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July 16, 2008

The Cut-Off Scores: It's not all bad news for new givers

Preface: If you're looking for the article about cut-off scores, you can find it here.

If you didn't get tickets, and you're feeling blue. Here's a half baked attempt at some perspective on the situation. It won't make you feel better, but it's just something to consider. Some of it is a repost from stuff I wrote in the comments section earlier.

Ticket Demand is Cyclical:
The current system can be taken advantage of if you recognize that it's basic economics. If you only want tickets when EVERYONE wants tickets, you're going to pay more and/or you're not going to get them. If you want to get tickets forever, the system will come around for you.

We're just in an extremely high period of demand with an amazing home schedule. The schedule and the team expectations will soften up in 2-3 years, and you'll be able to get in.

The System Rewards Longevity:
The system takes care of the fans who put up with the most bad football for the longest.

As my brother pointed out today, students today get the benefit of watching some of the best football in UGA history as students. The downside, they come out of school unable to afford season the short term.

Alumni like me (mid-90s grad) saw some of the worst football in UGA history as students, but season tickets were easily accessible when we graduated. That's the trade off.

According to, the average donor has about 10,000-12,000 points. That means that over half of the season ticket holders today are well below the amount that some first time givers attempted to pay to buy their way into the stadium. That's a system that rewards longevity.

My Advice:
If you only want season tickets when UGA is good, then scalp the tickets. If you're serious about purchasing season tickets for the rest of your life, then give a few thousand bucks in your first year. After that give as if you were going to get tickets. Drop $1,000 or so a year to the Hartman Fund. If you don't get the tickets from UGA, you can use the ticket refund to scalp. After a few years, demand will drop and/or ticket prices will rise. When those things happen, more folks will fail to renew. Boom. You're in. It was only one year ago that the cut-off score for new givers was $1,900.

Bottom line...there's no such thing as a sellout. If you want to go to games, scalping on the bridge for the bad games will always be cheaper than face + contribution. If you want to go to the good games, the price will still rarely be greater than face + contribution.

Having said all of that...if I had written a $5,000 check and not gotten season tickets, I would've been physically ill. I gave the biggest gift of my life this year, and I didn't qualify for any road games. So I do sympathize.

It is what it is. But it really isn't a long term problem for you.

For other options on getting in:
-- Season Tickets for Sale on Stubhub
-- Single Game tickets for sale on Stubhub


(ticket image:


Anonymous said...

Seems like the away game policies need some tweaking....a few big donors are buying all of the tickets to away games. Perhaps these should be sold in smaller allotments so more folks can get a shot at them. Or put the road games in tiers - you can only get tix to one of the tier 1 road games.

Anonymous said...

Tickets are limited to 2 or 4 for the big games, so "a few big donors" are hardly buying up ALL of the away tickets.

dawgnotdog said...

Let me open this discussion up....

On the AJC, there is a statement that only 698 season tickets were available this year.

Now, assuming that the average person buys 4, that means that at least 175 folks ponied up at least 8700 to get season tickets.

In reality I find that hard to believe, and I am more inclined to believe that some with 4 added 2 to get 6, or some ticket brokers donated a ton and bought up blocks.


Anonymous said...

Agreed PWD.

I can still see the Vandy RBs running off left tackle for 250+ yards from 1994.

My bride and I sat there through the Ray Goof years and this is payback!

Anonymous said...

I think you should only be allowed to buy as many road game tickets as you purchase season tickets.

That solves the problem of a few people "buying all of the tickets to away games."

Unknown said...


There's no conspiracy here. It's just that there are 3 types of folks who snagged those 698 tickets.

1. existing givers attempting to max out their allotment.

2. FORMER givers who lost faith or hit tough times and wanted back in. You never lose your priority points so they could've had 20k points before and given the minimum to get back in line.

3. New givers who gave over 10,651 bucks. This was probably the smallest number of the three groups.

dawgnotdog said...


I tend to have a bit of a problem with 1 when it costs "new fans" their chance at tickets.

2 and problem, as long as those in category 2 can't worm thier way back into better seats because of the number.

And let me say, I don't have a dog in this fight...long time season ticket holder who has sat thru quite a few lean seasons.

Anonymous said...

Great article, Paul. And you don't even have to go back to the mid-90s to find a point at which it was easy to get season tickets.

I graduated in December 2004 and didn't have a full-time job until March of 2005, so I was unable to contribute for 2005 season tickets (combined with the fact that I moved to DC that March and wasn't sure how that would affect things). For the 2006 season, I donated the minimum ($500) for two tickets and barely got in, though they were awful seats on the first row of the lower level behind the UGA bench. The one good thing Joe Tereshinski III ever did for me was get me into the season ticket party.

In 2007, I was able to renew and get seats that weren't so bad, again with the minimum. So I'm sitting here with decent season tickets for my third year with a grand GEEF total of $1500.

I'd venture as far as saying that if we don't win the MNC and Stafford/Moreno leave, you'll see the first-year contribution drop back down to somwhere between one and two thousand.

Unknown said...


I have some up close and personal experience with getting out of line and then getting back in line. (family members...not me)

Barring a massive gift at re-entry, you end up with much worse tickets. Trust me on that one.


Hassan said...

It is cyclical and it is supply and demand.

UGA tix are a long term investment. If you want in, start donating to build up points (think of it like a football 401k - the earlier your start, the better off you'll be). Even if it's just a little bit. When the minimum qualifiers are more reasonable, you'll get yours.

Anonymous said...

Georgia will be the AP pre-season #1... for the first time ever (only the 2nd time ever in the AP pre-season Top 5; 2004 being the first).

Here is a list of the AP pre-season #1s showing which of those have finished #1.

blackertai said...

I know I speak for a lot of us recent grads when I ask were the hell are we suppose to come up with a spare $1000 dollars in an economy like this!? The only reason I'm getting tickets is because my little sister is going abroad for a year of study in Germany, and will still be here long enough to (hopefully) get me her tickets. No way with my out-of-college job I could have afforded to give UGA $1000 for tickets I wouldn't get. Your point is well understood about the nature of the investment I'd have been making, but food and lodging have to come first. Seriously though, these are some expensive ass tickets.

Anonymous said...

It is not really like a football 401(k). If I deposit $500.00 in a 401(k) I will get a benefit in the future, regardless of whether I contribute another dime. If you look at Hartman Fund contributions, those only pay off at the point where the total is high enough to get you into the ticket line. You could contribute $1,000 per year and still not be at a level where you can order tickets if the cut off level grows. I realize that it is possible the cut off level could decrease, but it could also increase.

By contrast, then, I could make one $500.00 contribution to a 401(k) and 30 years later recover my $500 plus interest, but I could make a yearly Hartman Fund contribution of $1,000.00 and never get one football ticket out of it.

PWD's suggestion is to make an initial $2,000 or $3,000 contribution to get points started and look for the time when the cut off reduces to the $2,000 to $3,000 level. That gambles on the cutoff going down to 2007 and earlier levels. Ignoring the issue of how many young grads can pay $2,000 to $3,000 just to get in line, if I gamble on the cutoff going down I would save the contribution, buy season tickets on stubhub or whatever, then get into the Hartman Fund at a time the cutoff goes down and I then give the big chunk as a first time contribution.

Anonymous said...

Actually, if you want to think of a real a new graduate....

If you have children, when you start donating, put the donation and tickets in their name.

THink of how much they will have built up by the time THEY graduate.

Anonymous said...

If you cant afford to donate $1,000 then season tickets for UGA football isnt for you.

Anonymous said...

PWD - you are sooo right when you broke down the three types of boosters who went after the 698 available. I whole heartedly agree that the main ticket buyers were the first two examples. I think that the cutoff number wont be coming down to $2000 any time soon and here is why. I think you are seeing a lot of the donors who already have tickets moving to pick up extra tickets. I dont think this is to scalp them but a way to get more points in their acccount so they can get access for away/Florida tickets. My contention is that I bet our donation levels wouldnt be at the record level they were at if it werent for donors trying to get enough points to qualify for WLOCP tickets. I am a small fry so I am trying to get to the cutoff limit (while the big boys want to make sure they get those sweeeet Club tickets) and figure I will make it in a few years. Let me walk you through an example. Say I am a donor who has 4 tickets and my donor level is at 5000 points. If I can pick up two more tickets I would increase my required donation to $1500 from $1000. I can give the 2 tickets to a buddy for the cost of the donation+tickets and therefore get an extra $500 a year going towards my cumulative total. That of course depends upon the cutoff level coming down from 10,651. If I get the max of 8 tickets then my point total goes up at least 2000 every year - the more better. I am sure there are lots of donors that are doing this.

Anonymous said...

It's funny to see the weeping and gnashing of teeth over the expensive and intricate season ticket policy at UGA...

...and then read several posts back about how easy UGA fans are buying up ASU season tickets in order to watch one game.

It's been said before, but I'm glad we have this type of problem rather than a lack of season ticket buyers. I'll gladly scalp tickets on the bridge to join up with this type of passionate fan base.

S.A.W.B. said...

Anon 7:06 has it hit on the head. Remember, every year GTU has some sort of ticket package promo (4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 cokes, 4 dates with the homecoming 'queen', for $44) to try and have more yellow/white/black/navy/etc in the stands than whomever is showing up to play them on Thursday night.

We're on TV almost every game, the place is always packed out in Red and Black, and we now never have to worry about large blocks of opposing fans picking up sections at face value. This is the best problem in the world to have.

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