By LARRY VAUGHT
I have a media friend who doesn’t think Kentucky fans should complain about increased ticket prices, increased parking passes or the fact that big donors get a higher priority for the best season than fans who have had season tickets for years, including those who have had season ticket holder in multiple sports.
But since I shared the story of UK fans Jackie and Tad Long who were giving up their season tickets to multiple UK sports, I’ve heard from a lot of fans upset with the treatment they have received from UK — and it’s hard for me to believe they could all be wrong.
Here’s a sample of the messages I’ve got:
— David Burch: “Since I have very few K Fund points because I ‘only’ paid for my tickets, I’ll be losing my season tickets to UK Men’s Basketball after this season. Sad.”
— Trey Cline: “The athletic department has to make money. They don’t care about blue collar folks that save money year round to buy season and other tickets. It’s about high rollers at the expense of the diehard blue collar fans that have been supporting teams for years.”
— Joey Phillips: “I’d like to go to a football game but it’s $143 bucks for two nosebleed seats. Add parking, fuel, food and you are up to $200 bucks. That’s a lot of money to most UK fans. It’s not affordable when I can stay home, watch on TV and order Pizza for me and a few others for $20.”
— Adam Martin: “Gave up my 3 ￼ tix this year after being a season ticket holder since ’07. I’m still a fan and will support them from home, but there was just no way I can afford them with the addition of a third child this summer. The Wildcat Pass I will miss most. Went to a lot of games.”
— Bil Marlowe: “Long time, dedicated football season ticket holders were like an ATM to UK. No matter what the season looked like we renewed ad were at every game. Then greed and stupidity set in. You took good paying seats and gave them to a student body that I large part could care less.”
— Steve Lentz: “I had football season tickets and a red parking pass since the 1976-77 football season. When the stadium upgrade started in 2013 I was told I could no longer get my red parking pass. I told UK, ‘No red parking pass, so I don’t want the four season tickets, either!’ I had the season tickets and parking pass for about 37 years. A lot of years UK never won a game or only won one or two games. But I was there every game. One game I wasn’t there about 1985 and my buddy said somebody must have died. He was right, my dad had passed away. I was loyal and UK did that to me after all those long years and had to donate money later in the years of having the tickets. I am not the only person this has happened to. It happened to hundreds, it not a 1,000 people I know. I realize money talks and UK needs money to be competitive but UK thought people would continue to come after they ‘screwed’ so many of us. I have not bought one ticket since 2013 and will not. I have been to a few games but the tickets and parking pass were given to me. The most unfair thing to me was not the money but the way ‘points’ were issued for previous years of having tickets. If one had tickets in 1999, they were given the same amount of points as I was and I started buying tickets and a parking pass in 1976. No credit. Really made me mad.”
Greg Hollon: “My dad didn’t renew his football season tickets after having them since 1994. Tired of the increasing cost and just wasn’t enjoying the games anymore. Can sit at home and save time and money watching it on TV.”
Kathy Hughes Molen: “We had football season tickets for over 20 years. We were luckily able to keep our same seats after the reorg, but the parking pass increase, taking half the parking lot, and walking twice as far to the stadium was final straw for us. UK fans for life but never at CWS (Commonwealth Stadium) anymore.”