Since his freshman year, University of Georgia senior Casey O’Connor has watched the Georgia football team storm Sanford Stadium every home game.
Megan Clinton, an Athens native and UGA senior, she considers herself the “purest bulldog fan of them all.”
Neither of them received a ticket to the Southeastern Conference football championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The highly anticipated matchup, where Georgia will face LSU on Dec. 7, is the biggest game of the year, O’Connor said.
Although he did not receive a ticket, O’Connor still plans to travel to Atlanta to support the Bulldogs from outside the arena at a sports bar. Clinton also said she will not give up her “quest” to see the Bulldogs play “one last time.”
“I plan to go to Atlanta and wait outside to see if I can buy a ticket at the last second,” O’Connor, a finance major, said. “That’s how badly I want to go.”
About 1,500 student tickets were issued for the SEC championship game, UGA Athletic Association spokesperson Claude Felton said in an email. For all away and post-season games, UGA Athletic Association gives top priority for tickets to students with more than 90 credit hours and the next level of priority to students with 60–89 overall hours.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium seats 71,000 spectators. To avoid sitting alone in a crowd of 71,000, Olivia Hill, a master of education student, sold her SEC student ticket.
“I sold mine, and I think others [sold theirs] as well, because they didn’t want to go alone,” Hill said. “None of my friends got a ticket.”
Through the official UGAAA lottery, student tickets were sold for $60 — Hill re-sold hers for $100. However, in student-created group messages, O’Connor said students are selling tickets for $100 up to $400. On StubHub, non-student tickets for the game were priced between $185 and $1,492, as of press time.
O’Connor said the thought of students selling their tickets for profit is “frustrating” but at times the only option to attend the game. He said although UGAAA offers students tickets at an affordable price, student resellers “greatly” increase the price for profit.
In an effort to attend the game, Clinton searched for student tickets on Facebook and found the lowest price was $350.
“It’s disappointing that other students are selling their tickets for so much when they know how much attending the game means to others,” Clinton said.
In an email, Felton said UGAAA has “revoked a number of tickets” and reissued to other students above 90 hours via lottery.
“The ticket office has been made aware of students reselling tickets mostly through students reporting on other students engaging in the practice through social media posts. The ticket office has messaged in conjunction with SGA support that reselling could result in loss of this postseason and next year’s season ticket privileges,” Felton said.
O’Connor and Clinton said a larger number of seniors should’ve received tickets to the game. Clinton believes if more seniors were given tickets, the issue of reselling would decrease.
“I just want to see my favorite team play again but other students, who don’t care as much, took that chance away,” Clinton said.