It's Saturday in Athens

It's Saturday in Athens

Monday, August 1, 2011

"Don't Fence Me In".... Keep Sanford Stadium OPEN!!!!!

Recently, I have heard a grumbling or two about UGA being unwilling or uninterested in keeping up with the attendance war of the SEC. For years, Sanford Stadium has sat atop, or near, the SEC and all of college football in seating capacity. With recent additions by Alabama and Tennessee pushing them well over the 100K mark, does UGA really want to attempt to keep pace with the Clampetts, I mean Joneses??

In this artists' rendition, Sanford Bridge becomes irrelevant
In order to push the Sanford seating capacity from the cordial 92,746 we accommodate today, to over the 100K mark, one of two things would have to happen: A) The "600 Section" would have to be expanded to wrap around the entire stadium, creating a slew of unwanted, birds eye view seats which most people would rather vacate in order to sit at home or sit in a comfy Athens bar so that they can read the number of the ball carrier, rather than tote their binoculars and program guides six or seven flights in order to know whats going on. This could easily become a visiting teams section. Or B), we could close in the beloved and cherished Sanford Bridge, which holds a sacred place in the hearts of many a bulldawg, old and young.

The more logical step would be to enclose the open North end of Sanford, and build a towering grand-stand which would house the rear ends of several thousand rabid Bulldawg faithful, or perhaps a bunch of unwanted Cocks, Vols, Cats, Dores or Nats??..... is that REALLY what we want??  No, I say.

Neyland Stadium in Knoxville Tennessee used to be one of the crown jewels of the SEC, and college football as a whole. You used to be able to sit in your seat amongst 90K+ rabid SEC fans, all while having an amazing view of the Tennessee River as a backdrop. Then they became greedy, wanting to maximize the seating capacity, while "voluntarily" (get it?) forfeiting the amazing scenery that was already in place. Now, you can sit in the middle of Neyland, and have no clue if you are in the state of Tennessee or downtown Baghdad. All you know is that there is a football field surrounded by nauseating high rise bleachers in all directions. Do you think there is any reason that ALL ticket requests from UGA season ticket holders were granted  for the October 8th UGA/UT game from the good people of UT this season???.... unneeded capacity anyone??  And as far as Bryant-Denny stadium goes..... nobody really wanted to go to your concrete jungle anyway, let alone see the view of which could have been if you didn't decide to enclose your concreTe-Town the past couple of years..... just sayin'

With the North end of Sanford Stadium open, the atmosphere is sparred the gladiatorial effect which sprouts complaints from most programs who decide to rival their football stadium with Bristol Motor Speedway. We have, as a backdrop, the most beautiful campus that God has ever let a University build. A much welcome breeze greets us in the hot summer afternoons in September, and reminds us how much we love fall as we bundle up in the cool, crisp nights in late October and throughout November. Building a high rise in order to compete in the "capacity war" will only dilute the originality and uniqueness which we crave throughout the warm months.

Few things get a Dawg fan excited, any time of year, like taking a stroll down Sanford Drive and being engulfed by Sanford Stadium's presence and lore when they cross the bridge. I personally stop by there several times throughout the year to reminisce about the good ole' days, and intentionally foreshadow the good times in which I hope to endure throughout my lifetime. The last thing I want to greet me on that stroll is just another concrete tower, hiding the beauty and smells of the field which we all dream about.

This year, the Red Coat Band will be strategically positioned in the North End Zone, in attempts to echo their sweet melody throughout the stadium. Many have complained in the past about the noise escaping because of the poor acoustic positioning of the band in the opposite End Zone, letting their blare escape into the sweet Georgia night. Not this year, my friends, and certainly not in the future.

 Let's keep Sanford Stadium the jewel as which we know it, and avoid any unnecessary construction, only creating the ability for alien fans the chance to buy tickets to our games, donning the wrong colors and spewing the wrong battle cries. Revenue is at an all time high, and a few extra thousand seats is in no way a welcome venture in flexing our marketing muscle. KEEP SANFORD OPEN!!!

33 days til' kickoff!!
Go Dawgs!!!!

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