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.
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.
-- Another reason to stay in Jax - GTP
-- Orson's take on this - EDSBS