It will be easier for recent University of Georgia graduates to get football tickets.
Georgia fans cheer in the stands during a game against the Yellow Jackets on Nov. 24.
Under a new “Young Alumni Program,” more than 2,000 season tickets are being set aside for those who finished school in the last five years.
The tickets are coming from the student ticket allotment that were left unused in recent seasons.
The plan was approved without objections by the University of Georgia Athletic Association Board of Directors in its meeting Tuesday.
“I think this is a slam-dunk from a students’ perspective,” student board member Ryan Scates, a 2010 graduate and third-year law student, told the board.
Georgia president Michael Adams said he told Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive about the plan in a breakfast meeting on Monday.
“He really lit up,” Adams told the board’s executive committee. “He thought that was one of the most creative ideas.”
There were 17,910 tickets reserved for students last year, but the average “scan” rate for home games since 2009 is 11,802.
“Needless to say that’s been a hole in our stadium,” athletic director Greg McGarity told the board “We’ve sold the tickets to the students but they have not shown up.”
The number of student tickets allocated now will be 15,856 in Sanford Stadium, which seats 92,746. Georgia says any student who wants a ticket will still be able to get one because it is essentially “oversubscribing” these tickets.
The highest total student attendance during that period was the Auburn game in 2011 when 15,450 showed up.
“We need to fill the stadium,” McGarity said. “It doesn’t look good to have vacant seats there. So, what can we do to be proactive and guard against that? We’re still going to probably have them as the data will show, but at least that’s 2,000 that we can eliminate. We’re still going to end up more than likely with tickets to sell because that’s just the way it is now.”
Students paid $8 per ticket.
Young Alumni — including those who were undergraduates, masters, doctoral or professional students — will pay $40 per ticket, but won’t have to foot over a minimum donation in the first year like other season ticket holders. The second year, the minimum donation will be $250. The third year, they will be required to contribute the base amount for their seats.
The tickets for young alumni will be in section 317 in the East end zone, McGarity said.