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Ticket Sales Down From Last Year. Not Really Surprised.

Let's be honest and look in the mirror at ourselves. Engineers are cheap. They want the biggest bang for their buck and grumble at the first sign of wasted spending which is one reason why you saw so much grumbling during the Chan Gailey years. Why should I spend $X for an inferior product when I can just buy one ticket on the street for a significantly lower price?

Tech fans cannot use the "inferior product" complaint anymore to not buy tickets. Instead, many seem to be choosing to use the "boring schedule" complaint. "Our home schedule is boring and unsexy. Why should I buy season tickets?" Well, do you support Georgia Tech football or do you support our opponents? I go to football games to watch Georgia Tech play personally.

These feelings have always sat deep down inside me but many of us got an email in our inbox this morning from Dan Radakovich in a special edition of "The Good Word" in which he states:

Currently, we are about 900 season tickets shy of where we were a year ago on this date. Although we have right at the 24,000 mark, we have a ways to go to hit our goal of 26,500 season tickets. One of the things I have written about before in this space is the cyclical nature of our season ticket numbers. In the odd years, when we have Georgia, Clemson and Virginia Tech on our home schedule, we see a spike in sales. Our statistics would show that a number of folks calculate their purchases in order to best position themselves for additional tickets to our rivalry game.

Those "number of folks" are easily georgie fans who can't get tickets to the game through their own school. They buy our season tickets, try to sell all the other tickets but keep the last one for themselves. The remainder of the spike in sales in odd years goes to fickle Techies who don't understand what it means to be a Tech "fan", where you live and you die with your team no matter the opponent. Because you hate all opponents who walk in on our field.

In hopes of taking advantage of this cyclical upswing, the athletic department has changed the policy for the georgie game itself. To be able to get extra tickets to the game, you must now be a season ticket holder for two consecutive years.

You may recall that last year, for the first time, we offered all available tickets to the UGA game to our own season ticket holders. There was a formula by which our Georgia Tech patrons could purchase extra tickets to that game. The experiment was an overwhelming success, as all remaining UGA tickets outside of our contractual commitment were sold to GT season ticket holders. 

Now we are taking this process one step further. Because of that demand, it will now be necessary to be a season ticket holder for two consecutive years (this year and next) in order to get priority on the purchase of additional Georgia tickets in the single game sale next year...

We have discussed this issue multiple times on FTRS because our attendance and loyalty is questioned at time. We've discussed the odd issues, such as rain, temperature and Braves games on the same day. We have also talked about the upcoming home opponent as well. Probably the most relevant piece put together was when we looked back at the previous "lackluster" home schedule and evaluated attendance for discussion.

Bird has a theory that there is a significant number of alumni who will not buy into Georgia Tech football because they have such bad memories from their times at Tech. They do not have memories that makes them want to come back to BDS@HGF for nostalgia's sake. Personally, I can't think of any alumni I've met from the mid-90's under the Bill Lewis era.

Engineers are going to want to see consistency before they "buy in" completely and pay more money than they want.  They will want to see that last year wasn't a fluke, yes even with Paul Johnson at the helm. It is the poison that Tech drinks when it tries to do business with people who evaluate efficiency and cost savings as their career choices. Essentially, our fanbase is attracted to shiny objects and big name opponents that come into Atlanta. However, we always talk about how we want to reach the big stage, the same level as Florida State, Virginia Tech, and yes, even georgie. But Georgia Tech needs to bring in the cash to reach the next level...somehow, someway.


What are your thoughts on this issue? Are there deeper factors at work? How can the Athletic Department increase revenue against a stacked deck of unsexy teams?