Do you know who will get the most satisfaction out of the Rolling Stones performing at Bobby Dodd Stadium in June?
Georgia Tech athletic director Mike Bobinski.
Concerts at the historic stadium are pretty rare, but in this case, the athletic department saw inviting the Rolling Stones as an outside-the-box way to generate revenue to help cover the full cost of attendance.
In total, Bobinski said covering cost of attendance will add an extra $500,000 to the school's athletic department budget. He said Georgia Tech is expected to receive at least half that amount from the concert.
"The reason we’re doing that is not because we want to have a concert on our great football turf, it is to find ways to generate other revenues," Bobinski said. "We have to look for other things to fill in the gaps."
Pink Floyd held the last concert open to the public at Bobby Dodd Stadium, in 1994. Hootie and the Blowfish also performed there in 1996 for Summer Olympics athletes and volunteers only.
In all, the Rolling Stones concert June 9 will be just the 10th in the stadium's history. The concert is expected to be sold out.
Cost of attendance, which adds extra money to a scholarship for miscellaneous expenses, has become a hot-button issue since legislation was passed to implement it in January. Schools must figure out how to pay for the additional costs, while also understanding and acknowledging cost disparities from school to school. Some fear these disparities could be used as a recruiting advantage.
Bobinski said, "The purpose was not to create another advantage/disadvantage, it was to provide more resources to the student-athlete. I realize we’re all competing. Do I think at the end of the day it’s going to cause a whole lot of shuffling where student-athletes are going to go? There’s a lot more talk than there is reality. Programs that are strong and effective at recruiting will continue to be strong and effective at recruiting. It’s something to talk about and have anxiety over, but I don’t know that it will change the landscape."
The bigger issue is finding revenue streams to cover the added costs every year. The Rolling Stones are just a small start.