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March 20, 2009

The World's Largest Indoor Cocktail Party?


Image: DawgBone.net

The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports that the Atlanta Sports Council and the Georgia Bulldogs are in discussions about possibly moving the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party to the Georgia Dome at least once every four years.

(UPDATE: The AJC talked to Damon Evans. He says that there are no discussions to move the game. The rest of this post is the original note on the subject)

I'm pretty sure that the current contract expires in 2010, but all parties involved like to have the contract renewed before Year 3 of the 4 year deal starts. In other words....now.

Here's why I'm against this:

  • We don't lose because of the location - The City of Jacksonville didn't cause Terrence Edwards to drop a game tying catching in 2002. It didn't cause Quincy Carter to throw the INT before the half in 2000. It didn't call timeout in the rain in '93. It didn't fumble the kickoff to start the second half in 2006. It didn't bust Shockley's knee before the game in 2005. We lose when we go down there because we don't play well. We could play the Gators on the moon, and we will lose if we wet the bed at first sight of an Orange helmet with script letters.

  • Access to Tickets in Atlanta - The current cut-off for tickets is over 10,000 Hartman points. Some of the demand for tickets is suppressed because it's logistically and financially cumbersome to get to Jacksonville from the Atlanta area -- where the vast majority of our fans live. There would be dramatically more demand for tickets to a game in Atlanta. The listed ticket prices, the secondary market and the Hartman cut-off for the tickets would explode due to increased demand.

  • The Dome is Smaller -- Capacity at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium is 84,000 for UGA vs. UF. The record crowd at the Georgia Dome is 75,000. That's roughly 11 percent fewer seats. Cutting 4,500 tickets out of the UGA allotment would be a real problem.

  • The Dome has ZERO personality -- Part of the appeal of the game in Jacksonville is the party. 75,000 people can't tailgate in Atlanta the way we do in Jacksonville.

  • Access to Florida Talent -- I'd like Mark Richt to explain how Alabama and Clemson playing games in Atlanta is good for their recruiting in Georgia and bad for UGA. While UGA playing games in Florida isn't a good thing for us.

  • We're chicken shit if we leave -- This would be the first step in running us out of Jacksonville.
Georgia fans didn't complain about the location when Dooley won 17 of 25 contests against the lizards.

I assume most of this is posturing for a better deal from the City of Jacksonville. I'm all for that especially in light of what other neutral site games are paying their participants. But a long term move away from this most excellent tradition makes no sense to me.

Recruit better players. Win the game. Stop making excuses.

See Also:
-- Another reason to stay in Jax - GTP
-- Orson's take on this - EDSBS

PWD

55 comments:

Hunkering Hank said...

Florida didn't call timeout in '93 either.

Andrew Miller said...

I totally agree. . . the problem with the schedule is not the game in Jacksonville but the long stretches of road games every other year. We could pick better battles . . . . if we have to moan about the JAX game, lets focus on getting a permanent bye week prior to the the cocktail party. . .

Jacob said...

My reason for moving from Jacksonville every year doesn't have to do with winning or losing - it has to do with economics. Think about how much money is spent down there each year by Georgia fans and Florida fans alike. Why should the city of Jacksonville and the state of Florida get all that tourist revenue each year? Is the state of Florida more deserving than the state of Georgia? I would think not. Why can't we split it up? I vote for alternating between the Dome and Jacksonville.

While I agree that Jacksonville didn't cause Edwards to drop a pass or Carter to throw an interception, having the game just over and hour away from the Gators home site ever year does play to an advantage - lets not be ignorant.

Bernie said...

Well color me ignorant...

As was pointed out, we weren't griping about the advantages/disadvantages back in the '80s. And I'm pretty sure Jax hasn't moved since then..

As far as the economics, I hear ya. But it's warmer down there, it's a nice location for a football game in late Oct/early Nov. Like the argument against having the Super Bowl in Atl, the one for keeping the WLOCP in place is the same. Atlanta runs the chance of being cold and surly compared to warm and sunny.

Demz da breaks for businesses in Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

Agree on all points.

That being said, I may never, ever to to JAX again.

Last year might have been the most painful loss in my lifetime. Combine that with the money I spent, a seven hour drive, thousands of obnoxious Gator fans and a crippling hangover and it may have been the final straw

Anonymous said...

While I agree that this is probably just posturing for a better deal, Gary Stokan is a badass and he will put together a package that will entice UF and UGA to want to come.

I think that having the Clemson/Bama, Vpi/Bama games there was merely a practice run for what needs to be done to get the Cocktail Party to Atlanta.

And, of course, we have got the Ace-in-the-hole of downtown video poker, something that can only be matched by podunk, backwood hamlets in North Carolina and Mississipi. That should seal the deal.

Anonymous said...

I don't care to tailgate underneath a bridge or in a parking deck. Nothing like tailgating in Jax, nothing like the landing thursday after checking in at the Omni, nothing like seeing the St. John's River. Vince Dooley owned the gators, the evil one owned us, and Meyer's got a good start. I don't think playing the gators in the dome gives us any advantage whatsoever. i like the game in Jax because it's a mini vacation, something to look forward to. chicken shit indeed. can you imagine the grief we'll hear if/when they beat us in the Dome?

Anonymous said...

Even though we haven't had much success against the Gators, it sure is fun to be there when we win. To see the empty seats on their side is fantastic!

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

@ Jacob: "My reason for moving from Jacksonville every year doesn't have to do with winning or losing - it has to do with economics."

There are so many traditions in college football being trumped by economics that it is a shame. But I'll speak to the economics of the situation, too.

I grew up on St. Simons Island. If you think the WLOCP only benefits businesses in Florida, you are out of your mind. That game is the biggest Coastal Georgia moneymaker between Labor Day Weekend and St. Patrick's Day.

And do not forget the huge contingent of Dawg fans who live south of I - 16. The WLOCP is in OUR backyard.

Dawg93 said...

Anon @ 10:51 - couldn't agree more. While PWD makes great points about keeping it in Jax, it may be a long time before I go back after last year's trainwreck. Just a miserable, miserable experience. Tired of going down there with our hopes high and then getting them dashed while having to endure the off-the-charts obnoxiousness of the Gator fans. Unfortunately, I missed the thrill of the '07 win because we just had our first child. Damnit.

the tri guy said...

Jacob--Be careful, you're making a little too logical of an argument as to why The City Too Busy To Bath is a tradition whose time has passed.

Also, PWD--how does being Florida's bitch in Florida for 20 years help us recruit that area? You know what would help us recruit that area better? Winning more than 15% of the time during a recruit's lifetime. The location of that game isn't helping us in recruiting one bit. Not when we're nationally and regionally seen as losers down there.

Ubiquitous GA Alum said...

The Dome max numbers are misleading. They may squeeze about 75K in there, but you don't want an extra seat.

For the 06 Chicken Bowl I had "overflow" seats. They were directly behing a column on a folding chair placed in the concourse.

We couldn't see but about 1/3 of the field and that was when we stood on top of the chairs.

We stayed for the opening kickoff and stormed out of the Dome. Called the pup on the way home and told her to pause the DVR while we drove home ... watched the game at home.

[By the way, Chick-Fil-A did refund my money when I complained.]

Anonymous said...

This is laughable. Move the game to Atlanta and the world will perceive us as losers running from a fight, regardless of what excuse we use.

Then, watch the world laugh when we lose the first cocktail game played in the Dome. Talk about being ridiculed.

Nope, for anyone that is tired of making the trip and watching us lose, just stay your ass at home. Someone will gladly buy your ticket. Direct your anger and concern at Coach Richt, not at the city of Jacksonville.

Nothing more humiliating than running from a fight when all you have to do is hit back once in a while.

the tri guy said...

Nope, for anyone that is tired of making the trip and watching us lose, just stay your ass at home.--I have, since 2005 when those "neutral" Jacksonville natives working at the hotel I was staying out were doing the Gator chomp at me the morning I was checking out.

By all means, take my ticket and have a blast down there. I'll stay home and be heartbroken, but I'll be a grand better off and not have a 6 hour drive.

Anonymous said...

Tri Guy - win a couple and the mullet nation will stfu and you won't have to endure the "chomp".

Btw, the hotels in Jax proper are weak. You're better off at Amelia or PV.

Anonymous said...

Make it a home-and-home game. Solves lots of problems. Screw Jacksonville. Screw the state of Florida.

Anonymous said...

After reading the comments about this stuff from a few different sources this morning I find it interesting how opinions vary from site to site.

Reading the posts from all of the bed-wetters on the AJC site makes me think that many of our Dawg fan brethren have lost their minds.

It's atleast a little bit comforting that the consensus opinion here is that moving the game is a bad idea. No disrespect meant to those who don't agree.

Anonymous said...

It's an away game every year versus our athletic equal/superior.

If we want to start winning championships, we need to start playing our best opponent at home or closer to home every other year.

To argue otherwise is foolish.

Florida doesn't suck anymore, and they call it home field advantage for a reason.

Paul Westerdawg said...

Tri Guy,

And losing in Atlanta would make it better for us?

If you pull out, you're assuming that being down there is why we lose. And that's flat out not the case.

We lose because we lose.

If we lose in ATL, I promise it will be worse.

Dawgnoxious said...

Dawg93: it may be a long time before I go back after last year's trainwreck.

So we should move the game to Atlanta so you don't have as far to drive when we lose? PWD said it best: recruit better players, win the game, and stop making excuses. Jacksonville is a lot like Knoxville: my opinion of the town improves much more when we whip someone's ass.

the tri guy said...

PWD,

I'm for home-and-home, not ATL. If we go home-and-home, let's see if any of Florida's other SEC rivals jump at the chance to give up home field advantage every year for the privilege of playing in them in Jax every year.

PTC DAWG said...

Leave it in Jax...Our CORCHES & TEAM need MAN UP.

Castleberry said...

I think this is all posturing. And I think we should squeeze every last penny out of the state of Florida for keeping the game down there. I do think Orson's comments about tailgating in Atlanta are amusing. When he mentioned "under the bridge" and "shanty-town" I thought he was talking about Jax. There are a lot of sketchy spots down there.

chris said...

I live in ATL and would to not have to go all the way to JAX every year. Almost every year the trip is more hassle than fun. I spend way too much money and we never win. I am not saying we win more in ATL but hell, it can't be worse...

Anonymous said...

In ATL we could at least be surrounded by OUR sidewalk alumni.

dawgnotdog said...

ONe thing about the timeout in 93....it was a hell of a lot clearer in 93 than about 3/4 of the ones the coaches (damn, especially Tuberville) call from the sidelines nowadays.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that if we moved the game to the ATL that we would automatically start winning every year, but I do absolutely think that there's some mental block associated with playing Florida in the state of Florida. I don't think talent has a whole lot to do with it in recent years.

Dubbayoo said...

UGA playing games in Florida isn't a good thing for us because we get our butts kicked...but keep it there for the other reasons you said.

the tri guy said...

+1 Dubbayoo....We'll keep losing the actual game, but man is the party fun!

Future Alum said...

i would kill a man to play florida in sanford.
can you imagine how ridiculous north campus would be???

Bernie said...

Future Alum - we did it before during the Gator Bowl remodel. It wasn't a great experience.

Dante said...

You're against it because you don't want to break tradition. Everything else is a rationalization. If there was long storied history of home-and-homes and we were talking about moving to a permanent neutral site, there would be a laundry list of reasons why not to.

Personally, I see no logical reason to play the Gators every year in a stadium so neutral it's called the Gator Bowl. That might not be the single reason we lose it so often but it sure doesn't help. That's why teams prefer home games to away games.

Anonymous said...

The real answer to this question should be what is best for the team, and no one knows what is best for the team better than Richt. His answer, he would like to look at moving the game. That sounds like it should end the debate. He knows what it takes to get the team ready and what his team faces in prep for the game. I don’t see him offering a punch-list full of reasons for the change, he would be a fool to publicly point out the weaknesses of his team playing a road game, but if he thinks it would be better to move the game closer, then I think he has seen something that might be fixed by moving the game to ATL (or Athens). I am not saying that Richt can not make a mistake; lord knows we have all seen that he can, but if the coach thinks it is worth the effort to get the game moved then he has my vote. Along the lines of let the Generals fight the battles, not the politicians. You do that by giving the ones in the trenches what they say they need to win, not what you would like for them to have. If location is a tool that my guy thinks he needs to even the playing field, I’m going to give it to him.

The argument that UGA did just fine under Dooly points out more about the quality of UF at the time then anything else, especially location. It is not a valid argument; at best UGA and UF are equal in talent and in coaches, not like it was under Dooly. If this IS the case then the only real advantage you can point to has to be the location of the game, FLORIDA! Say what you want, Jville is home field for UF, no matter how you sugar coat it or alternate the endzone each year – home field advantage goes to Florida. We are so tied up in tradition that we gleefully give them home field advantage every year and chastise those that call for it to be moved, all in the name of tradition. I am all about tradition, but I like the tradition of Georgia winning more than the tradition of playing a game in UF’s backyard. Until UF drops in the talent level or downgrades in coaching, the only two ways I see getting a shift in the advantage category is to move the game AND/or keep an open week before the game. I also whole heartedly agree that Georgia needs to clear our future schedules for the week before the Florida game. That is the first thing that should be done, years ago. If your argument is that location has nothing to do with the game, it is simply the fact that our guys wet the bed at the first sight of the chomp; I would tell you to read the first paragraph again. It might not be wetting the bed so much as something in prep or logistics. Again, give the coach what he thinks he needs to win.

As for being chicken sh!t for wanting the game moved, I would say this, would you rather be called chicken sh!t for moving the game, which UF fans will soon forget if it evens the win/loss record, or would you prefer to be called stupid for getting the chicken sh!t kicked out of you year end and year out and keep coming back for more. Has anyone ever heard of the quick and simple definition of crazy? You keep repeating the same action over and over, hoping for a different outcome, but it never happens. If Georgia was 0 for 17 over the past 17 years would as many people still be calling for the game to stay in Jville, for the sake of tradition? Those that keep saying you should not mess with tradition are holding on to hope, which is supported by a win every 3 to 5 years (even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then). It’s just enough to keep you coming back for more and hoping the worm will turn. I don’t see that happening as long as things remain the same; that is the coaching, the player talent level and the location. Home and Home would be far better than Home (for UF) and Home (for UF).

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for the poor fans in Atlanta fans that want the game in the Dome so they can avoid a 6 hour drive just to see their Dawgs play.
Fans from South Georgia make that trek 6 or 7 times a year for home games and they never whine this much.

Anonymous said...

I stopped going to Jax after the 2005 game. I didn't enjoy the expensive hotel, the Jax cops, or the Florida fans.

Jax isn't a level playing field. It is a hour from Gainesville and you can't tell me that isn't an advantage for the Gator players.

I don't care about tradition. I don't care about how moving the game looks. I don't care about the tailgating. I want to WIN. UGA has to beat Florida and Auburn in the same year if there is any chance of a MNC. Go home and away and there are no excuses.

the tri guy said...

Anon @ 3:49,

It's like you read my mind.

Anonymous said...

I can give you a real, real short answer to this. What does Florida want - to keep it in Florida. That seals it for me, if Florida wants it to stay in Florida, I want it moved. I will be damned if I will do what my enemy wants, that is just stupid.

Paul Westerdawg said...

Dear Anon Long Winded at 3:49,


Richt's record on the road is dramatically better than at home.

If it's really a road game every year, then why wouldn't we want to keep it on the road?

tommy tube said...

Wouldn't moving it home and home free us up to be able to schedule bigger name opponents? Isn't that what has supposedly hamstrung some of our rumored out of conference series, that need for the 6th home game?

Anonymous said...

Richt is 42 and 9 at home, 30 and 4 on the road and 10 and 9 at neutral sites. Just looking at these numbers as percentages, home is loosing 21% of the time, away 13% of the time and neutral 90% of the time. Is that a real argument? If you really look at it, Jacksonville is considered a neutral site, thus we loose 90% of the time. I would rather have a home/home deal, at least it would be only a loss 21% or 13% of the time, not 90.
If you want to take the neutral site argument out of it and go with just home and road wins and losses, I would say that 42/9 vs. 30/4 is not a dramatic difference. You are looking at difference of 8% between the home and away losses. If Richt had just won 3 more games at home (45&6) you would be at 13%, just like the road record. So the argument about his road record being vastly better than the home record boils down to three losses/wins at home. Just looking at the difference between the number of home and road games played I do not put much stock in the argument. We lost more because we played more.
If you do consider the Florida game in Jacksonville a road game, Richt’s record for away would be 32 and 10 for a loss 31% of the time. Yep that’s a no brainer, move the thing.

Bernie said...

Anon 6:09 - assuming you stats are correct, how's a 10-9 record losing 90%?

Anonymous said...

Recruit better players.
Resurrect George Patton.
Clone Herschel 5 times.
Make a pact with Lucifer (cause FG jesus ain't doing it).
Place roadside bombs on 301 north.
Buy a voodoo doll.
Steal a stealth bomber and take out Gainesville.
Lace their Gatorade with arsenic.
Infiltrate their program with a spy
Hold Urban's family hostage

OR

Recruit better players.
Train harder.
Practice harder and better.
Grow a pair.
Man Up.
WIN THE GAME.

But whatever you do, don't move the damn game.

Sports Dawg said...

To heck with neutral. It's time for home and home baby!

H.L. said...

Amen.

Anonymous said...

I have so many fond memories of Jacksonville, win or lose, but since I was there in 1980 I will fight ANY move out of Jax. Tradition trumps virtually everything, and we have lost far too many great traditions of the past.

Finally, downtown Atlanta that time of year has no charm, and you want to compare THAT venue to being next to the water in Jacksonville? It is a JOKE.

Anonymous said...

For all you people claiming CMR winning % on the road is dramatically better(PWD) Home .823
Away .882... doesn't sound so dramatic does it. A WHOPPING 3 game diff.

Anonymous said...

Also, I am tired of hearing about the last time they came to Athens that didn't work out so well did it? Well, that was quite possibly one of our worse teams and at the same time one of their best teams. Hell, they hung 1 less than half a hundred on us last year. ITs a home game for Fl. Ask anybody else of the SECs big teams if they want a neutral site game an hour and half away from UF campus and see what your answer is.

Anonymous said...

The actual percentages for losses would be home-17%, away-11% and nuetral-47%. If CMR had won 3 more games at home that would take it to 11%, just like the away loss percentage. If the Jacksonville games are added into the away catagory CMR would have lost 24% of the time on the road. The numbers are wrong, but the point is not. I have to say, if the wins & losses given by anon 6:09 are right, that is not a great advantage.
I do not like the ATL option, but if UF wants to keep the game in Jacksonville, fine, but we play every other game in Athens. Home and Home.

the tri guy said...

Anon @ 11:46, you nailed it. I don't see any other SEC team foaming at the mouth to give up their home game every other year to play UF in Jax every year. Probably b/c they don't consider it very neutral. Funny, huh?

james said...

isnt the stadium split 50-50, they show enough pics of it on cbs

Anonymous said...

yes, the tickets and fans within the stadium are virtually 50-50. I've always said that although we drive further, our guys have as much support with Jax Municipal Stadium as do the Florida boys. When we score, our fans make just as much noise. And when we beat their asses, they leave just as quickly and quietly as we do when they beat ours.

As for our two decade losing problem, it has never been about the location or the fans or the st johns river, or the drive down. It's been primarily about Ray Goff and Jim Donnan combined with Spurrier coached teams. Lately, it's been about Mark Richt and his team's inability to play their best due to the mental intimidation and pressure associated with playing Florida. Which has led to tight play, which has led to mistakes, which leads to more losses.

When we play loose, our chances our winning increase exponentially.

We have traveled much greater distances to play teams and have trounced them when they WALK from their cozy locker room to the field. Conversely, we could play Florida in Anchorage, AK and play stiff - not from the cold, but from the aforementioned mental strain.

Don't forget that the roles were once COMPLETELY reversed. It was the FLORIDA fans that wanted to move the game from Jax. Can you believe that? They wanted to move what we are now complaining as a home game for them.

This is what PWD is telling you guys and you're not listening. You're coming up with all these pathetic excuses like revenue to the state of Florida, you're tired of traveling, you're embarrassed when hotel employees "chomp" at you, beer sold in Florida is weaker than that of other states, etc, etc. You're literally sprinting to the easiest, most convenient perceived solution when in fact it's not a solution at all. Florida's solution in 1989 was to hire a man that wanted to win this game so bad that he would have sold his child into slavery. That, and the fact that his arrival corresponded with the arrival of Ray Goff (ugh). Our solution is to manage the schedule in our favor to have the week-off beforehand, continue to recruit and work extremely hard and prepare well, and primarily, our coaches have to WANT this game more than any other. Us fans are already their. When our coaches and players want it as much as Spurrier's teams did in 1989 then we'll turn this around. I'm not saying they don't want it now, but the record speaks for itself.

In addition, Urban moving to another school would be tremendously helpful. But I'd rather whip him straight up. For Christ's sake, Ole Miss and the Nutt did it in the swamp.

Just my .02. Don't move the game - grow a pair, get pissed, work hard, and win damnit!

Anonymous said...

Oklahoma doesn't seem to have a problem playing Texas in Dallas.

It's called losing. We're losing and we're looking for an excuse. And blaming the losses on the venue makes us look stupid.

Keep it in JAX and stay home if you don't like the drive or atmosphere. Something tells me somoene else will take your spot.

Kay said...

Screw moving the game to the dome, move it to a home and home. Georgia doesn't need a party, Georgia doesn't need to appease it's south georgia fans, and Georgia doesn't need to continue playing here to get recruits. We have a national presence on television already; last I looked Knowshon was from Jersey and Stafford was from Texas. I don't think either one of them signed because of the game being held in Jax. Secondly, a Georgia fan will follow his or her team anywhere. I seriously doubt we lose the south Georgia crowd simply because they can't go to Jax for the game anymore. Third, both Sanford and Ben Hill can accomodate 88,000+ fans so that would not be a problem. Lastly, if you are there to party, do it on your own time, the Dawgs are there to play football. I could give two cents about the people who are down there to have a 4-day drinkfest. It's time for this game to move to a home and home series. Period. That's how it should be.

Daniel said...

We dont have to play in Jacksonville to win Florida recruits. Traveling does play a part in the game. I want UGA to win. I could care less about the tailgaters that screw up and disrespect grounds anyways. Smaller Ticket allowment means less retards.

Ya, move the game. Whatever PWD.

Daniel said...

I also dont care about what venue you want to visit game visitors. Let me make that clear. Because the people in the stands dont win the game.

 
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