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As many fans proclaimed, ticket sales going slow for UK football’s opening game

Vicky Graff Photo

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky has won seven games each of the last two seasons and been to consecutive bowl games. Yet no one should really be surprised that ticket sales are dragging for the Sept. 1 opener at Kroger Field against Cetnral Michigan.

Remember two weeks ago when I had almost 600 UK fans — mainly football season ticket holders or former ticket holders — contact me upset that they felt UK athletics didn’t “care about the average fan” any more.

The UK Athletics twitter account has made passionate pleas this week for fans to buy tickets for the opening game.


, we’re asking you to lift us up like you always do. Many good seats are available for @UKFootball‘s season opener, starting at $32 apiece. Let’s give the Cats the crowd they deserve,” UK Athletics tweeted.

Football beat writer Jen Smith of the Lexington Herald Leader has reported that UK officials have confirmed that barely 40,000 tickets have been sold for the first game. That’s about 15,000 less than last year’s opening game.

Fans remain upset over the seat relocation from a few years ago, higher parking passes and more. It’s also easy to see more by watching the game on TV — even with tickets going for $32 with no KFund donation required.

More tickets will be sold for Sept. 1, but getting to 50,000 fans for the opening game for a team coming off consecutive seven-win seasons should certainly sound an alarm for UK athletics that I heard loud and clear a few weeks ago from many UK fans.

5 comments

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  1. Not good news for this long time UK football fan, but understandable

    1. Hate it for the team I might add.

  2. It is a holiday weekend with many people on trips or out of town. I will be taking my daughter back to school in Boston. The early games in the afternoon are hot and long. Many reasons for the small crowd. Television and concession prices keep people in the comfort of your own home. A couple of early impressive wins and the crowds will grow quickly.

    1. Maybe, and indeed it is a holiday weekend, but this schedule has been out for a long time for all to see and plan around. I say the home opening games at other SEC schools, on this weekend or any other, particularly football schools like Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M, UT, etc. will draw impressive crowds, just watch. This lack of fan support at a home opener for one of the most promising UK football teams in many a day, can’t be a good sign for the UK brass. I agree with you that wins will certainly help the crowds improve, but the current seating capacity at “Kroger Field” should not be that difficult to fill if UK’s longtime football fans get treated right. Therein is lies the problem. The UK “bean counters” better find ways to fix this or see more erosion and more empty seats.

  3. Hope you are right Ben, but a loss at Florida and then if UK loses at home to Mississippi State — and UK likely will be underdog in both — then what happens

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