LEXINGTON, Ky. – Tickets for the 2018 edition of Big Blue Madness in Rupp Arena will be available Friday, Sept. 28, at 10 p.m. at the Memorial Coliseum ticket windows on Avenue of Champions and online at Ticketmaster.com. Big Blue Madness, the first open practice opportunity for UK’s 2018-19 men’s and women’s basketball teams, is Oct. 12 at 7 p.m.
Tickets are free again this year for the annual spectacle in Rupp Arena, which will feature introductions of both the men’s and women’s basketball teams, practice drills, videos, and more. Like the last three years, the ticket distribution will take place Friday night both at the Memorial Coliseum ticket windows on Avenue of Champions and online at Ticketmaster.com.
All patrons require a ticket to Big Blue Madness, regardless of age. There will be a limit of four tickets per person at the Memorial Coliseum ticket distribution. Online orders will have a minimal service fee attached, and there will be a limit of four tickets per household. All duplicate orders will automatically be canceled. UK Athletics cannot guarantee fans will receive tickets by lining up or going online.
To support regular campus operations and facilitate student pedestrian routes to and from class, campout space will be located at the north, east and southeast areas around the Joe Craft Center-Memorial Coliseum complex.
A limited number of control cards will be issued to those camped out Friday, Sept. 28, at 2 p.m. Fans will receive a maximum of four tickets per control card Friday night. No more than four control cards will be distributed to each tent. Fans with control cards are encouraged to start lining up for Friday night’s ticket distribution by 8:30 p.m. All fans must be present to obtain their control cards and only one control card per person will be accepted at distribution.
At the request of campus public safety officials, fans wishing to line up ahead of time at Memorial Coliseum for ticket distribution are asked to do so no earlier than 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 26. Advanced setups and pre-staging will not be permitted. At that time, campers are expected to be courteous to their fellow Wildcat fans and use caution when crossing Avenue of Champions and Rose Street over to the Memorial Coliseum and Joe Craft Center blocks to occupy a spot in line. Public safety officials will be on site to facilitate a safe move-in. Campers displaying unsafe/disorderly conduct risk being removed from the line.
To support regular campus operations and facilitate student pedestrian routes to and from class, this year’s camping area will be limited to the following areas:
- The southeastern portion of the main entrance of Memorial Coliseum
- Along the east side of Memorial Coliseum and the Joe Craft Center
- Along the east entrance of the main entry way of the Craft Center
- A designated section of the College View Lot (between Wildcat Coal Lodge and Rose Street)
A map of this year’s available camping sites is attached.
Campers are expected to be respectful to fellow campers, students, faculty, staff, security officials and pedestrians (by keeping sidewalks and passageways clear) during the campout, and to abide by all university policies regulating on campus behavior. Privately owned animals must be attended and restrained and, unless performing duties as a service animal or service animal in training, are not permitted in University buildings and structures. The university will be operating normally with classes in session.
UK Athletics cannot guarantee a spot for those wishing to line up ahead of time on Wednesday at 5 a.m. Once available space for fans has reached capacity, remaining fans will be directed to acquire tickets at Ticketmaster.com. As in past years, UK Athletics will inform fans when available space has reached capacity and they are unlikely to receive control cards for the in-person ticket distribution.
The athletics department will provide portable restroom facilities, but the use of permanent, wooden-type structures, portable generators, and propane tanks or other combustible/open flames used in cooking/heating is prohibited due to safety concerns. Campers may not drive or drill stakes in the pavement to secure tents in the parking lot areas. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products are not permitted. Additionally, selling sports tickets in excess of face value is illegal in Kentucky.
Parking and Transportation
Fans camping out for the Big Blue Madness ticket distribution may utilize the Wildcat Plaza area located directly across Avenue of Champions from Memorial Coliseum for a maximum of five minutes to drop off campers or unload their vehicles. Campers may also pay to use any metered spaces on city streets near the Craft Center-Memorial Coliseum complex.
The Coliseum Lot will be monitored by UK Transportation Services. Only UK employee-permitted vehicles will be allowed entry unless guests are using the metered spaces to access the UK Ticket Office. The UK Student Center is not available for parking.
Campus safety officials request that campers not block bike lanes and/or sidewalks with their vehicles at any time. Vehicles left unattended or creating a traffic hazard will be cited and/or towed.
After unloading, campers must relocate their vehicles to off-campus locations. Public parking options near campus include the Transit Center Garage and the Lexington Center Corporation, both of which have entrances accessible via High Street. Both parking lots are within walking distance of Memorial Coliseum and provide daily parking for a small fee. Please visit lextran.com/routes for information regarding Lextran bus routes to campus.
Beginning at 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28, the gates of the South Limestone Garage (PS #5) will be open and the structure will be available for free parking. The garage will remain open through Saturday.
Fan and Sponsor Activities
The UK Sports Network will once again produce live video stream coverage of the Big Blue Madness Campout with the airing of “Tent City Live.” Broadcasting from the Coca-Cola Stage, located outside the Joe Craft Center and Wildcat Coal Lodge, the live stream will air Thursday, Sept. 27 from 7-8:30 p.m. ET on UKathletics.com/tentcitylive and live on the Kentucky men’s basketball Facebook page. Fans can also tune in to 630 WLAP-AM to listen to the radio broadcast of the show.
The UK Sports Network’s coverage team for Kentucky basketball will be on stage for a night of interviews and roundtable discussions previewing the upcoming season. Fans are encouraged to submit questions and comments for the hosts and guests to the UK Sports Network via Twitter at @UKSportsNetwork to be answered on the live stream broadcast.
In addition to “Tent City Live”, the Coca-Cola Stage will also be the setting for interactive sponsor promotions and fan events, including an inflatable football toss, cornhole, product sampling and free prize giveaways. Additionally, Sleep Outfitters along with Paul Miller Ford will be on-site Thursday evening with free giveaways and an enter-to-win contest.
As in years past, campers can expect free food deliveries from our partners, Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, Papa John’s and Kentucky Strong BBQ courtesy of Paul Miller Ford.