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Long-time UK fans giving up baseball, volleyball, softball, women’s basketball, soccer, gymnastics and football tickets due to treatment from UK athletics

Jackie and Tad Long are not happy with UK athletics and are giving up season tickets in numerous sports.

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky fan Jackie Long of Lexington says she is “a ‘Cat fan forever” on her Twitter profile but that doesn’t mean she’s afraid to voice her displeasure when she feels something is not right.

She did that on Twitter this week when she went to buy two UK baseball season tickets again. The Longs were expecting to purchase club seating for the new baseball stadium based on their Fund points but she found that club, loge and box seats were all already sold out — and she was not happy.

She posted this message on Twitter to UK officials: “We have been baseball season ticket holders for several years. We have tickets to football, softball, baseball, women’s basketball, volleyball, soccer and gymnastics. We make additional contributions every year. We are done. We got completely screwed on our football tix with the shuffling in CWS (Commonwealth Stadium). It has taken us years to get to a section we are 1/2 way satisfied with. WE ARE DONE. Clearly the fat cats buy up the seats, and the fans are constantly screwed. We would even buy $$$ football seats but have basically been told ‘not in our lifetime.’ So, I hope you are happy, Mitch (Barnhart). The support we have given over the years is done. UK cares nothing about the fans, just the $. It has taken us a long time to get to this place in our thinking, but we are there.”

Her Twitter rant continued by noting that no football stadium upgrades were made for the average fan and that instead of paying twice as much for the same seats that they would use the money for vacation.

Jackie Long’s rant caught my attention because she is more than a football fan or men’s basketball fan as she noted. Jackie and Tad Long support numerous UK sports and if she was that upset, it made me think she had ample reason to feel that way.

I was even more intrigued to learn her Twitter rant actually prompted someone in the UK athletics office to track down her husband and call him about her tweets.

“And they did not call to see how they could help. Their mission was to shut me up. The dude was rude and defensive with Tad. It has sent me into orbit that they would call my husband to tattle on me,” Jackie Long said. “If they don’t like what I said, they should take it up with me. I can promise you, Tad Long has no control over what I say, although sometimes he would like to.”

Frustrated? Just a bit but I think most fans understand why.

They have cancelled all their season tickets except football — which were already paid for. No more KFund donations, either.

“I’m just really disappointed in the way they have treated us when we have given thousands of dollars to UK Athletics. But if you aren’t giving Joe Craft money, they couldn’t care less. It’s really sad,” Jackie Long said. “This all started because we were pretty high up in the selection list, and all of the premium seats were gone (meaning never really available to the season ticket holders), and most of the good reserved seats were gone. So while we were prepared to pay for club seating, not even a seat comparable to the one we had was available. I. The football selection, we lost our awesome covered seats that we had sat in and watched every play of that Joker train wreck.”

Hopefully baseball coach Nick Mingione, softball coach Rachel Lawson or volleyball coach Craig Skinner can reach out to the Longs because they are the kind of fans you don’t want to lose. Jackie Long said the caller told her husband that the couple missed too many baseball games last season and that was a consideration for their seating priority. That didn’t “sit” well with Jackie Long, either.

“We didn’t make it to a lot of games because of crappy weather, a lot of games start at 4 and we work, and you can’t get there much after the first pitch or they give away your dang seat that you paid for, which was why we wanted to buy club seats,” Jackie Long said. “Out of the weather and we could get there late, that way we could get to more games. I’m so mad.”

Not sure if this has happened to other fans. Not sure if anyone can do anything about it. But I know fans like the Longs love the Wildcats and I’m hoping someone at UK athletics can make the attempt to help solve this dilemma rather than lose two true blue fans.

14 comments

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  1. Go get ’em.

    She is absolutely right, and this is not new at UK or unique to Mitch. It has been the UKAA attitude for decades in my opinion.

  2. I’m certain the Longs are not the only lifelong fans who feel slighted.

  3. I live here in far western,ky by the mighty Ohio river. I have heard similar story’s from the long time cat fans around here in my parts of the world are saying same thing similar to Longs story. It’s sad it’s all about money the sports world has gotten to fancy in terms of having better stadiums built with all the club seats and so forth. Why can it be a simple stadium seats like it was back in the days of the way it should be. MONEY ISN”T EVERYTHING in life. Greed has taken over of joy of having fun and pleasure to endure in our today’s lifetime.

    1. I just hate that the best fans have these kind of experiences

  4. I had my fill with football season tickets a few years back and quit renewing after more than 20 years. Still a Cat fan but couldn’t justify the expense any longer for a team that appeared to be stalled. And didn’t appreciate the new Kroger field seating “upgrade” that only moved me farther from the 50. Nice trick changing the section numbers to get me to renew… thinking my seats improved after paying the higher K-fund donation only to find they were worse. I felt scammed. Fool me once… shame on you. Fool me twice… They weren’t given a second chance

  5. I think the Longs can relate

  6. I hope that UK Athletics can help them resolve their issues. I will have to say that UK Athletics has always been good to me and my family. If I call, they discuss my issues; if I email, they respond. I even had my car towed from the Women’s Clinic, and they took me and a few others to get our cars back from the tow-in lot.

    I am sorry you are having so much trouble, and I hope they locate and reprimand those who treated you unfairly.

  7. Big time college sports has become just like the pro sports. It’s all about the money these days. For starters, UK football needs to pick it up a ton on the field of play, with more wins, in order to justify the high costs associated with seats at renamed “Kroger Field” (what a joke and break with tradition to rename a once proud and long time stadium name, all for the almighty dollar.) That said, it is what the market will bear I suppose.

    1. Gotta charge all these high prices for seats, and jack people around who have been faithful to the program for years, so they can send sports teams to Italy and the Bahamas, all expenses paid, and pay coaches and AD’s millions of dollars. Long ago was simpler and better IMO. That said, those days are long gone sports fans, get over it. Welcome to major college sports in the 21st century.

  8. Totally getting their frustration. We had great football seats and got booted. I was hoping to get club seats in new baseball stadium to make up for losing our good football tickets, but they were gone first day (we picked second day). We donate every year, buy football seats with a large K Fund contribution, and go down on the priority ranking. Frankly, it’s extortion. But, sadly, average fans like us realize we can’t spend the money to keep pace with the companies and other entities who gobble up all the good seats and then never sit in them!!! I look across the stadium at our old section and it’s rarely half full. I’m keeping my seats because I love UK sports; UK sports just doesn’t love me!!!

  9. The average fans will never matter as long as the apparel companies and the tv networks are pumping millions and millions into the athletic programs. This gives them control and power over how the departments are run.

    1. you are right Old Fan. That extra money has changed everything

      1. The apparel companies and networks monies (SEC Network) and all the corporate sponsors should eliminate the need to gouge fans.

        I don’t think you a football or basketball ticket for an SEC game for less than $40.

  10. A thread like this one should set off alarms at the UKAA, but the saddest commentary of all is the UKAA does not care about the regular fan.

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