System upgrades, fan experience highlight UGA Athletic Board autumn meeting

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ATHENS, Ga .– A feasibility study for updates to Foley Field and Jack Turner Softball Stadium, plans for a six-seat indoor tennis facility, and improvements to Sanford Stadium were some of the topics discussed at the University of Georgia Athletic Association’s fall board of directors on Friday.

In addition to the facility upgrades, J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Josh Brooks addressed a variety of points in his report, including efforts to improve the game day experience, a budget overview, academic performance of student-athletes, and the success of the Georgia Olympians.

Below are highlights from Brooks’ remarks.
• The sports department has started a feasibility study for Foley Field and Jack Turner Softball Stadium.
• Goal # 1 is to improve the student and athlete experience by creating indoor spaces for hitting and pitching. UGA will also look at what can be done in terms of increasing seating capacity.
• Brooks announced plans for the Sanford Stadium Press Box and 100 Level Concourse. The aim is to expand the hall and improve the toilets and concessions while increasing the ADA seating. Phase 2 includes the construction of a new press stand in the southwestern part of the Sanford Stadium, while the current press stand is being converted into a premium space.
• There are plans to renovate the former football locker room in the Butts-Mehre building in order to create more space for the athletics team.
• The members of the sports department met for the first time with the design team for the new tennis hall.
• Brooks listened to employee efforts to improve the fan experience at all Georgia home events, including the family-friendly concession menu and Zaxby’s Ice.
• KultureCity helped train the UGA Sports Department staff to assist those with sensory needs at Bulldog events.
• Financially, the UGA closed the year in the black thanks to the phenomenal work of all employees.
• Brooks mentioned the fact that 8.6 percent of student-athletes had a perfect GPA of 4.0 in their final academic year, the highest percentage in history.
• 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 were:
• A comprehensive financial report from Treasurer Ryan Nesbit, who thanked the Athletic Association for their efforts in addressing unprecedented financial challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
• A brilliant academic report from Prof. David Shipley, a representative of the Faculty of Athletics. Highlights of Shipley’s report included:
• Women’s golf won the Faculty Athletics Rep (FAR) award for highest GPA among Bulldog sports programs with a GPA of 3.54, while men’s cross country led all men’s teams with a GPA of 3.48.
• Nearly 70 percent (67.2 percent to be precise) of student-athletes in Georgia completed the 2020-21 academic year with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
• Deputy Head of Athletics Will Lawler submitted an annual compliance report with a focus on NIL (Name, Image and Likeness). He stated that during this time the Athletic Association went to great lengths to support student athletes.
• Student representatives Josh Stinson (UGA baseball player) and Brennan Cox (non-athletic student representative) also made reports.

Quotes from J. Reid Parker, Director of Athletics Josh Brooks

Go to the feasibility study of improvements at Foley Field and Jack Turner Stadium …
“That is why we speak of feasibility studies. When you think of projects, there are actually three basic phases of projects – feasibility, design, and then build possible. We worked at Foley a few years ago. On this basis, we learned what is possible there. Where can we go to add more player development spaces and coaching offices, and then how do we use it? ? that the space is smart … now you also have to be smart about how you use it. So, you obviously want to add some general seating, probably more for student seating – .. which is always a big deal then look really kind of interesting Opportunities to use premium space so that will be part of that feasibility process – seeing how others did it, how we can do it, and what the demand really is. “

“We’ve had phenomenal participation in softball games and we really want to expand it. So it’s important again to have these fair concession prices. We bring families out, it’s a free event and we don’t want to undermine.” them at the concession stand. ”

On the financial success of the sports club during the pandemic …
“A larger shortfall was forecast earlier this year. That number continued to decline as we managed to better manage expenses as our development office and ticketing office did a phenomenal job of getting people to convert their refunds into donations. By all.” These measures have brought us to a point where we are in the black. “

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