Texas AD at UGA game in Austin in the league’s first season


If Chris Del Conte were to list his home on HomeAway or Airbnb for the third weekend of October, he could take advantage of the high demand from visitors looking for a place to stay for the Georgia football game in Texas or the F1 race also in the city.

“I’m definitely not going to rent out my house because it’s already packed with everyone I know coming to that game,” the Texas athletic director told the Athens Banner-Herald.

Georgia’s game at Texas on Oct. 19 is the seventh game on the Bulldogs’ schedule, but it will be about as hot a ticket for Bulldog fans as the first regular-season game between the major programs since 1958.

The Texas game and the Sept. 28 game at Alabama required 125,000 priority points for Georgia Bulldog Club members to apply for tickets, compared to 35,000 for the Kentucky game or the Clemson neutral-site game in Atlanta.

The SEC logo was added to Darrell K Royal Memorial Stadium in late May before Longhorns coach Steve Sarkisian headed to Destin, Florida for the league’s spring meetings.

The school will host an on-campus celebration on June 30, the day before Texas and Oklahoma officially join the league. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey will be in attendance with a headlining performance “by a yet-to-be-announced global superstar.” The SEC Network will broadcast from the scene for four hours.

“As an assistant, I had some great years here when I was with Alabama and coach (Nick) Saban,” Texas coach Steve Sarkisan said before meeting with the other 15 SEC football coaches last week at the league’s spring meetings in Miramar Beach. , Florida. “I like the competitive spirit of the SEC.”

Of course, Georgia coach Kirby Smart also worked under Saban.

Smart has three playoff appearances and two league titles as a head coach. Texas is making its first trip to the playoffs, which Smart said makes the SEC much tougher.

“The fact that they’re in our conference, that they’re further away, that they’re a high-powered football team,” Smart said. “They are in great recruiting shape.”

Oklahoma, which played Georgia in the Rose Bowl during the 2017 season, also joins the league. Brent Venables is entering his third season as the Sooners coach and is coming off a 10-3 season.

“The coaching staff are both very good,” Smart said. “Sark and Brent both have SEC experience. Being in the ACC at Clemson, Brent has played SEC teams forever.

This will be the seventh football season since Del Conte was hired as Texas AD.

He’s already seen big home games: a No. 1 Alabama and a No. 6 LSU visited.

Georgia plays in Texas on September 19, while Formula 1 races the next day at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.

“What makes Georgia unique this year is because of F1,” said Del Conte. “The scarcity of space in the city is F1.”

Texas played and won at Alabama last September. Del Conte said fans had to pay a pretty penny for hotels.

“We got into the Embassy Suites and it was $2,800 a night for a minimum of three nights,” he said. “Like, what are you guys talking about?” They took full advantage of the Longhorns coming into town.”

Georgia fans might find it the same way in Austin as they pour into the city.

“At one point we had 52 planes that couldn’t land in Tuscaloosa,” Del Conte said. “When we come to a match, an armada of people comes. You will see it. It’s great, but they couldn’t land because Tuscaloosa was sold out.”

He said the band had to go to Birmingham.

Georgia-Texas was mentioned by Fox Sports’ Joel Klatt as one of the 10 games that will likely define the season.

“Georgia and Texas are favorites to play in the SEC Championship Game, but that is not a guarantee,” Klatt wrote. “So if you want a first-round bye and want to make your path to a national championship game as easy as possible, winning this game will be important.”

Texas will make a return trip to Athens next season, with Oklahoma likely to play Georgia for the first time as an SEC program in 2026.

“They both know the climate they’re in,” Smart said. “We think this makes our conference better. Our brand extends further west. Two great programs if you add those two together. That makes planning a lot more difficult.”

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