Dawg Postings: July 10, 2014

Dawg Post looks around the Internet for the stories you need to read and some that are just fun.

If you are Georgia Tech when is the time to start looking for red… er… yellow flags to tell you that something wrong is going on in terms of the long-term health of your attendance?

Right about now.

According to Ken Sugiura’s reporting in the AJC, Tech’s chief financial officer Frank Hardymon told the Tech Athletic Board to get ready for a decrease in ticket sales this year on North Avenue.

“Ticket sales revenue, while budgeted conservatively, is projected to drop from $11.6 million to $9.8 million. It’s the second-largest source of revenues after the ACC distribution. A projected slight drop in season ticket sales, six home games (as opposed to seven) and the even-year schedule without a home game against Georgia are primary factors.”

A $1.8 million drop in ticket revenue is a significant drop not just in tickets, but in overall revenue. The 15% drop in ticket revenue has to be a major concern if you are Tech. But that the $1.8 million decrease represents is a 2.4% drop in total revenue for the Jackets is a real issue.

In business (and trust me, Tech, like Georgia, is in business), revenue can fluctuate from year to year – that’s business. But that your business can fluctuate based on if your most hated competitor comes to town or not has to be an unhealthy feeling.

“The department has hopes that the 2015 football home schedule, which includes Georgia and Florida State, will create enough revenues to significantly restore the reserve fund.”

Florida State can’t be depended on to fill up Bobby Dodd the way Georgia can. Consider that the Noles are not considered a good travel team. In other words, Florida State fans will show up in Florida, but they are not going to travel in droves to other places. Georgia playing in Atlanta, on the other hand, is a different ball game.

But even Georgia isn’t as big of a draw as it once was at Bobby Dodd. Georgia Tech won’t mail press passes for whatever reason, so you have to go to the box office to pick your credential up before games. That the Tech ticket office was still selling tickets to that day’s game with Georgia was amazing to me on a couple of different levels.

Tech can’t sell out the stadium for Georgia? Why didn’t Georgia fans scoop up the tickets? Seriously, how are there tickets available for a game like this? Is the Tech fanbase that drained of Paul Johnson?

I don’t know.

The good news for Tech (and everyone else in college football) is that the ridiculous TV contracts are supplementing income lost from ticket revenues. Revenue for tickets may be down, but TV money is flowing in. So the bottom line is good… for now.

But we all know that everyone in the ACC is getting about the same about of money. So the money is all relative inside the conference. Tech is going to have to sell more tickets in the future if it wants a dependable revenue stream, and that seems to be an uphill battle with every game on TV and a cranky, shrinking, older fanbase. I don’t envy the marketing department’s situation down there. Maybe they should offer clear whiskey at all home games.

To that point, consider what Jennifer Smith wrote in the Lexington Herald-Leader about the Cats’ scheduling situation for the future: “Finding three opponents willing to come to Commonwealth Stadium and play against Kentucky has become more costly as of late.”

No kidding. Please explain.

“The Cats' three non-conference home games against Tennessee-Martin, Louisiana-Monroe and Ohio University will cost more than $2 million this season, according to the contracts obtained by the Herald-Leader.”

That’s my point about all of this money in college football. Everyone is going to get in on the act – even the small fries. They directional and hyphenated schools know there is increasing competition to have big-league schools play home games. The SEC/BCS schools need the ticket revenue that a home game brings.

So the small fries are jacking the price… and you can tell. What’s this mean for Mississippi State, Georgia Tech and some of the other “smaller” BCS schools? They might not be able to afford these massive small fry payouts, so they will hit the road and play at the small fries.

Tech played at Middle Tennessee State in 2011, and Mississippi State is playing at South Alabama this fall. Both of those situations are crazy.

Speaking of Kentucky, I was just in the Bluegrass not that long ago. It is amazing how much they like this song:

I didn't see anyone in blackface (thank God), or anyone getting high, but before each event I was at (which was a wedding) that song was sung.

Dawg Post Top Stories