Georgia believes it has found a way to tap into the type of energetic crowds that boosted the Bulldogs‚Äô men‚Äôs basketball team late last season.
Athletic director Greg McGarity called it a ‚Äúmove-down plan,‚Äù which will allow fans a chance some time during the first half of games to fill seats closer to the Stegeman Coliseum court where there are no- shows from season ticket holders.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre trying to work out the details because if you‚Äôre buying a season ticket in section E and row 2, you don‚Äôt want to have to show up before the game and say, `Get out of my seat,‚Äô‚Äù McGarity said. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre saying at a certain point and time, is that the 16-minute mark, is that the 12-minute mark? `Hey it‚Äôs fair game now.‚Äô And if you come late, we still have ushers to get you out of your seat, but we felt like if we can promote, it‚Äôs going to incentivize. We‚Äôre trying to provide incentives from a point standpoint for those who show up 80, 90 or 100 percent of the time. And also work more aggressively that if you‚Äôre not coming, let us know and try to incentivize that also.‚Äù
The crowds for Georgia‚Äôs two NIT home games against Vermont and Louisiana Tech weren‚Äôt huge‚Äîthey were listed at 3,951 and 3,692, respectively‚Äîbut McGarity and others noticed the energy in those games when there was general admission seating, as well as the energy in a mid-February game against Ole Miss that sold out.
‚ÄúThose that want to be there, we want to get them down there close because we do have a lot of no-shows,‚Äù McGarity said.
Coach Mark Fox said ‚Äúestablishing that home court energy is so important because it‚Äôs such an advantage.‚Äù