Dec. 14, 2010
By Jon Cooper
In a perfect world, this story would be about how Georgia Tech is rewarding fans with a ticket-package plan to Glendale, Ariz., to watch the Yellow Jackets play in the Jan. 10 BCS Championship Game.
Needless to say, the world is not perfect.
But an imperfect world is no reason for Tech fans to not get caught up in the spirit of bowl season and celebrate the Yellow Jackets extension of their streak of reaching a bowl game to 14 consecutive years, tied for fourth-longest in the nation.
The Georgia Tech Athletic Association agreed and sweetened the pot by making available $14 tickets to the Dec. 27th’s AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl, featuring the Jackets against the Air Force Academy at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, La.
“We felt like, as a gesture to our fans who have supported us, that we were going to be able to offer them a chance to go to this game at a discounted price,” said associate athletics director Wayne Hogan. “We selected the 14th straight bowl game as the impetus for the ticket promotion. So we’ve sold a $14 ticket.”
The program has been a hit, as Tech is approaching its goal of 5,000 tickets sold and is extending the promotion.
“We originally had planned to run it just through [Dec. 5], but we were getting such a good response on it,” said Hogan. “A number of fans weighed in and said, ‘It’s a great gesture’ and they really would like to do it and they’d like to share it with other Georgia Tech fans. We felt like there was enough clamor to continue it. We’ve announced that it’s going to go through Christmas. We felt like some people might want to do this as a Christmas gift. I think that’s a good plan as well.”
The show of support for the Jackets is welcome and, in the spirit of the holidays, the drive makes it easily affordable for fans who choose to buy tickets but can’t attend and donate them to the less-fortunate or to members of the military.
“There are fans that really have a heart of gold in every program. They want to support their teams and they want to be there,” said Hogan. “Certainly, at this time of year, sometimes it’s difficult for them to do that. I think it shows something for a fan to step up in that way, to say, ‘Maybe I’m not going to be able to go this year but I want to show that I support my team and I want to buy those tickets and I want Georgia Tech to look good when it comes time to go to the next bowl.’ I think that’s a very noble gesture.”
That generosity will hopefully be rewarded in an added show of support for Tech inside the stadium by ticket recipients.
“We’re going to work very hard to make sure that every one of those donated tickets gets in the hands of someone who’s going to use that ticket and is going to be in the stadium and shaking a gold and white pompom,” said Hogan. “Here, again, it’s a great gesture and it gives us an opportunity to get those tickets distributed.
“The good news is that the donated tickets look like they have found pretty good homes over in the Shreveport area, for folks that want to come to the game that have a history of showing up and supporting the team that has provided those tickets,” he added. “So I think it’s going to be a real good showing for the gold and white over there.”
The location of the game is advantageous for Tech fans — Shreveport is only about 600 miles away — and the trip makes sense from an economic standpoint, as well.
“It’s a little bit of a change for folks. The last couple of years we’ve been in bowls that have been a bit of an expensive proposition,” said Hogan, who pointed to last year, which saw trips to Jacksonville for the ACC Championship Game, then the FedEx Orange Bowl in Miami. “This is a trip you can make with your family. You can put them in the car and make a road trip out of it. You can certainly do it economically with the $14 tickets and with the hotels that are in the Shreveport area. It’s a trip you can make that’s not going to break the bank. In this tough economic time that’s good news for everybody.”
And then, there is the game, which features two of the top rushing teams in the country.
“It will be a fun game to watch and there’s all kinds of stuff to do over there,” Hogan said. “So it’s got some good elements to it. We’ve done everything we can to encourage our folks to be a part of the trip. Being able to offer a discounted ticket price is all part of that.”
For ticket information, including information on ticket donation, click here
For more on things to do while in Shreveport, visit http://gtalumni.org/pages/independencebowl