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Blog: McGarity hopes SEC change will pump up atmosphere at UGA games

Jeremy Pruitt’s Georgia defense could get a boost this season from Imagine Dragons or Eminem.

Sanford Stadium—and other Southeastern Conference stadiums for that matter—will be able to play recorded music in between plays in an effort to pump up the in-game atmosphere, Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said.

“If you need to get people revved up for a big third-down play, you can do that,” McGarity said. “You could always do it with your band, but now you can do it any way you want to. You still have to stop once the quarterback gets over the ball, gets under the center or in the shotgun.”

McGarity said the SEC has relaxed its rules on playing music over the stadium sound system that should give Georgia the same kind of environment during the game as the Bulldogs saw in last year’s season-opener at ACC member Clemson.

“They were able to do things in the ACC that we were not in the SEC,” McGarity said. “The rules have changed now for 2014 where we’re able to utilize songs and music up until the point when the quarterback gets over the ball. That’s a big change in the in-game atmosphere.”

McGarity is on an SEC working group, chaired by Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin, that looks at marketing, promotions and fan interaction and declining attendance.

That group felt like adding music to the in-game atmosphere “would create more excitement across the conference,” and entertain fans more and help generate more enthusiasm, McGarity said.

Schools, including Georgia, have dealt in recent years with declining student attendance. That includes Florida. Games in HDTV at home and spotty Wi-Fi in some stadiums could be keeping fans on the couch.

“Those of us who saw what it did at Clemson, it energized their fan base with certain songs,” McGarity said.

South Carolina is known for playing “Sandstorm” to get its crowd going.

McGarity didn’t know what kind of music might be played between the hedges, but said he’ll meet with staff at Georgia this week to determine how to implement some new wrinkles.

“We’ll probably test a few things during the spring game,” he said.

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