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Not selling out opening game disappoints Mark Stoops

Benny Snell and the Cats won 10 games last year but tickets remain for Saturday’s opening game against Toledo. (Mont Dawson Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

If you are anywhere as close to as old as I am, you can remember the days when most Kentucky football fans were thrilled with six wins that made Kentucky bowl eligible.

Slowly former Kentucky coach Rich Brooks started to raise the bar for fan expectations, but still getting enough wins to be bowl eligible got the majority of Kentucky fans really excited.

Not any more, though.

Kentucky has been to three straight bowl games under coach Mark Stoops and is coming off a 10-win season — the first time UK has won games since 1977 — that concluded with a Citrus Bowl victory over Penn State.

However, that has not been enough for UK to sell out the opening game in Kroger Field against Toledo Saturday — something that has not made Stoops happy.

“I’m a little disappointed in that, to be honest with you,” Stoops said Thursday. “Coming off 10 wins and these guys have worked extremely hard, we need the support out there.

“Makes a difference. We’re all trying to build this program.”

Stoops even has a fill the stadium ally in Louisville morning radio sports show host Michael Bennett.

“I’m not going to lie, I am disappointed that the first @UKFootball game is not a sell out. To top it off @UKCoachStoops made the same remark after practice this afternoon. Help fill up Commonwealth Saturday & support a team that deserves it,” Bennett posted on Twitter.

Again, I think the non-sellout just says more about the cost of attending a game versus the ease of just watching at home or another venue on TV.

4 comments

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  1. Don’t believe it’s a support issue. Like you said I believe it is all money related.

  2. It has nothing to do with support.
    For the average family, tickets are expensive, concessions are legalized robbery, fighting traffic to get to the game is a pain, and parking is a mess.
    I love the cats, but I don’t want to spend 6-8 hours of my day and a lot of money when I can watch it on tv or listen to it on the radio.

  3. I like Stoops, but did he just got a raise that he could have flatly refuse. Yes it’s all about the money.

  4. UK is not getting the respect we should after a 10 win season, but respect is earned. I know I am bias, but I really believe this team is a lot better than we are getting credit for. Sure we lost a lot of talent. You don’t replace a Benny, Josh, or many other great talent we lost. Stoops and Co. have been recruiting at a level we have not seen before. I for one will be in the stands for my 25th year as a season ticket holder, and I expect good things to come. We may fall off a little this year, but I am not so sure we will. I still love the whole atmosphere of being there in person. We do have to prove it on the field, and I like this team. We will have growing pains this year,but look out next year. I still see at least 7 wins. Go Cats!!!

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