SBD/June 12, 2014/Events and Attractions

World's Largest Cabana Party? Florida, Georgia Decline Use Of EverBank Field's Pool Seating

Univ. of Florida AD Jeremy Foley and Univ. of Georgia AD Greg McGarity are “firmly united on one front" for the schools' annual football game at EverBank Field, as they are "saying thanks, but no thanks, to the use of wading pools and cabanas" that are a part of the stadium's renovations, according to Garry Smits of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. That would “cut into their bottom line that requires up to 85,000 seats be made available” for the game. The capacity of the 12 upper cabanas and eight lower units is 640, less than 10 % of the 7,000 seats "added in the north end zone each year" for the game. Foley in a statement said, "Our No. 1 priority is to have the same number of tickets available to our fans. We don’t have an interest in any scenario that reduces the number of tickets.” McGarity said, “I understand the marketing and that pools and cabanas have become part of the NFL model. And it might be attractive to us, if our games were not sold out” (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 6/12). McGarity: "There's no wiggle room for lowering the attendance or seating capacity. The most important thing for us is the number of seats" (AP, 6/11).

SOONER OR LATER: In Dallas, Tom Benning reported as part of a deal to keep the annual Texas-Oklahoma football game at the Cotton Bowl through ‘25, the schools in '21 will start getting a $100,000 “increase in their annual payouts for playing in Dallas.” The schools currently receive $500,000 annually from the city of Dallas, along with a “split of ticket sales.” State Fair of Texas Sports Committee Chair Pete Schenkel said that the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau and the State Fair of Texas are “stepping forward to fund the increase in the payouts to $600,000” (DALLASNEWS.com, 6/11).
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