This past Friday was a good day: It marked the end of a workweek, box seats for Alison Krauss and Union Station at the Classic Center on Friday night, and drinks with friends afterward in downtown Athens. But the highlight of my day came when I was handed an envelope early Friday afternoon...my UGA season tickets had arrived!
Unlike many other schools around the south (and even the SEC), the Dawgs don't have to advertise season tickets on billboards or at professional sporting events to sell out Sanford. Interested in becoming a Dawgs season ticket holder? You've got to join the Georgia Bulldog Club. Ready to learn more? Read on!
The Georgia Bulldog Club (formerly known as the Georgia Student Enhancement Fund and the Georgia Educational Enhancement Fund) is the fundraising arm of the Athletic Association, charged with providing student-athlete scholarships, facilities enhancement, and financial support to each of UGA's varsity sports. As the UGAA receives no federal, state, or university funding, it is through donations to the Bulldog Club that money is raised. In order to buy renewable season tickets to football, men's basketball, or gymnastics, one must contribute a minimum amount to that sport's designated fund.
Football contributions are directed to the Hartman Fund, named after former All-SEC, All-American, and College Football Hall of Famer Bill Hartman, who chaired the Bulldog Club for over 30 years. As an aside, Coach Hartman's bio is damned impressive, you should take a moment to read it. While football tickets require a little more cash than required by the North Avenue Trade School, the required donation starts at $250 per seat. While that donation does not guarantee that you will receive renewable season tickets, it would have earned you season tickets this year. Tickets are assigned on a points-based system: Each dollar you contribute over your lifetime earns you more points. With more points come better seats and a higher likelihood to score tickets from UGA for away games or the Cocktail Party. Annual contributions also carry other benefits, like parking passes and members-only events. Contributions are due by February 15 of each year, and ticket applications are mailed to all contributors in early March. Additionally, by joining one of the Bulldog Clubs around the state, part of your dues to the local clubs are contributed in your name to the Hartman Fund. The Touchdown Club of Athens, of which I am a member, contributes $50 of your $100 dues to the fund.
Men's Basketball contributions are made to the Basketball Enhancement Fund, with a required minimum contribution of $150 per seat to be eligible for renewable season tickets. Contributions for the BEF are due JULY 31!!! (That's today, as of this writing.) To donate, click here.
GymDogs contributions are made to the Gymnastics Enhancement Fund, with a required mimum contribution of $50 per seat to be eligibile for renewable season tickets. Contributions for the GEF are due September 30.
First-time contributors should consider making a larger donation, as making the minimum donation does not guarantee tickets for new contributors. However, after becoming a season ticket holder, you maintain the right to buy your seats as long as you make your minimum contribution. To move up, donate more; seats in Sanford and Stegeman are tiered, with larger donations required for premium seating. As a final benefit, contributions for season tickets made to the club are 80% tax deductible.
I hope this brief guide helps. See you in Sanford in 31 days!