Facility Upgrades, Fan Experience Highlights UGA Athletics Council Fall Meeting

ATHENS, Georgia – A feasibility study for updates to Foley Field and the Jack Turner softball stadium, plans for a six-court indoor tennis facility and improvements to Sanford Stadium were some of the topics discussed at the Friday. Fall meeting of the Board of Directors of the University of Georgia Sports Association.

In addition to facility upgrades, J. Reid Parker director of sports Josh brooks addressed a variety of elements in his report, including efforts to improve the match day experience, budget overview, student-athlete academic achievements, and the success of Georgia’s Olympic athletes.

Below are highlights of Brooks’ remarks.
• The sports department has started a feasibility study for Foley Field and Jack Turner Softball Stadium.
• Goal # 1 is to enhance the student-athlete experience by creating indoor spaces for hitting and throwing. UGA will also examine what is possible in terms of increasing the number of seats.
• Brooks announced plans for the Sanford Stadium Press Box and the 100 Level Concourse. The goal is to expand the lobby and improve toilets and concessions, while increasing ADA seating. Phase 2 will include the construction of a new press box in the southwest section of Sanford Stadium, while the current press box will be converted to a premium space.
• There are plans to renovate the old football locker room in the Butts-Mehre building to create a better space for the athletics team.
• Members of the sports department had their first meeting with the design team for the new indoor tennis facility.
• Brooks spoke about his staff’s efforts to improve the fan experience at all home events in Georgia, including the family dealership menu and Zaxby’s ice cream.
• KultureCity helped train UGA Sports Department staff to assist people with sensory needs at Bulldog events.
• Financially, UGA ended the year in the dark thanks to the phenomenal work of all the staff.
• Brooks referred to the fact that 8.6 percent of student-athletes had a perfect GPA of 4.0 last year, the highest percentage ever recorded at the UGA.
• A combined GPA of 3.15 for Bulldog student-athletes in 2020-21 was the second highest on record in Georgia.

Other highlights of the meeting:
• A full financial report from Treasurer Ryan Nesbit, who expressed gratitude to the Sports Association for its efforts to overcome unprecedented financial challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
• A glowing academic report from the faculty’s sports representative, Professor David Shipley. Highlights of Shipley’s report included:
• Women’s golf won the Faculty Athletics Rep (FAR) award for highest GPA among Bulldog track programs with a GPA of 3.54, while men’s cross country posted a GPA of 3.48 to lead all men’s teams.
• Almost 70 percent (67.2 percent to be exact) of Georgian student-athletes achieved a GPA of 3.0 or higher for the 2020-21 academic year.
• Deputy Director of Sports Will lawler submitted an annual compliance report with a focus on NIL (Name, Image and Likeness). He said the Sports Association went to great lengths to help student-athletes during this time.
• Student reps Josh Stinson (UGA baseball player) and Brennan Cox (non-athlete student rep) also shared reports.

Quotes from J. Reid Parker, Sports Director Josh brooks

On the feasibility study of improvements to Foley Field and Jack Turner Stadium…
“This is why we are talking about feasibility studies. When you think of projects, there are really three basic phases of projects – feasibility, design and then construction. When you advertise a feasibility study, it’s to go to the site and see what’s possible. We worked in Foley several years ago. Based on that, what we learned there is what is possible. Where can we go and develop more player development spaces and offices for coaches, and then how do we use that space wisely? … Now you also have to be smart about how you use it. So obviously do you want to add general seating, probably more student seating – that’s always a good thing. Then really look at something interesting ways to use the premium spaces, so that will be part of that feasibility process – seeing how others have done it, how we can do it and what the demand really is. “

“We’ve had a phenomenal attendance at softball games, and we really want to expand it. This is again why it’s important to have these fair concession prices. We bring families out, it’s an event. free, and we don’t want to swindle them at the concession stand. ”

On the financial success of the Sports Association during the pandemic …
“Earlier in the year, we expected the shortfall to be greater. That number has continued to decline as we have better managed expenses as our development office and ticket office have done a phenomenal job of getting people to convert their refunds into donations. Throughout all of these steps, it’s got us to a point where we’re in the dark. “


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