Posted: 2:03 pm Thursday, August 28th, 2014

With season tickets down, Tech pushing group sales 

By Ken Sugiura

A variety of factors, including a so-so home schedule and the team’s lackluster performance last season, have dropped Georgia Tech’s season-ticket sales beneath projections.

As of earlier this week, sales had surpassed 21,000, under the 22,100 projected in the athletic association’s 2014-15 budget. The total was 23,008 in 2013 and 23,319 in 2012. The latter figure included 1,200 packages sold for $99.

Slumping season-ticket sales are a trend across major college and professional sports, as teams compete with the improvement of the home-viewing experience and fans’ unwillingness to commit to a season’s worth of tickets.

Sales in even years are typically lower for Tech because the Georgia game is in Athens in those seasons. Last year’s 7-6 record and low expectations for the 2014 team didn’t help, either.

“We knew going into the year that, based upon historical figures, we would realize a definite downturn,” said Rick Thorpe, associate athletic director for sales and fan experience.

Thorpe’s department has pushed heavily into group sales, which he said is going “exceedingly well.” For instance, about 2,000 group tickets have been sold for Saturday’s season opener against Wofford, Thorpe said, compared to about 250 for last year’s opener against Elon. The team has targeted youth football leagues, offering them the opportunity to play on Grant Field after Tech’s game is completed.

With tickets for groups, individual games and packages, Thorpe said attendance for the whole season is projected to be around last year’s average, 49,077, which represented a 12 percent increase from 2012.

Among sales strategies for this season are a three-game pack in which fans can pick whatever games they want (typically, mini-packs limit the number of marquee games fans can pick) and a family season-ticket plan. The athletic department also introduced a new game-day application for smart phones in hopes of enhancing the stadium experience.

Season tickets “drive the largest revenue, but it’s putting together the entire array of promotions and marketing initiatives and offers that hopefully can get us the attendance we want to have on a regular basis and cover the budgets and revenues needed,” Thorpe said.

207 comments
GTBee
GTBee

Group tickets, 3 game packages, reduced prices just band-aid the problem. None of these would matter if there was a good product or a good coach.

mgt87
mgt87

Some Coaches still fill stadiums.  Depends on the product, but every AA and coach has this challenge.  Some use opportunities and strengths to overcome the threats/weaknesses many do not, but all have the same environment.

carpetbaggersru
carpetbaggersru

By the way, aren't all Georgia Tech grads millionaires?  Ya'll should be buying up all the tickets and selling them at an affordable price if you want the stadium packed every home game.  Ya'll have all the money! 

Redfin
Redfin

In the end it's all about money.  Obama-nomicks means fewer jobs and fewer people working.   Those fortunate enough to be working earn an average of $3000 a yr less than a couple of years ago.   Theres' not much incentive to spend big money  on season tickets when you can sit at home and watch the important games on the tube.....in HD.

carpetbaggersru
carpetbaggersru

Is the Wofford game going to be televised in the metro Atlanta area?  FS South isn't showing anything about carrying it.

Jacket_Wylie
Jacket_Wylie

Fans are fed up is another factor to this.  The product has gone down considerably since 09 and doesn't look to be changing.  TC Williams of "Remember the Titans" could get more of a fan base than Paul....and it's the same offense only difference being Herman changed his game plan when he needed to

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

Has Wes Durham lost some weight?

Good for him.

Off topic but I guess our soccer discussions are on topic.

juvenal
juvenal

Costa out(?), but so are Lukaku, Eto'o, & Pierman-may be rough.....Wenger too dumb/stubborn to get another striker, glad at least one of my sides has a coach not too pig-headed to adapt (Pep, NOT cpj).. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

There's at least a partial solution--not only for GT but for ALL FBS teams: UPGRADE YOUR DAMN OOC SCHEDULE!

NOBODY wants to see bought-and-paid-for Ws over shamefully outmanned teams.

POAD2014
POAD2014

VANDY is a POWERHOUSE just ask the dWag fans.....LMMFAO

Vandy 7 

TEMPLE 37 

Starting the 4th qtr.

SEC SEC SEC......woof woof woof.

POAD2014
POAD2014

Happy New year 1966.... Dad Got some Pudding and 9months later MOM got the GIFT of ME....LOL..Dad thought that was a Cheap New Years Gift...but it is still costing him...lol

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

Tulane and Tulsa tied at 28 late in the 4th.  Tulsa was 3-9 last year.

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

I am starting to wonder if the Big X(II) isn't actually the strongest conference instead of the SEC.  Oklahoma beat Bama convincingly in the Sugar Bowl last year and their cast-offs are having tons of success in the SEC.  Maybe we should be worried more about the Big-X(II)  I thought SC had a defense....

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

I would prefer a BIG 10 school (to play)"

----

Absolutely!  I'd prefer to be IN THE BIG 10.

I've never lived up north or in the midwest, but Michigan, Penn State, OSU, Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska are just cool programs with lots of football tradition.  Especially Michigan.  I like the Big10.  Solid academics.  Solid football.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@carpetbaggersru 

No, we're not all millionaires, but I bet we all have more money than you have brains.  Of course, that's not saying much

GTBee
GTBee

Its playing up here in Ohio.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@carpetbaggersru

Fox Sports South is supposed to be carrying it--and Espn Game Plan.

This is yet another reason not to play these crap games--TV coverage is weak at best, and often nonexistent.

So you pay a weakling big bucks to come in and bend over; you get poor ticket sales, no-shows, no major-network TV $$$, and boredom; and you earn no respect for beating them and a lifetime of shame for losing to them.

Now tell me again why it's such a great idea to schedule this crap.

Just have to hope the new playoff format spells the beginning of the end of this disgraceful practice of buying Ws.

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@Jacket_Wylie "Slumping season-ticket sales are a trend across major college and professional sports, as teams compete with the improvement of the home-viewing experience and fans’ unwillingness to commit to a season’s worth of tickets."


You should actually read the article before commenting.  This sentence is in it.  The issue isn't a Georgia Tech issue. 

1980-was-so-long-ago
1980-was-so-long-ago

@DawgNole 


Wish GT was in the SEC east


Kentucky,Vanderbilt, the always overrated USC, the Georgia Southern shamed Gators, throw in Troy and Charleston Southern, and we're in a bowl already- man the red & black have it tough again.


SEC Vandy woodshedded by the Temple Owls in the Music City. Oh My!!!!


Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

@DawgNole

Not gonna do it.... It's the only way we can get bowl eligible.  We usually lose when we play legitimate teams, with winning records.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@POAD2014

Looks like the commode doors' run is over with the departure of Franklin.

drydirtroad
drydirtroad

@Birmingham__Jacket I played kid football up north one year and practice had partial melted wet snow and mud, and it was the scummiest, worst conditions to practice football in I could imagine.

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

@Birmingham__Jacket 

Can't wait to travel to Maryland, Rutgers, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Purdue, and Northwestern in the middle of October and November!  How fun!

GTBob
GTBob

@Birmingham__Jacket We have played a combined 10 games against those six teams in our history. How exciting. I can't wait to drop Clemson, VT, Miami, Duke, UNC, FSU, ND, and possibly UGA in order to play them.

carpetbaggersru
carpetbaggersru

@SupersizeThatOrder-mutt 

LOL, everybody is the enemy?  I was joking around, some of you on here have beaten yourselves down with all this commentary I've been reading on here for the past few years.  

carpetbaggersru
carpetbaggersru

@DawgNole Thanks, just found it on channel 1724 on att-uverse!  I agree on the scheduling, I'm glad to see some teams starting to add meaningful games to their front end because that is what gets the fans into the stadium, to be a part of something special.

Jacket_Wylie
Jacket_Wylie

@AugustaJacket @Jacket_Wylie 

I did read the article .... but it is a Ga Tech Issue.  What it doesn't say is that it's across the board for teams that aren't putting out a Good Product...Winning Product.  It's not happening 65 miles away in Athens.  If you don't think that ticket sales aren't mainly related to the product on the field then you are delusional .... and I'd like to experience the weather on your planet....it's hot here

GTBob
GTBob

@Birmingham__Jacket You think we are making our schedule to stay bowl eligible? We had Alabama on the schedule and it fell through. We had South Carolina on the schedule and they backed out. We have Ole Miss on the schedule and they keep pushing the game off. We are close to scheduling Tennessee in 2017 and we had a Chick Fil A deal in place with USC a few years ago before their new Athletic Director killed the deal.

GTBob
GTBob

@Jacket_Wylie Teams like UGA, Alabama and others are having their own issues with attendance. Both of those teams have complained a good bit about student attendance in particular. Michigan had a lot of trouble selling season tickets this year. It is happening to everyone. If they keep raising the price and scheduling 2-3 patsies a year then it will continue.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@Jacket_Wylie

Yes, it is happening to some extent even in Athens.  They are not selling as many tickets now as they were 3 years ago, and they wisely decided not to increase the stadium size again.  They still fill it up, but not to capacity, in spite of their claims.

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

@GTBob @Birmingham__Jacket

I'm sure most will disagree but I think sales would be up instead of down if we just had pulled out a win in the arch-rival game.

And I really can't see the habitually knocking of Vad Lee, with all his supporters dumping him or not defending him during last season and now.

I do not think he had a foot out the door as some like to speculate (but I'm the one without facts).

I think he saw himself winning the Uga game and being the toast of Atlanta sports.

I think that was a terrible disappointment for him followed by the bowl game where the possible comeback was taken out of his hands by the (as usual) failed trick play.

The Falcons and Braves have upped their game in the competition for the fan dollar.

With a 20 game season ticket to the Braves season, I and a guest got to get autographs on alumni weekend.

The Falcons allow autographs of favorite players and this year you can meet a cheerleader, provided you can stay sober.

Tech needs an arch-rival win to compete and have failed in their two best chances: 2009 and 2013.

Jacket_Wylie
Jacket_Wylie

@PaulinNH @Birmingham__Jacket 

it's a sad state of affairs when we begin to think of Duke and UNC as premier wins.......last time I checked we were talking about Football.  I could care less how good they were last year....we also had the privilege of playing them early.  I can't even believe I'm having this conversation.  WAKE THE HECK UP

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

@PaulinNH @Birmingham__Jacket

Like 14/15 to VT, Miami and UGA.

Like 4/5 bowl games.

READ THE ARTICLE.  Ticket sales are declining.

Jacket_Wylie
Jacket_Wylie

@GTBob @Jacket_Wylie 

You keep bringing up teams that aren't putting out a consistent up to the level of expectation product.  UGA , Michigan, ....Bama...not even close.  Case closed

Jacket_Wylie
Jacket_Wylie

@SupersizeThatOrder-mutt @Jacket_Wylie 

And why is that?  Could it be that they are underachieving as well....or there are too many open warrants on the team?  People will pay ... and handsomely for a good product. But when a team consistently underachieves....then the buck stops there

GTBob
GTBob

@GTQBdefender I disagree that beating UGA would have raised ticket sales. I don't think it would have done much of anything to ticket sales. And Vad decided earlier in the season that he was transferring. He didn't decide after the UGA game.

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@GTQBdefender @GTBob @Birmingham__Jacket Didn't we talk about this last night?


"I'm sure most will disagree but I think sales would be up instead of down if we just had pulled out a win in the arch-rival game."


Ticket sales are down nationwide, even to schools who beat their arch-rival.


And I really can't see the habitually knocking of Vad Lee, with all his supporters dumping him or not defending him during last season and now.


He didn't say a thing about Vad Lee.  Now you're just trolling again.


I do not think he had a foot out the door as some like to speculate (but I'm the one without facts).


Again, you're off topic and trolling.


I think he saw himself winning the Uga game and being the toast of Atlanta sports.


That's as much speculation as the previous assertion that you knocked.


I think that was a terrible disappointment for him followed by the bowl game where the possible comeback was taken out of his hands by the (as usual) failed trick play.


Can you tell me how many times last year a comeback was ruined by a failed trick play?  Answer: 1.  So how is that "as usual."


The Falcons and Braves have upped their game in the competition for the fan dollar.


Falcons had their worst season in a while last year and the Braves are currently doing their best to tank this season as well.


With a 20 game season ticket to the Braves season, I and a guest got to get autographs on alumni weekend.


So?  You can get autographs on fan day with a 6 game season ticket to GT football.


The Falcons allow autographs of favorite players and this year you can meet a cheerleader, provided you can stay sober.


Again, Fan Day.  And the Cheerleaders are always outside the stadium mingling before the game.  My kids have pictures with them.  (Also, sobriety not required, though recommended)


Tech needs an arch-rival win to compete and have failed in their two best chances: 2009 and 2013.


Arch-rival wins are great, but not necessary to compete.

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@Birmingham__Jacket "READ THE ARTICLE.  Ticket sales are declining."

___________________________________________


If you read the article, you'll also see this little nugget:


"Slumping season-ticket sales are a trend across major college and professional sports, as teams compete with the improvement of the home-viewing experience and fans’ unwillingness to commit to a season’s worth of tickets."


So, it would appear that even winning isn't stemming the tide of ticket sale losses nationwide.  Therefore, if we can CLEARLY see that this is a nationwide problem, and that winning games is no cure, of what relevance is your point?  None.  That's right, none.  At this point you're just trolling.

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

@AugustaJacket @GTQBdefender @GTBob @Birmingham__Jacket

U just keep telling yourself all that.

Reggie Ball had many good games yet because of his record vs Uga, few if any defend him.

Tech QB regularly get trashed, off topic, and u never make the off topic point on those occasions.

Just with me cause u like me so much.

Jacket_Wylie
Jacket_Wylie

@AugustaJacket @Birmingham__Jacket 

we all read the article.....and most of us that did (except yourself) know a crap declining product when we see it.  We also know that it is DIRECTLY related to declining ticket sales. I guarantee you that if we were putting out 10 and 11 win...hell i'll take 9 that this point seasons.....the decline would halt.  It's nationwide?  really which teams....could it be the teams that are getting stagnant.  Like the Braves or Raiders or maybe the Titans or Royals.....come on due....the glass is far from half full.....and you keep sippin on it.

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@GTQBdefender @AugustaJacket @GTBob @Birmingham__Jacket "Tech QB regularly get trashed, off topic, and u never make the off topic point on those occasions.

Just with me cause u like me so much."

____________________________________


I agree on the soccer crap and have said as much before.  The biggest difference is that their off topic convos are blurbs, not half page paragraphs spouting the same nonsense over and over.

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@Jacket_Wylie @AugustaJacket @Birmingham__Jacket "I guarantee you that if we were putting out 10 and 11 win...hell i'll take 9 that this point seasons.....the decline would halt. "

_____________________________________


Then please explain the season ticket sales and attendance drop-off in 2010.  We had just won 9 and 11 games yet season ticket sales and attendance dropped 10%.  I can understand your frustration with the product on the field, I just dont understand your refusal to use factual data in the debate.  BTW, I predict season ticket sales will go up next year, come down in 2016, go up in 2017 and generally follow that pattern for the foreseeable future.