Over the past few weeks, University of Kentucky Deputy Director of Athletics DeWayne Peevy has repeatedly tweeted about student tickets being available for games. This is inexcusable. It’s the Kentucky Wildcats. Students used to sit out for the lottery to get tickets to basketball games.
Listen, I can understand not attending the games at Commonwealth Stadium due to the win-loss record and the weather. That is perfectly understandble but there’s no excuse to be sitting at home watching the games on television when students have the opportunity to sit in a game at Rupp Arena.
According to Herald-Leader sports columnist John Clay, attendance has DROPPED through the first seven home games compared to prior seasons. Clay proposed a fan-first plan for Rupp Arena in a December 11th column.
Average attendance has gone from 23,868 through the first seven home games of 2009, John Calipari’s first season as the UK coach, to 23,116 in 2010, to 23,039 in 2011, to 22,071 in 2012 to 21,799 this season.
This is the same fan base that will sit outside to camp out for Big Blue Madness tickets! The 11-12 team was the one that brought home the 8th championship and they saw fan attendance decrease.
Clay offers his thoughts on why fans aren’t showing up in larger numbers and he’s not wrong, either. I remember going to games in the 1990s when the students would sit behind the Kentucky bench but it’s no longer the case these days.