral-site Florida game pays $3.5 million to each team, creating revenue in years where UGA is the designated road team.

Here are three other takeaways from the Georgia Athletic Association board of directors spring meetings:

Cocktail Party Talk Tabled

Brooks said UGA hasn’t made a decision on whether it will extend the Bulldogs playing their designated home game with Florida in Jacksonville beyond the 2023 season.

RELATED: Kirby: Georgia misses opportunities playing in Jacksonville

“We’re not in the discussion of that right now,” Brooks said. “We signed a deal a few years ago with an option for two more years (through 2023), we haven’t gotten into the weeds on that yet. We’ll discuss that at a different time. It just hasn’t been on our radar right now with other pressing matters.”

Kirby Smart commented on the rivalry game location last season.

“All I ever say is that the home atmosphere we have is incredible, and the ability to bring recruits in is big,” Smart said, asked his thoughts on the location of the Georgia-Florida game through 2023.

“I stand by the fact that we miss opportunities and everyone else in the country doesn’t.”

$300 million fundraising goal

Georgia will seek out more support than ever with the board approving $95.2 million in facilities constriuction (tennis facility) and enhancements (Sanford Stadium project).

RELATED: Early look at Sanford Stadium changes coming in 2023, 2024

UGA executive associate athletic director Ford Williams introduced a 5-year plan for $300 million in fundraising, noting that through the McGill Society UGA has raised more than $200 million since 2015.

Brooks said he wasn’t concerned that boosters’ and donors’ contributions could be compromised by NIL legislation that has led to money being funneled into collectives or in-kind payments for athletes.

“We’re going to focus, and we’re not going to make excuses,” Brooks said. “The support is still strong, but obviously that pace at which we raise will determine the pace at which we build.”

Josh Brooks’ raise

The Georgia athletic director turns 42 years old on Saturday, but he received an early gift of sorts when UGA president Jere Morehead announced he was recommending Brooks for a raise.

“I want to signal and what our athletic board wants to signal is that for being the youngest AD in the Power Five, he’s gotten off to a sensational start,” Morehead said, “and we know that he’s got a bright and long future as athletic director at the University of Georgia.”

Brooks signed on in January of 2021 with a contract that pays him $700,000 with an escalator clause that increases his salary by $25,000 each year.

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