Tuesday Tech Review: $2.85 million payout for Chick-fil-A kickoff game

Georgia Tech will play Tennessee in the season opener in 2017 in the Falcons' new stadium. (Atlanta Falcons)

Georgia Tech will play Tennessee in the season opener in 2017 in the Falcons’ new stadium. (Atlanta Falcons)

Georgia Tech will receive a payout of $2.85 million for playing in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game in 2017. As part of the payout, Tech agreed to sell or purchase 30,000 game tickets worth a total of $3.1 million. The contract was obtained through an open records request.

Tennessee, the Yellow Jackets’ opponent in the game, will receive the same payout. Tennessee agreed to guarantee 25,000 tickets. The game will be played in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, scheduled to open that year.

A home game at Bobby Dodd Stadium is worth about $2.5 million, athletic director Mike Bobinski said. The Jackets will have six home games that season – four ACC home games (North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest) and non-conference games against Jacksonville State and Georgia.

The game will be played on Labor Day night and be broadcast on ESPN. It will be the first meeting between the longtime SEC rivals since 1987. It will also be Tech’s first appearance in the annual showcase game.

“It’s the opportunity to play a great game in a unique environment on a national platform,” Bobinski said. “I mean, Tennessee’s not coming to play here, I know that. And we’re not going there in the near future.”

The 30,000-ticket allotment seems a pretty reachable figure. Including student tickets, the school sold about 35,000 season tickets this season. The tickets range between $80 and $205. There are also student tickets at $35.

COA figure adjustment

Bobinski said he expected an adjustment to the school’s cost-of-attendance figure, which is among the lowest among power-conference schools. The cost-of-attendance number, which is an estimation of costs for a student’s non-academic costs, including travel and personal expenses.

Last January, the NCAA passed legislation that allowed Division I schools to add cost of attendance to the value of an athletic scholarship, which cast light on the considerable disparity between schools. The attention given to it was a prompt to Tech administrators to take a closer look at how the school has arrived at its number, which is $2,000 for this academic year. Other schools have COA figures twice as much as Tech’s.

“I think they’ve looked at the number and said maybe this isn’t as complete or as accurate (as it should be),” Bobinski said. “We haven’t done a thorough analysis in recent years of it, so I think there’ll be some adjustment to that.”

Facilities upgrades

The department continues with a handful of facilities that are at various stages, including a golf practice facility renovation, Russ Chandler Stadium, the football locker room, O’Keefe Gymnasium and the Edge Center.

The golf facility project has been ongoing since the summer. The second phase for the baseball stadium project, which excavated space underneath the stands to create room for a bigger locker room, weight room and training room, includes clubhouse facilities down the left-field line. Bobinski said the football locker room is high on the priority list and that there is “a lot that needs to get done” from both a presentation and mechanical standpoint.

The plan for the Edge Center, which houses office space for administration, most of the school’s teams, the training room and academic support, is to update it so it can meet the needs of Tech athletes going into the future. The building, opened in 1982, has been updated in one-off fashion and could use a complete overhaul.

Eubanks in national tournament

Tennis player Christopher Eubanks has received an at-large bid into the USTA/ITA national indoor intercollegiate championships, which will be played next week beginning next Thursday. He is the first Tech player to be invited into the 32-player field since 2011. Eubanks, a sophomore, is ranked No. 24 nationally in singles by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

Tech-UGA in swimming

The Tech swimming teams face Georgia Wednesday in Athens. The swimming version of Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate might be the most lopsided in the rivalry. The Georgia men have won 48 consecutive meets against Tech. the Georgia women have won 10 in a row against the Jackets.


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