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Examining the low student attendance epidemic


Photo by @awireman

Photo by @awireman

If you’ve read the website, listened to the show, or simply seen any of UK’s home games this year, then you know that student ticket sales have declined drastically. Low student attendance at games is a growing problem nationwide, but it wasn’t until it started affecting the crowd at Rupp Arena that Kentucky fans really sat up and took notice. Although tickets are only $5, for some games this season, the student sections at Rupp haven’t just been partially empty, they’ve been mostly empty, including the eRupption Zone. The fallout of the low attendance has started an interesting debate between fans on Twitter and our comments section, so what better way to fully examine the problem than go straight to the source: the students. I asked some of our writers who are students to give their opinions, along with Vincent Swope (aka Referee Guy) and John Astle (aka Fake Barney, the first student ever in the eRupption Zone). I also called DeWayne Peevy, UK’s Deputy Director of Athletics, to get the scoop on the UK student ticketing process and the university’s thoughts on the low student attendance.

First, let’s go over the current process for students to get tickets to UK games:

THE CURRENT STUDENT TICKETING SYSTEM

Because of anticipated lower demand, for all of the games so far and every one until the end of the year (excluding Louisville) and the Mississippi State game on January 8th, student tickets have simply been distributed from the UK ticket office instead of the lottery process. All students have to do is come to the ticket office 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, show their ID, give $5, specify whether or not they’d like an eRupption Zone ticket or regular ticket, and that’s it. A day after they are offered to students, students can go back and buy tickets for a non-student guest to sit with them in the student sections at the regular face value ($42/$50). All unclaimed student tickets then go on sale that night or the next day to the general public for face value. So far this year, the student ticket sales for these games has been shockingly low, which Peevy admits may be in part because students don’t receive email notifications about the ticket distributions like they do for the lotteries.

For bigger games, tickets are distributed via the lottery system, which has undergone some changes during the Cal tenure. Peevy told me that over Cal’s years as coach, the demand for student tickets grew so much that thousands of fans were coming to Memorial Coliseum to get tickets, and because there weren’t enough, leaving empty handed. Student organizations proposed an online registration system for the lottery, which would allow students to register to be a part of it to ensure they get tickets. To participate, students register online for the lottery, and if they “win,” they are invited to attend the lottery to get tickets. Lotteries take place on Monday nights, and students file in, receive their lottery numbers (1-32, grouped by the hundred), and wait for their number to be called. The numbers are randomly called throughout the night, at which time students take their number, ID, and $5 to the ticket windows to get their tickets. Designated windows sell eRupption Zone tickets until they run out.

If there are any tickets left after the lottery process, they’re put on sale at the ticket office on a first come-first serve basis the next morning. The day after that, students can buy guest tickets, and any remaining will be put on sale to the general public that evening.

(For more information regarding UK Student Ticketing Procedures, including lottery dates, on-sale times, etc. click here.)

Is it a confusing process? Yes, but it doesn’t completely explain why students aren’t coming to games. Here are five of their complaints, and some suggestions on how to solve them:

FIVE STUDENT COMPLAINTS AND HOW TO SOLVE THEM

1. The lottery system is unfair

Lotteries take place on Monday nights, and some people complain they last way too long (sometimes up to 4.5 hours), causing conflicts with other activities such as Fraternity/Sorority meetings, homework, or part-time jobs. Also, because the numbers are called randomly, it doesn’t always reward students who show up the earliest. For example, students who were among the first 100 to arrive receive the number one, but their number might not be called until the end of the night, whereas the last people to arrive (32), could be called first.

Solutions:

- Keep the lottery, but do away with the random number calling so those who arrive earliest are rewarded with the best seats

- Go a step further and develop a rewards system to give students who regularly attend games or arrive early at lotteries the best seats. As Wilder Treadway put it, “The worst person to run into at a men’s basketball game is someone who can’t even tell you who John Calipari is.” Under the current system, those who may not know a thing about basketball have an equal chance of getting the best seats as the person who reads KSR religiously. This could easily be implemented by keeping a record of whenever each student swipes their ID at the door.

- Distribute tickets solely online, eliminating the need for a lottery. The problem with that? Fake Barney argues that it eliminates the most loyal and loud fans from getting the best seats:

“The problem with making it online or making students not show up for the lottery is you have AWFUL fans there. You think it’s bad now?! Every person who actually showed up for games would be that girl who wore a pink UK hoodie instead of Kentucky Blue. The lottery weeds out the true fans in the best way we knew how—I’m sorry but I don’t want some idiot on the front row of the UNC game who didn’t have to do anything but check their email to get tickets.”

- Distribute tickets the day of at Rupp Arena or Memorial on a first-come, first-serve basis. To discourage scalping, give students bracelets with their section and seat number printed on them so they aren’t as easy to sell to their fellow students (apparently this is a legit problem).

Josh McCoy, UK Athletics

The eRupption Zone in happier times. | (Josh McCoy, UK Athletics)

2. Some people just don’t want to sit in the eRupption Zone

The eRupption Zone may be UK’s “flagship” student section, but to some students, it’s the last place they want to sit (Wilder Treadway calls it his “own personal hell”). Why? There’s no seating, and therefore poor views if you’re not tall, and according to our panel, the cheers are “dumb, corny, and awkward.” Team Wildcat, a student group, organizes the eRupption Zone cheers, but says they don’t have the funding to provide eRupption Zone t-shirts, signs, or fatheads (the ones you’ve seen have been purchased by Referee Guy and other private donors). Also, because the marquee games are split into three separate lotteries, there are often new students in the eRupption Zone every three or four games, which makes it hard for cheers to “stick.”

Solutions:

Someone get Team Wildcat some money. Whether it be the University allotting money or the organization holding fundraisers, the group’s hands are tied if they don’t have resources. However, it doesn’t take money to teach creative cheers, which brings me to my next suggestion…

Teach cheers during the lottery. It’ll also make it go by faster.

Sell all unclaimed eRupption Zone tickets to the public. The University already does this for games over Thanksgiving and Christmas break, and according to Peevy, they’re considering doing it for every game going forward. Today, K-Fund 110% club members received an email offering them the opportunity to buy eRupption Zone tickets for $5 each for the Cleveland State and Eastern Michigan Games. Peevy added that they only want to do that for the eRupption Zone because if they sold the other unclaimed student tickets for less than face value, it wouldn’t be fair to season ticket holders.


3. No transportation from campus to games

Another complaint from students is there isn’t a shuttle between campus and Rupp Arena during games. While us older folk who walked uphill to school both ways like to roll our eyes at this, a shuttle could entice more students to make the trek to Rupp without worrying about parking or sobriety. A shuttle from campus to Rupp actually used to exist, but due to low ridership (1% of the students who went to games), it was discontinued. Peevy said that if there is enough interest, they will discuss bringing it back. Until then, bundle up and walk.

4. The placement of the student sections suck

Ahh, the ultimate student complaint. The students get lower level and upper level sections, along with the eRupption Zone behind one basket. As Fake Barney will tell you, even getting that was a hassle:

“The eruption zone took a freaking act of congress—displaced fans were PISSED my freshman year. And why would UK give us an awesome student ring around the lower level and a second e-zone at the other end if we cant even fill up what we have now? ”

Gotta give the point to Fake Barney here. Until students fill up their sections, it’s hard to build an argument for them getting even more prime seating. Even then, you’d have the season ticket holders to deal with.

Cousin Terio makes Julius Randle happy

Cousin Terio makes Julius Randle happy

5. I’d rather stay at home and watch on my TV

This a growing sentiment among all sports fans, not just students. Arenas across the country are emptying because people would rather sit at home with their HDTVs, beer, and sweatpants. However, I would argue that students have a unique responsibility to the team, particularly the eRupption Zone. Peevy expressed concern that if students choose to stay at home instead of coming to games, they will do the same when they’re young alumni and later on when they have kids, meaning that a whole generation of fans will be “lost.”

Referee Guy confided that certain players on the team have complained to him about the vibe in Rupp Arena at times, saying that they wished fans would be louder, more involved, etc. They feed off the crowd’s energy. For example, Referee Guy said that he and some of the players would joke around about the Cousin Terio dance over the summer, which led to him getting the Terio fathead this season. He held it up after a Julius Randle dunk during a recent game and Julius pointed to it and smiled, telling him later that it got him hyped. Now, it’s tradition.

You can’t get that kind of player/fan interaction by sitting on the couch, nor can you have an impact on the game. For those who cling to this argument, maybe it is best if you stay home. KSR writer Courtney Sealey, who attends Marshall, agrees:

“As a student at a university where it’s a good year if we at least have more wins than losses, I would kill to be able to have the opportunities the UK student body does. I would kill to be able to tell my children that I was witness to every home game at a school like Kentucky. Tickets to an elite program are given to them for a low cost, a cost which they will never be able to get again once they graduate, and yet it is nearly impossible for fans who respect the program more to get tickets, unless they have money.”

After speaking to all sides, I can tell you this is a legitimate problem that the University wants to solve. Another solution to low ticket sales that Peevy suggested was reorganizing the lottery system so that marquee games, such as Louisville, Florida, etc., are placed with less popular games to increase attendance. However, that doesn’t stop students from scalping those tickets or just not showing up.

The floor’s yours.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR.

134 responses to “Examining the low student attendance epidemic”

  1. Andrew

    I’d add that paying $42 for a standing room only or upper level student ticket is a little too much to ask.

    1. John

      If they want to see the tickets sell the tickets for $20 like they said they were going to do last week!!!

    2. heh

      What’s the problem? A lot of these fans would stand outside of “The Lodge” for hours day after day to get an autograph of a teen age boy.

  2. John

    Sell

  3. Real UK Fan

    $42 is a ridiculous price to pay. I might think about going if the ticket is $20 or LESS, but at 42 I will watch it on TV.

  4. Jimmy Dinklewinker

    How much at tickets at Belk Arena?

  5. Randy

    Student tickets are $5.

  6. UKSoCal

    Surely there aren’t empty student seats? I’m constantly reading on this site how there needs to be more student seating and how awesome all of those (apparently empty) student seats would be if they circled the entire court! Didn’t Corey write that article a week ago?

  7. Blue Jesus

    Oooh I was hoping we’d get something more in-depth like this, I look forward to reading it.

  8. Ryan

    UK shouldn’t have to give them money for t shirts or signs. If you want a tshirt go buy one, go make a sign, my tuition money shouldn’t go to something as useless as that. If you want to give them money send them some of that KSR ad money.

    1. Kevv Bacon

      Your tuition doesn’t go to athletics anyways. Athletic and tuition funds are separate. The athletic department and academic board work independently. At UK, students don’t see the money generated by the basketball team, and the athletics don’t see money from tuition.

  9. the fuzz

    Meanwhile, some season ticket holders are going to lose their seats after Rupp renovation.

  10. Chaz Vittitow

    Students want to go the games. The lottery is just a flawed system. I am fine with them having a lottery. They should have students sign up online (like they already do) and if you get accepted they let you know. Then of the groups that get accepted they should randomly put them in number groups (just the same as handing out ticket numbers when you show up to memorial). They then can send out emails of what number group you have been put in and what rank your group number has been randomly been positioned. This would save us hours of getting there and spending 4 hours with limited seating. We are willing to accept we may or may not get a good seat. The extremely eager students can buy Eruption zone tickets and get there as early as they want. Just use some technology and dont make us wait forever to get tickets.

    1. Turner the Burner

      I was at UK when the eRUPPtion Zone started. Having to wait for the tickets gets the dedicated students there. At a school the size of UK, with the program UK has, that shouldn’t be a problem. Waiting is part of the game, get over your microwave lifestyle.

    2. UKCatNKy

      I agree with Turner. This generation thinks they are entitled to everything and god forbid they have to wait for anything. They need instant gratification. I was there when Pitino first came back to Rupp and waiting until 1am on a Monday night lottery for tickets that were way up in the upper level. I was excited to just get those tickets and be there.

    3. Parker

      The problem is not the games like North Carolina or Pitinis return to Rupp, it’s that we as student are not going to go wait for 5 hours to get a ticket in the upper deck for a game vs. Cupcake U. Also the lottery system is completely flawed I am now a senior at the university and have won the lottery once while I know friends from places like New Jersey who barely know who tubby smith is, but they win the lottery almost every time. The system is simply FLAWED.

  11. yevkazim

    During the 90s title run, Lottery was Sunday mornings. Door to memorial closed at 8:30AM. Dont complain about Monday nights being tough. Try getting up at 7:30 on a SUNDAY morning and having to walk across campus to sit for a few hours to get tickets.

    Does the “K-Club” still exist for dedicated student fans. In case it doesnt, or for those of you who do now know what it is, it is basically a club that existed at least in teh 90s that went to UK sporting events. You had to attend a certain number of non-Football/Basketball games, and in return you were given good seats to basketball and football games, without having to deal with the lottery.

    And build on it from there. If sight lines in teh Eruption zone are bad for shorter people, which makes perfect sense, modify the bleachers they stand on. Rather than having each row be 8 inches lower than the previous one, make it 12. You may have to give up a row, but it will be easier to see for shorter people. Or cut out a couple of people from each row in the zone. This will allow some space between students, which will allow for people to see between each other. This would cause less people to lose a seat in the zone.

    as far as the shuttle goes, its nto really teh shuttle getting to the game that is needed. After the game is when people really want it. Much easier to bum a ride before hand, or at least you are walking while it is earlier.

  12. Sam

    I just left the student population in 2k12. My thoughts:

    1.) Keepkng record of when a student that buys tickets doesn’t show up to the game and rewarding those who do is a great idea. In all my years since Cal arrived students snatching up tickets with no interest in watching only to try and sell them was a huge problem. It was so infuriating that it really just made you want to throw your hands up and not participate at all. There needs to be a serious penalty if someone who is not you tries to get in with your ticket and those who actually show up on the regular should be rewarded for that.

    2.) I was never huge on the eruption zone. I can’t speak for everyone, but most of my circle took the games very seriously and sitting in the eruption zone meant not being able to see the game. If your objective is just to act up with your fellow students and do some heckling, then the eruption zone makes plenty of sense. For my part, watching the game and being able to analyze what was going on was always the number one objective. As between the eruption zone where I couldn’t see and staying home where I could, I’m staying home with my TV.

    3) Maybe it is possible to address fake Barney’s concerns while still allowing for online distribution. If you reward those who show up on the regular in some kind of point system, then maybe you let those who exceed a certain point threshold get their tix online the day before the lottery without having to show up at the stadium. Dip below the threshold? Back to the lotto with you.

    1. Student

      I’ve heard that Alabama employs a student ticket system for Football similar to what you are describing in “1.),” so I’m thinking it would be doable. However jumping to the conclusion that a LARGE proportion of students who get tickets from the lottery turn around and sell them for a large profit may be unfair, although it does happen. Personally if I’ve been unable to attend I usually could find someone to take my place, sometimes I’d get $5, sometimes wouldn’t worry about it. Most I ever paid a fellow student was $15, but maybe I just had reasonable friends.

      A less than ideal solution to this would be to attach tickets to the student ID, but then transferring the ticket from a student who may have something come up (work, test, illness) becomes more difficult, leading to another empty seat in Rupp, that could have been filled by his friend.

  13. yevkazim

    Chaz Vittitow, I am going to say this in teh nicest way possible. Boo Hoo. You mean you might have to wait a few hours to get a ticket for $5 to watch the best college basketball team play. I cant imagine your hardship. Go or dont go, but the university should not have to coddle to your needs. You dont want to go, no big deal, there are hundreds of alums who would love to be able to buy those seats. Just wait until you are an alum, and you have to donate huge money to buy those tickets, You will be kicking yourself.

    As an alum, I am glad that the university makes you “work” a bit to get tickets. Dont do the work, then sell the tickets to more alums.

    1. Chaz

      Call me crazy but isn’t it usually better to make something more efficient if you can. Making students “work hard” for tickets solely for the fact that the tickets are worth it is silly. I was just proposing a better way to run the system since we have the technology to do so.

    2. Yekemen Fool

      Hey Yek, Maybe this student has things to do during the day and isn’t sitting at home on the couch waiting for the next UK game like the alums who can’t afford tickets. Students have a ton of activities and watching UK play Transy maybe doesn’t make the night’s A list. I’m certain the UNC game will be packed – just like season ticket holders, they can pick and choose what games to see. As long as UK chooses to have all of their marquee games at neutral sites (which is their choice), then fans should be able to determine for themselves whether a game is worthy of their time. It doesn’t make them a bad fan or otherwise, just a college kid with good options. I read “sour grapes” in your post. Most alums would love to be back in college chasing girls, drinking beer, and going to games. But that’s not real world is it? If you are an alum, then presumably you have graduated – it’s time to do so in your mind as well.

  14. Blue Jesus

    I was just thinking, I don’t remember seeing a charge, for or against UK, yet this year. Is that just a coincidence or does it have something to do with the new foul rules?

    1. yevkazim

      Poythress was called for a charge in one of the exhibition games, but you are right that new rules will make them much more rare.

  15. yevkazim

    Want to stop students from selling their tickets, simply print names on the tickets. Go to the game, the ticket name must match the ID.

    Want a system a little faster than that, scan student IDs when they pick up their tickets. Then when you go into the gate to enter the game, swipe your id with the ticket.

  16. Daniel

    I’m a current freshman at UK and aside from the exhibitions, for the 2 real games the erruption zone was pretty full especially against northern. Although this may just be because I haven’t seen it yet. I have been to everything I can so far and I believe it’s a great deal for 5 bucks a game. When I ask people if they are going they say I didn’t get any tickets.I believe the distributions aren’t well known around the students and then they believe if they dont get them on the first day they are given out, they are sold-out which obviously hasn’t been the case.

  17. Daniel

    *may be because I havent seen it a full capacity yet

  18. Dazed and Confused

    TT, it was very hard to read the Fake Barney comments, without that Fake voice, LOL!

  19. kfund

    Award points for attendance (swipe the IDs) at UK mens, UK women’s BBall, football, other select sports, and awards tickets by lottery, with each swipe counting as an entry. Build support for the sports you want, reward those who show up.

  20. Price point

    I don’t know what students pay after the lottery, but the face value of Upper Arena tickets is $40. I am a season ticketholder and I’m excited about this team (like every year). I can no longer get excited about Transy, Montevallo (regular price games), UNC Asheville, Robert Morris, Texas Arlington, Cleveland St, blah blah blah. So I sell the tix for the out of conference games. They are not easy to sell and the weeknight games are definitely not. Not bad seats-mid court, not many rows up. Anyways, point is when the schedule gets better, the attendance will get better.

  21. Andyiscool

    As much as I pains me to say this, UK is going to have to get the Frats and sororities involved in the student section. No one wants to hear this but if the Frats and sororities aren’t i. The student section, it’s almost kind of dorky. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a student and in a frat and I don’t miss a single game but if you want a lot of people to attend, you have to make it a function that Frats and sororities must attend. Make it a contest or something and the frat that has the most or the most rowdy gets recognition for something or money. The reason no one is attending is because it’s gotten really lame with the people that run team wildcat. You need to make Referee guy in charge since he’s the one that actually hangs with the players and knows what they like. Just a thought. Just think, why would Frats and sororities attend if they can drink and party at someone’s house and watch the game? You make them attend. Not as a punishment but as a contest.

    1. Frat Guy #2

      Can confirm, Student Section and especially Team Wildcat is dorky.

      Source: Am a frat guy

    2. Senator Blutarsky

      Why don’t you frat guys personally make it a point to get your brothers at the games? Why does the university have to coddle the frats and sororities into participating at a school event? I’ve seen comments like this before and I dont understand why frats and sororities dont want to do anything unless they have special treatment from the university. Have a house meeting and tell everybody to go to the game!

    3. wildcat golf

      Sorry Senator, but take it from a much older/alum Frat Guy… even when I was there (2000ish) if you don’t make it count towards greek points, a lot of them would rather have a mixer at an off campus house where they can drink and easily mingle with their sorority girl of choice. Ya know, the funny thing is that the football games used to get (I’m assuming they still do) outstanding greek attendance, and it’s because the ticket office offered blocks of tickets that a Fraternity or Sorority could purchase with a set amount of tix (I used to purchase them for my frat). It was a good system too, just find out how many people in a given Frat are going to the game, and the university gives that many tickets for that Frat’s block. The reason this works is because the Frat/Sorority has to pay for the entire block of tix up front, so at that point it’s hitting the books for the given organization and then they force the members who said they were going… to actually go. In fact the ticket office was even good enough to let you do blocks together… i.e. If a few greek organizations were tailgating together, they could arrange to have their blocks of seats next to each other too.

      This might not be a bad idea for the ticket office now. If you’ve got left over Student Section tickets in basketball, then start selling blocks of seats up front to various student organizations (the football system isn’t just limited to greeks). It’ll reduce the number of student tickets to the open student population… but until they start selling out games, there’s no room for a complaint.

    4. recent grad

      just graduated, not greek, agree team wildcat is sort of lame. not sure how you go about replacing leadership in a volunteer student org, but it needs to be done. the number of times i’ve stood around while a dude with a whiteboard tries to get college students doing stupid cheers….

      there used to be a point system like everyone is saying, can’t remember what it was called. you got points for going to games of other sports, and people with more points got better seats at football & men’s bball games. seemed to work well, got nixed 3-4 years ago, not sure why.

  22. SladeT87

    The lottery system is fine. Two reasons why students haven’t gone to the games yet.
    1. The competition. It’s not a solid excuse, I know, but watching an exhibition game that doesn’t even count is just not as exciting as when the better teams come to town. The E-Zone has never really been filled for those games, it’s just been noticed this year. People who pay all that $$$ for their season tickets feel like since they’ve already paid the money, they should go. If those games weren’t packaged in the season ticket bundle, you’d see the same thing throughout Rupp.
    2. This is the main one. Students are used to going to the lottery to get tickets. Most I talk to just assume they must have missed the lottery and that they didn’t get tickets. I know it’s super easy to go to the ticket office, but most students DON’T EVEN KNOW they are available. They should know, but they are used to just getting an email that says “This is when the lottery, sign up online and show up”. It was almost whispered out that tickets were on sale. When there isn’t any urgency, people forget. If it had been billed as a first come, first serve thing where students thought they would run out quick, more would have scrambled to get tickets. Students just think “Oh i can get those later” and procrastinate until gameday and by then may have made other game plans. It’ll get better. Just give it a couple games.

  23. Blue Jesus

    Big football recruiting news, might be worth a post or at least a mention. Alabama received a commitment today from the No. 6 player in the class according to ESPN. This is especially relevant for UK because the player, Da’Shawn Hand, plays on the D-Line. Could be a big boost in our effort to get Matt Elam on board. It would be interesting to know if any recruiting experts have changed their positions on his status now that there is one less spot on the line at Alabama.

    http://espn.go.com/college-sports/recruiting/football/story/_/id/9975978/dashawn-hand-no-6-prospect-espn-300-commits-alabama-crimson-tide

    1. Blue Jesus

      Should be noted this kid is listed as a DE, where as Elam is a DT, nevertheless, they both play D-Line, could have an effect on the recruitment.

  24. joe

    I am a student currently and can tell you that a lot of us want to go to the games but the ticket marketing is letting us down. I have been to every home game but this is only because a friend of mine heard from another friend that they were selling the tickets. I am a huge basketball fan and would have never known about them if it hadn’t been for my friends friend. Half the time us students don’t even know when the tickets are on sale.

  25. Evan UK2017

    Preventing students from having the ability to sell tickets doesn’t solve the issue of people not going to games. With the current lottery system for the big games, there is no guarantee that someone whose been in the eRUPPtion zone every game like me will even get a ticket for the UL, UF games etc. I would rather be able to buy somebody who wouldn’t even come back over break for the UL game’s ticket than not be able to go at all.

    They need to restructure the system so that the most loyal students have the best opportunities to get the best seats. The random online lottery selection makes it too easy for people who don’t give a damn about the team to get the best seats, and they don’t even end up going to the games. There aren’t enough students who care about the team to begin with so priority should be rewarding those who do.

  26. Evan UK2017

    Preventing students from having the ability to sell tickets doesn’t solve the issue of people not going to games. With the current lottery system for the big games, there is no guarantee that someone whose been in the eRUPPtion zone every game like me will even get a ticket for the UL, UF games etc. I would rather be able to buy somebody who wouldn’t even come back over break for the UL game’s ticket than not be able to go at all.

    They need to restructure the system so that the most loyal students have the best opportunities to get the best seats. The random online lottery selection makes it too easy for people who don’t give a damn about the team to get the best seats, and they don’t even end up going to the games. There aren’t enough students who care about the team to begin with so priority should be rewarding those who do.

  27. bigblue091812

    HOW ABOUT THIS BEING THE PROBLEM. 1) It’s nice winning as much as we have in the last 4-5 years but we don’t get attached to players as we did in the past. I’ve been a UK fan since 66 at age 8 watching my first UK game with my dad, love Rupp’s Runts. I was a fan of Wall, Bledsoe, Boogie, Davis, MKG, Knight etc etc etc while at UK but not being a NBA fan I could care less about what they do there. Maybe that’s why Miller, Jorts, Hood and Polson have been my favorite players in the last 5 years. 2) I will watch every game at home on my 50″ HD flat screen instead of fighting the crowd to see us play Rober Morris. I’ve turned down free tickets at least 20-25 times in last 5 years (they were not offered for games against Florida, UNC, loserville or Tenn) but for teams like Robert Morris, I’d would’ve gone to the MSU game if I’d had the chance. 3) I believe we will bring home title #9 this year and will watch every game, don’t dare tell me I’m not a true fan because I don’t take advantage of tickets to see UK play these Cupcakes. I will go if I get a change to go to the loserville, Tenn, Florida or any SEC game. 4) Cal thinks these games against teams like Baylor, MSU and Prov are good for recruiting and who can argue with him with his results there, but as a die hard CATS fan I feel we are going to win every game every year but if I go to Rupp to watch one I want it to be a game against top teams and players not what we’ve had available in the last few years. I know, support you team no matter what but with the cost of going out anywhere this day and age I’m not saying every home game should be against a top 25 team but it just can’t be loserville one year and UNC the next. We are college basketball, so lets still play those games in these big arenas but lets have the toughest schedule each and every year and add 5-6 tough games against good teams for the fans. It may be a players first program but I’m sure they want a full house to play in front of, but you need to lood at the product your selling.

    1. Cincy Cayt

      So you want more home/home series with top-ranked OOC teams and fewer one-and-done players…maybe next Coach, bud. I agree with you and would like to see us schedule teams from my town to help alleviate this. Cincy and Xavier home/home series with the away games being at US Bank Arena or even Bank of Kentucky at NKU, which is much closer to them. Get rid of the UNC Ashevilles and Eastern Michigans while adding some BCS conference teams that maybe wouldn’t even require a return visit. Our RPI could’ve used it last year…

    2. Yep

      Bigblue, u are right. Rupp OOC schedule is weak. Aside from UofL, what is a good game? Boise st? Gimme a break. People keep talking about neutral site games being good for recruiting. Well wouldn’t it be good to bring a recruit to Rupp for games vs, quality opponents?

  28. KnowYourHistory

    I was lucky to UK at two different times that had a lot of success. When I got my BS in ChemE in 1999, the lottery was Sunday mornings and most classes were Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The Sunday morning definitely weeded out people who got on late from Saturday night. But you could go to he lottery in the morning and have the rest of he day to do whatever.

    When I came back to get my PhD in 2006, classes were mostly Tuesday and Thursday with the lottery on Monday nights. So lottery on the night before classes. When billy g was there, no problem. During Cal’s first year, the home side of memorial including the concession stands, ramps, and lobby were full. Four hours the night before classes was a lot to balance.

    Another issue is the full time status requirement. Once we finished classes and went under 9 hours in grad school, we were no longer eligible for student tickets. The twist was we were also not eligible for the UK employee discount (80%) on the “donation” for season tickets even though we were paid by UK.

    Our source for tickets was our professors. Most are offered season football and basketball tickets when they become faulty.

    1. yevkazim

      I think it is fair to say that if you are no longer paying tuition, you should not be eligible for student tickets at $5. And just a question, couldn’t you have just paid full price for the tickets?

  29. Wilder Treadway

    #21 is spot on.

  30. Katie

    I don’t understand why more people aren’t coming. Sure, it’s “more comfortable” to sit at home and watch the games than walk two miles from my house, wait in line sometimes for a couple hours in the freezing rain (Tennessee game last year), and stand another two hours during the game, but you miss so much when you don’t go. You don’t really get to experience UK basketball until you experience it in Rupp. I’ve got a favorite spot in the eRupption zone where I can high-five the players, see what’s going on with the bench, hear bits and pieces of what Coach O is saying to recruits, talk to Kenny Walker, and hear stories from the Committee of 101 folks. This, on top of the basic Rupp environment. Yeah, it gets dreadfully quiet at times (I’ve sat in non student seating where nobody else was compelled to jump up and down after big plays), but if we do our job, that doesn’t happen.
    I do wish there were a system so that those who attend more games get higher preference in lotteries. Last year I made it into every lottery, but the year before I only got in one of the three. Kinda sucked.

  31. SophomoreStudent

    It’s my job to be good at school and do well on my exams. It’s not my job to make it to as many sporting events as possible. Granted, I will go to as many basketball games as I can, but sometimes I will not be able to because of homework or studying. Is that my fault? Going to games and them being only $5 is a nice reward of being a student here, but sometimes there are just other things that come up. We’re not here to fill up every seat for games, if that is what you believe you are sorely mistaken and were probably never a college student. We’re here to get a quality education, with the basketball being a great bonus. So to criticize students doesn’t really seem fair. I’ve been to Rupp this season. Plenty of empty non-student seats. Where were those people? Why aren’t they filing every seat for every game?

    1. yevkazim

      Here is a big difference between student seats and non-student seats. The non-student seats are already paid for regardless of whether or not people actually show up. Of course everyone should show up regardless, but wanted to clarify that the situations are not the same.

      You are absolutely correct that your job is to be a student and not a fan. But what you must accept is that the consequence of this is that you are not guaranteed to get tickets. And I am not sure if your statement about being sorely mistaken was directed at me, but I graduated from UK in ’98 with an engineering degree, and attended every single basketball game that I was able to get a ticket to, and worked while in school

  32. Brian

    As a student it’s a little embarrassing the attendance at Rupp. Coming from out of state, I had never been to a game until I arrived here as a student. For my first game I expected the crowd to be loud and electric like many other colleges. Sad to say it after Tuesday, but I grew up watching Michigan State all the time and always thought they have such a cool student section and they were always loud. One of the first things many of my friends and relatives from back home even ask me how many games I’ve been too every time I go back, them not realizing the current student attendance and participation problems. My first problem would be the location of the student section. I said ‘section’ because there should be only be one. There is no reason for the students to be split into 3 different areas, it just hurts the cheers and atmosphere. Students sitting in the upper area feel like there is no reason to be involved on the cheers since they are already cut off from everyone else. Moving all of the students to one area, preferably in the lower area would even help fix the lottery problem. Students wouldn’t have a problem waiting all 32 lottery groups if they were still guaranteed a seat a the lower level with the rest of the student body. The process just needs to sped up. There is no reason why the lottery should be a 4 hour ordeal. Finally if students will complain about paying $5 for a good ticket in Rupp Arena then maybe they shouldn’t be here. We say that we are the greatest tradition in college basketball so the lack of student attendance is simply inexcusable in my view. If you don’t want to come to be a part of the student body then they should rethink there college choice. I may here some bad backlash from this statement as well but I feel like the Greek life on campus has ruined the student body at UK. I’m not in a fraternity but everyone is broken up into their cliques so it prevents us from coming together to simply cheer for our school. For example I have many friends that attend OSU and they don’t have these problems because of the lack of Greek presence on campus. They talk of how the entire student body goes and tailgates together for football games rather than the people in Greek Life having their own segregated tailgate. It’s ridiculous how these same people will dress up in suit and tie to go and watch our unfortunately subpar football team, but they won’t go watch the most elite program in college basketball.

  33. MttaCatFan

    So going to see one of the most talented teams to ever play here isn’t cool enough for frats/sororities to go? That’s not an issue that UK needs to cater to, that’s a problem with the culture of students here. SMH

  34. Brett

    I’m a student. I never know when tickets are on sale. Maybe that would help, rather than just expecting us to know that there are tickets available. I receive plenty of pointless emails from UK each day, maybe they should send us one about tickets. Also, it’d be sweet if y’all would stop bashing the students. Keep in mind that we are students. If I have an exam on Wednesday, you best believe I’m studying on Tuesday night and not spending money to go to a basketball game. It’s called responsibility. If you actually cared about this university, you would understand that this is what is more important – not basketball.

  35. Kevv Bacon

    Regardless of the current student attendance, this culture has been bred by the system UK implemented. When I go to games, I stand up when that clock is running. Everyone, especially the rednecks int he uppers, like to sit, and complain when you stand infront of them. The Erruption zone flat out sucks. And the lower bowl is field with fat 60 year-olds with two fists full of soft serve. Rupp in general is just not laid out well, and the way tickets have been distributed, like how gets them and where they sit, has been pretty inefficient. It’s very hard to be a rowdy student, when I’m near 30 year old hicks telling me to sit down so they can see. It makes me more angry with UK fans that hyped for my team and school. It’s not just students, it is all the people who attend games at Rupp.

  36. Sam

    Yes. That’s exactly what I need out of the student section at Rupp. A big group of dudes wearing golf pants boat shoes and croakies. That should really put the fear of god in the opposing team.

  37. Clint

    As a current student at UK and huge basketball fan I’m sad to say that I had no idea that tickets were even for sell. For years I’ve got an email for the lottery whenever tickets and games came up. I just assumed I missed it or it wasn’t time yet or something. IMO this is the biggest problem, especially since the lottery sort of forces groups of students to get together to plan to get tickets while just walking to the ticket office on the other hand doesn’t exactly lead to that. I really, really doubt that we can’t get enough students to fill Rupp up, especially with this year’s team.

  38. ok-cats-computer

    Is that first pic from a women’s game?

  39. Cayts Fan!

    Just a thought…First, I prefer ice this with the fact that I graduated in 03 and all I know about the current lottery system is what I just read. But with that limited understanding, here are my thoughts…

    With the current lottery being online first, it is very simple to sign up online for the first step.It is very likely that a good number of the students who win the online lottery are not the most committed ones. I would also assume that a good number ( 15 or 20 %, purely guessing) of the students that win in the online lottery don’t even show up for the second step. The flaw in the online system is that you have students who really want to go to the game that don’t win the online lottery and therefore get shutout. I realize they can comeback later and buy excess tickets but the more steps you put in the process the more people are going to do something else.

    solution… I think a point system or me other reward system is a good idea. That way the most passionate students can bypass the lottery. Beyond that group, I say go back to the simple one night in-person lottery. It might be inconvenient for students that show up and don’t get tickets but quite frankly that is a good thing. It is much better to have students leave a lottery pissed off that they did not get tickets than it is for tickets to go undistibuted at the lottery.

  40. dude

    Teaching cheers? Who are we, Duke?

  41. KT

    A compromise:

    It’s not the worst system in the world but if the lottery takes 4 hours then that’s ridiculous. I had to work in college so I understand time is precious and I wouldn’t have waited that long for a ticket either, I really couldn’t most weeks because I generally worked evenings (4 PM – midnight).

    Have students come and get a lottery ticket and record the lottery number and the student’s name while verifying their student ID. This would require students to still personally go and pick up a ticket so they would have to care at least that much. Then simply do the rest electronically sending out an automated email to the winners and posting them somewhere on UK’s site.

    Also, allow students to come pick the tickets up between 9 and 4 for the lottery games as well or at least extend the hours to something like 8 AM – 8 PM, make it easier for different types of schedules to make it over to Memorial. Remember students working hospital shifts may be working 7-7 so they wouldn’t be able to make it between 9 and 4 but they could stop by after they get off work at 7 PM. Night shift jobs may sleep in for the morning and want to pick up tickets after class around 5. Make it easier for these kids. This way you would have to take 30 minutes out of your day at worst (better than renewing a driver’s license) to stand in line and you are still rewarding people that show up but then you are using technology to handle the rest.

    If it STILL doesn’t get better then allow the students coming to pick up two tickets and take a friend.

    As for the cheers and the problems with too many people sitting down at games (particularly during football games) I don’t know what the answer is. Let’s at least get people to the game first and then go from there. Hand out tickets for free if you have to, just get people into the stadium and fill a seat. UK makes enough money off of TV contracts anyway that they wouldn’t miss the ticket sales too bad.

  42. UK Student

    As a current UK student I can say that I have no idea when tickets go on sale. If the athletic department was able to let us know when the tickets where going to be on sale it might make it possible for us to buy tickets.

  43. troublingtimesindeed

    This is pathetic.

    Our current crop of student fans need to understand two things.

    First, they are witnessing the most exciting basketball teams since the 90s title runs. I was lucky enough to be a student during the mid-90s. The teams had no “off” switch. Invariably, someone would do something, a dunk or a steal or a fast break, that would leave the crowd in shock. That moment of clarity, of instant realization that the impossible became possible, brought the fans to Rupp. And those fans made Rupp one of the most imposing venues in sports.

    Maybe it was our TVs, maybe it was the the camera angles – I don’t know. But, the transcendence of those 90s teams could not be conveyed through the satellite feed. You had to be in the arena to truly understand what the teams were accomplishing. And because of that, students flocked to the lottery. Sure, we complained. But we went, and we got our numbers, and we sat (with no iphone) and waited for our number to (hopefully) be called. Only for winter break games did tickets reach the public. And when it was game time, we gladly formed a mass of slowly-moving freezing bodies that filled Broadway and Mill and Upper for an hour before tip-off and after the final horn.

    We also witnessed some of the worst football that has ever been played in Division I. We would have killed for something as innovative as run/run/screen/punt. At one point, the student section numbered in the low hundreds.

    Which brings me to my second point: student tickets are a benefit, not a right. We lost several thousand football tickets due to poor attendance, because the administration could sell the tickets at full price.

    I guess what I want to say is this: Stop whining. If you want to see the game in person, make an effort. If you don’t, that’s your decision. But quit complaining about how much trouble it is to see one of the most exciting basketball teams in recent memory for $5. If you keep complaining, or worse, quit showing up, I will be glad to buy a seat in the newly opened general admission section.

  44. yevkazim

    OK, It is my firm belief that if you are in college at UK, and you cannot figure out when the lottery is on your own, provided you don’t have a special needs situation, you probably shouldn’t earn a degree. Have you not heard of Google. I just did a quick search for “university of kentucky student ticket lottery”, and you know what, it gives me a link right to the lottery process and dates. And in the age of Twitter, Facebook, etc, information is just so easy to get now-a-days.

    1. Confused Student

      did that google search also provide you with the log-in code that we are sent via email by the athletic department most years, but for some reason have not this year?

    2. yevkazim

      Confused Student, no it did not, but it did provide me a phone number for the ticket office that you can call.

  45. Travi

    Tyler, when was that first picture taken? The 3 games I’ve been to this season (Transy, UNC Ashville and NKU) the e-zone was a slimmer than usual but not that slim. I believe that picture wasn’t taken during the middle of a game and therefore is a little mis-represntative

  46. OhPlease

    This lottery system is much easier than when I went to UK – stop whining…If students don’t want the tickets, reduce their allotment in the future and sell them to the general public from the start.

  47. GBB

    I think it’s silly that the SEC does not allow alcohol sales at it’s sporting events. Other conferences allow it. I also think what is happening today is students prefer to drink alcohol with freedom. They cannot drink on campus, so they choose to live off campus. They cannot drink alcohol inside Rupp Arena or Commonwealth Stadium, so they prefer a environment where they can. They prefer to watch a game where alcohol is freely consumed whether its in a sports bar, or at a party, or on their high definition TV at home. I am looking forward to the new SEC Network coming to my TV in August 2014!

    Oh yea! Remember, Kentucky is the Bourbon Capital of the Universe!!

  48. Student

    Isn’t this panic a bit premature? We haven’t even had a lottery yet, so lotto revamp talk is somewhat irrelevant. We were decent last year, but to be honest I wouldn’t call a first round exit from the NIT as the work of the “greatest tradition in in college basketball.” And as much as I agree that students could pick up the energy in Rupp, we’ve had two exhibitions and two cupcake games… Hardly the stuff you’d camp out for nosebleed tickets for.

    I’m all for the addition of some early season big games, and I get what Cal is doing with the neutral site prep for the tourney, but I can GUARANTEE Rupp would have been rockin if we had played MSU at home, instead of NKU or UNC-Asheville.

  49. Ben in lexington

    Not only is the student section empty, but this comment section is also.

  50. UKBlue

    As great as UK is at certain things, organizing or changing something, they might as well have the local AARP group be in charge. People have complained about students tickets for 20 years or longer & they still haven’t figured it out. Music at football games, people have complained for years, UK has talked about it, no action & it’s still not fixed.

    I’m sorry, but screw these kids; that pic is pathetic. If you are too lazy to get tickets, then you don’t deserve to be in the student section. You virtually pay nothing for your ticket, you’re not getting a seat, back massage, food & drink runner, and someone to tell you how wonderful you are with your ticket. Every other past UK student knows; if you wanted tickets, you did what you had to do to get tickets. These kids are pathetic, get over yourself, it’s not all about you.

    With the amount of ways to communicate with someone; have an online sign up with a cut off date & time, do a lottery, then notify these pathetic kids by email, facebook, twitter, snapchat, smoke signal or whatever & then make their lazy butts come pick them up. No UK will not deliver your tickets to you.

  51. bluehairstudent

    As a student who is typically front row of the Ezone, I think people are looking over one huge flaw for these early games. The times. I go to almost every game, but the times for the games thus far have been abnormal. I keep my Tuesdays and Saturdays game day ready, but contrary to popular believe college students are fairly busy. I have prior obligations on Mondays and Sundays which rarely play a role during the season but have so far this season.

  52. WhoDey

    I am a huge Kentucky fan from Upstate New York, and i am just baffled by this situation. First of all, I am convinced that as the season progresses, the empty seats will start to dissapear.. how could they not? i dont get it.. this is one of the most exciting and hyped seasons of my lifetime. I do agree that the tickets sold to students should have their names printed on them and make them prove its them on the way into the game… Im sure a lot of students just get the $5 tickets to try to sell them for $40-$50 on stubhub… or scalp them outside.. and im sure a lot of them cant get anyone to buy them, and nobody shows up to fill that seat.. what is the number of tickets that they set aside for students? i just really cant understand how they dont sell out all student tickets within hours of going on sale…. $5?!?! you have to be kidding me… if i could get tickets (even upper level) for $5, i would take the 12 hour drive down to lexington for the game… and these kids saying they never even know when the tickets are on sale?? well… those kids are quite obviously not real UK basketball fans… and dont care much about going to the game.. if they cared and really wanted to go, they would take the 1 minute effort to look up on line and see the dates and times they are on sale.. this is just really concerning… i am always so proud to brag to my NY friends about how Kentucky has the greatest fans and greatest atmosphere in college basketball… this has to change…. ill say once again… $5?!?!?!? come on now….

  53. WhoDey

    what the heck… i just wrote a big long comment that was in no way disrespectful or innapropriate and it said waiting for moderation first, and they didnt post it?! pretty lame KSR

    1. WhoDey

      nevermind… still says waiting for moderation

  54. BBN

    I am a student at UK and I believe students should be rewarded with better seats based on the number of games they attend.. And that should be including football. It would help get kids into the games which will be needed to help build the Stoops era. It’s just not fair that students who don’t even know the players names have the chance to get better seats than people like me who are passionate and don’t want to miss a game. I’ve already said that if I don’t win the UofL lottery I will pay much more than the $5 for a ticket, but it shouldn’t be that way. I know there will be people who win the lottery who will be gone for Christmas break or just don’t care that much.

  55. Russ

    I am a part-time student at UK and would love to get tickets for ANY UK men’s basketball event. However, because I’m a part-time student I DON’T get the $5 ticket price. I’m paying over $4,000 a semester and I can’t get $5 tickets, it’s a joke!!! Same goes for football, no discount for part-time students.

  56. Confused Student

    How do I get tickets? I am a senior and I even went to New Orleans for the Final Four, but this year I have gotten zero information on the lottery and neither has anyone I have talked to. I am dying to get to some games before I graduate, but I have not heard about anything other than the tickets sold the day before at the ticket office and I am already scheduled to work by then.

  57. BBN

    And as a student I do believe it’s a joke that more students don’t make the effort to get tickets. We recieved an email at the beginning of the semester that gave all of the distribution dates. And you can call the ticket office anytime to ask questions. Therefore, I have not missed a game and will be at every game I can get a ticket to. And if I win the lottery for the final 4 i’ll be in Dallas!

  58. Wool Bull

    I’m a student here at UK and haven’t missed a game yet and don’t plan on missing a home game all year. I’ve been in the Erruption Zone for every game and the atmosphere really is awful. I was the Pep Leader at my high school and our student section was 10x’s better. There is no good chants and it is really just piss poor. We need different people in charge of the student section and to really get everyone involved in the game.

  59. Luigi4x4

    This REALLY pisses me off. I am wheelchair bound and I’ve been trying to get accessible seating for one game for the last four seasons at $50 a ticket, and fighting for 2 seats of like the 20 there is. I still can’t get any tickets for a game, they’re always magically sold out when I call when they open the next morning. These kids have the oppurtunity to watch the best program in history, pretty much court side, for 5 freaking dollars! Meanwhile I’ve been trying for four seasons and can’t get a single ticket. Let people who REALLY want to be there have them at $20. And It’s a slap in the face to the fans to give them away for five and then mark them up to 50. Something needs to be done about this.

  60. bloo blood

    Get rid of the lottery all together and make it first come first serve like the rest of America. Who the hell says we need a lottery anyways? This isn’t the University of China – we shouldn’t be rewarding the people who get there late in the same manner as the people who are willing to show up hours in advance.

    The first people in line are the people we want up front, not some random group of 100 drawn out of a hat. Change the day from Monday so fraternities/sororities can go and allow groups of 8 or 12 or 20 as well as groups of 4. Raise the price of tickets from $5 to $6 so that extra dollar can go towards sweet props. Then sell the rest online

  61. Buckets

    The lottery was miserable when I was at UK. First come, first served is the way to go.

    If full-time students don’t use the full allotment, open them up to part-time students and stop making them feel like second-class citizens.

    Left-over tickets sold for $5 at Rupp the day of. Let some fans who can’t afford full-price tickets have a chance to see some games. Or donate them to the children’s hospital and get those kids out there. There are plenty of ways to use the unused tickets if the students’ don’t want them, which is crazy in the first place.

  62. NYCWildcat

    How has so much changed in just a few years?!! I was at UK for the better part of a decade (undergrad and grad school), and it was never like this. There’d be hundreds and hundreds of people waiting at the door waiting to get into Rupp. Sure, the lottery stunk, but it was worth it. The real hardcore fans are members of the K-Club/Student Athletic Council. The eRUPPtion Zone is lame, but they’re still decent seats. And you should be standing the whole time anyway! I’m 30yo, but I feel like I have to be a grumpy old man berating the current students for being such p*ssies. To quote Billy Madison, “You have to cherish it!!”

  63. DT in DC

    When I was at UK from 92-96, the lottery was at 8am on Saturday’s and they gave tickets out for 3-4 games at a time. It sucked and lasted up to 4 or 5 hours, but everyone got a ticket. I did that my Freshman year and for the most part ended up in the rafters for every game. But at that time, tickets were free so who was I to complain. I got to see every UK basketball game at Rupp that I wanted to see.

    My Soph – Sr. years I joined the Students Athletic Council (do they still have this?). There was a small fee to join, but we had our own lower level section, t-shirts/sweatshirts, and all we had to do to get our basketball and football tickets was to go to a number of non-revenue sporting events each month. We took road trips to see games (for a price) and I made a lot of great friends through the SAC. It was a great organization, in my opinion!

  64. Wild Blue

    Put the students on the sideline where they have better seats and can be heard. Move the blue bloods to nice seats where the erruption zone is now. Students are the future donors and season ticket holders. Purchase t-shirts and other items to attract students to attend.

  65. Whaaaaaaaaa

    Wait. Students aren’t using $5 tix b/c they can’t walk 4 blocks? College kids have to stay up too late? Screw that. I went to every game I could when u attended UK. We have a bunch of spoiled Johnny-come-latelys in our student population. How about for one game they don’t sell to students at all and see how many more tix they sell.

    And don’t get me started on those lame ass cheers. Embarrassing to alumni.

  66. Spoiled Students

    I’m in my 30′s and this makes me feel like sounding off as a curmudgeon. If the students can’t fill their sections, why would anyone want them on the sidelines moving some BIG dollar donors. I really don’t know what has happened to Rupp’s atmosphere. When I attended UK the place was LOUD. AND THAT WASNT ALL THAT LONG AGO. Listen up, kids. You didn’t have to endure probation, the decline of Tubby, or Gillispie. You have it way too good with Cal. So how about this? GO TO THE F-ING GAMES!!!

    And to the students that actually go and agree with all of us “old” foggies: Form your own organization and get organized. Take over the cheers. Bring suggestions to the athletic dept. I guarantee you Peevy and anyone else in charge would be more than willing to work with a group of organized student fans.

  67. CATS FAN IN BAMA

    When I was a student I went to games in the Erupption zone all the time. It was fantastic. The Wilder Treadway comment about good views makes me laugh. I’m 5’8″ and I never had trouble getting a good view of the court anywhere in the Erruption zone and never had trouble getting tickets to this section. As a fan who is no longer a student, I’d love to have the option of a $5 front row seat at Rupp. Yes it stinks to have to stand the whole time but you might end up on TV and you have a better view of the game than 90% of the arena. Enjoy it.

  68. Jon

    This may be radical, but what if you made student tickets free? Obviously the Athletic dept would not go for this as they would lose a lot of revenue, but it seems like it would solve some of the issues. Using a student ID, anyone can get into the game.

    1) The most rabid fans can still get in first. You’d have the choice when you enter of either going to the eRUPPtion zone or the regular seats.

    2) You wouldn’t have to worry about students selling them.

    3) You wouldn’t have to worry about a lottery or informing students of when the tickets are available.

    Of course there are a lot of logistical issues but I know other schools have free student tickets. Also I’m not sure how UKAA would recoup the money they’d lose without increasing the face value of non-student tickets, but surely they could find a way.

  69. randomer

    The University of Kentucky is a state-run bureaucracy. Like any other bureaucracy they do not specialize in results-driven action and problem solving. Yes there should be a shuttle service and yes there should be a rewards system for ticketing, but that would require some state employees to get off their tails and get something done. It will always be easier for them to blame the fans rather than changing with the times – and the times we live in requires live entertainment venues to up their game to compete with the digital age.

    UK does a great (more or less) job of managing the individual sports programs but we can all agree there is a lot to be desired with the in-game experience of football and basketball games. Just like you hire the best coach to win more games, they have to hire someone that is an expert in the field of improving the fan experience. I don’t expect UK to be ahead of the curve on this and the fan involvement will suffer.

  70. Dan White

    My take on the biggest problem with the student attendance is motivation!!!!!!!!!
    I have a freshman at UK this year. They have a lot of things going on including in no specific order …partying, fraternity or other student related obligations, studying, dating, working part-time jobs, going to class, and dare I say partying again.
    Nothing is new in this revelation. However, what is new is that school is getting harder and harder to afford for many. We were all in attendance the other night when Cal graciously gave away two tuitions to SPRING semester. The crowd of students stayed til the end and each student had to register so it didn’t matter if you were in the eruption zone or in student seating or wherever.
    If UK starts getting semesters of tuition given away, I will darn-sure make my kid is at every game and gets tickets into the coliseum. It would be better if the odds were better, maybe 5 per game but I would bet students would sit up and take notice…well maybe the ones who didn’t have full grants and scholarships that is.

    1. Dan White

      And as a follow-up, it doesn’t have to be the school fronting the scholarship, there are plenty of business supporters out there who would likely be willing to name that scholarship in their honor if they could help.

  71. What???

    Wow. Reading these comments is making me sick. I am a junior here and ive been to basically every home game since I have been at UK. The moment that we have to “reward” students for coming or “bribe them with prizes” or “make it a contest for greek life” is the moment UK basketball has hit its all time low. This is the greatest tradition in college basketball history! Why in the world would we need to reward people for coming? That is just an embarrassing thought. And why would you want people there that do not want to be there.
    The first 5 or 6 home games did not have a lottery attached, which I believe is the first time they have done that since I was here. The attendance will be back to full in no time, you can mark my word.
    But for now, lets quit with trying to bribe students and greek life to attend games. It’s just a pathetic thought!
    Do you think Alabama bribes students to go to football games? I highly doubt it. Come on people!
    I can’t believe this is even a conversation honestly.

    1. randomer

      Alabama students have also been criticized by Nick Saban for poor attendance – specifically Greek students. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you don’t work a job on top of classes or have to worry about paying many bills.

  72. Thomas Kirkpatrick

    Team Wildcat doesn’t need money, they need a kick in the rear. NO ONE from Team Wildcat leads any cheers, they may be fans, but they are not the kind of fans that can pump up a crowd. Replace them all.

  73. Corey

    That picture is a punch to the gut. I would go to every game if I could get my hands on tickets.

  74. Steve

    Barnhart should take the 1500 to 2000 seats that have NOT been sold for the 1st 6 home games of the season and offer them as new season tickets to the public for next year. Problem solved for all involved. Rupp full, money flow increases, and student lottery time will be shorten considerably as 2000 less tickets will be distributed.

    1. the fuzz

      I totally agree. This would also prevent season ticket holders from losing their seats after Rupp renovation. People are going to lose their season tickets.

  75. randomer

    It is not productive to talk about how we “used to” go to games no matter what, etc. The times have changed, the economy has changed, spectator sports as we know it have changed, and it is not just happening at Kentucky.

    Maybe students work more hours now to pay for living expenses and aren’t free for games, maybe the little cash it takes to get to and from games is better spent on bills. These type of things were not an issue back in the 90s when tuition was cheap and leading up to 2008 before the economy went south.

    Somebody has to be proactive and bring solutions to the table instead of blaming the fans.

    1. Steve

      see above

    2. yevkazim

      Here is an easy solution. Students don’t use their ticket allotment, then reduce the size of their allotment. Lottery on Monday night is bad, then move it. I would recommend going back to the 90′s style Sunday morning at 8:30am. Lottery would be done by noon, so people had plenty of time to study, work, etc. It was moved to a week night because students complained then about it being too early.

    3. randomer

      If people complain about it no matter when it is – then it probably is not effective and they should do away with it. What does UK athletics gain from making $5 per ticket anyway, that doesn’t even pay a fraction of the technical costs of having a lottery in the first place.

  76. HB

    Solution 1: close erupption zone and give us our season tickets back. We went to all the games and cheered, it was never empty even for the worst opponents

    Solution 2: put the tickets on the student IDs to prevent scalping/hoarding. If you get to the game 15 minutes before tip-off, and have a ticket, you get in. Students on stand-by can start claiming no-show tickets starting at 15 minutes before tip-off. General public standby can get them 5 minutes before tip-off. Also bias the lottery for students who go to non-premium games.

  77. Not Dan Issel

    It used to be first come-first served. Graduated from UK Law School 1975. During my 3 years there, to see a game required that you line up at Memorial Coliseum and then had to show your student id to get in once the doors opened. Officer Lamb of the UK PD kept us all in order as we waited. Big games required getting into line sometimes days ahead of time. Interesting that a lot of the early arrivals were graduate students (Law, Med., etc) and that we were a part of “Grevey’s Gorillas”. Of course Rupp could never match the atmosphere of a big game in Memorial Coliseum. That place was always crazy.

  78. UKAndrew

    I think another issue with the eRUPPtion Zone is having to wait outside for hours in the cold to get in, especially if you want to get a good spot. For the most dedicated fans, like the Referee Guy, it’s not a problem. For the less dedicated fans, it’s another reason to not go to games when you can’t get lower level or decent upper level seats.

    In a perfect world, I’d like to move the line inside somehow. I doubt that’s possible at this point but maybe it’s something they can look at during the upcoming remodel. In the meantime, maybe install some outside heaters or something. I think Nike had some put out there for the South Carolina game a few years ago and they were awesome. It might also be nice for someone or some group to offer free hot chocolate or coffee to people waiting in line.

  79. KnowYourHistory

    Yevkazim: in grad school, you typically have 2-4 years of research to cp
    complete once classes are completed. During this time you are still paying tuition, but you are only registered for a two hour residency credit each semester.

    1. yevkazim

      Do you pay the same tuition when you are in research mode? Or do you only pay per hour for the two hour credit? If the tuition is reduced, then you are just like every other part time student.

  80. Steve

    The next home game, the Erupption Zone will be announced as the 5 and 1/2 man rather than the 6th man given the expected student attendance.

  81. Destini

    To those of you saying that you have homework, class, etc., you guys aren’t the only students to ever have class during UK games. I am, by no means, saying that you should skip class or neglect homework to go to a basketball game, but I am saying that the number of students who do NOT have night classes is more than the number of students that DO have night classes and homework. Sell your ticket to a friend or go late. GET SOMEONE THERE! And we’re college students. If you don’t have class but would like to go to the game, stay up a little later to do your homework. People in the past have had to do it before.

  82. youknow

    If you make it first come first serve you’ll have Camp Cal all over again for the big games.

    Go do your homework at the lottery, it takes forever anyway. Make use of the time and then enjoy the game.

  83. Bob the Replier

    What a stupid system and seating arrangement. Sell the students a season ticket for general admission in one loud section. First come, first served when ensure the craziest students get the best seats without all of the hassle of convoluted processes for each game.

  84. CatsFan12

    Graduated from UK in 2012. Loved going to as many UK football/basketball games as possible. Tickets are ridiculously cheap. Tickets were easy to get when Billy G was here of course. They were somewhat easy to get in 2009-10. Went to many games those two years, and then the lottery got ridiculous. 2010-11 only got to go to a couple of games and in 2011-12 was able to attend only 3 games. Yes, the lottery is a terrible system, but that shouldn’t keep people from going to games. This is the best college basketball team to ever be assembled go watch the games you are a student at The University of Kentucky. College is the best time to spend money that you don’t have! $5 is cheap! Instead of having 12 drinks at the bar that night just have 11! Support your classmates that are on the basketball court/football field!

  85. Come on!

    THIS IS PATHETIC! There is ZERO excuses for this (that would make this ok). Can not believe nor would I have ever thought this would be a legitimate problem at UK. Seems like pure LAZINESS to me! Get out from in from of your Xbox or PS3 and go watch the WINNINGEST team in college basketball!!

  86. Ryan you are awesome

    Ryan I gotta say that was AWESOME. Someone needs to call these lazy ass students out. Matt is to scared to do it.

  87. Swamp Jankins

    I went to every single Kentucky basketball game that I could purchase a ticket to during my 4 years at UK. We waited in at the lottery until well after midnight mulitple times to obtain tickets, and a few of those times we could not get tickets as they sold out before our group was called.

    I think it is a change in culture. It doesn’t seem the desire is there to attend games anymore from the student population. It is not just basketball, the football game attendance is pathetic as well. I was at UK during the Lorenzen era, where I believe we averaged about 2 wins per season. That being said we still went to every game. It was just what you did, you went to support your team, your school, your state. That mindset is gone. That mentality is not just with UK students either, when Saban has to call out students for leaving Bama games early or not showing up at all, we know its nationwide. Just sad that students will not show up for $5 to see Kentucky basketball.

    1. Swamp Jankins

      That being said, I hope the students begin to show up again. The last thing I want to see is two endzones full of geriatric season ticket holders in purple sweaters sitting on their hands for 40 minutes.

      Thank you and goodnight.

  88. Waltah to the Altah

    Look, I get it. There are different issues today from when I went to UK (’96 grad). As others have said, the lottery during my time was part of being a UK student/fan — you had to be up early on Sunday and at Memorial Coliseum, figuring out ways to trick Rodney Stiles into giving you the best tickets in Section 32 even though he ran what he thought was a fool proof lottery system. Not so. Many loopholes if you knew how to exploit it (which we did). But we still had to be there at 7:30 a.m. — so that weeded out a lot of the non-UK fans. And, you had to have an ID when you entered the game (again, you could get around it, but it was a deterrent).

    Anyway — I know the NCAA isn’t popular (even though UK is voluntarily part of the NCAA and benefits greatly from having the umbrella group), but at the Final Four, their version of the eRupption zone (silly name, by the way) is simple. The school gets the tickets, students show up at a certain gate a certain amount of time pregame and they get a bracelet/ticket with their valid ID (that is actually checked) and they go to their section. That’s it. Pretty much, if you’re not a student (or at least don’t have a good fake student ID), you don’t get in.

    And — I get that students have other things to do … but if we’re going to be so proud of being BBN, it’s pretty pathetic if we can’t sell out our student tickets. Don’t bitch about where the seats are if you don’t take them. Can’t see in the eRupption Zone? Don’t go. Are you upset because there isn’t a bus to drop you off in front of Rupp Arena? Tough. You’re probably bitching about parking in the K-Lot too. Suck it up. These are the best six years of your life — a walk from Blanding II to Rupp Arena won’t kill you — there are plenty of good bars and house parties in between. And you’re getting nearly-free tickets to see the best basketball program in the country. It’s an honor. Act like it.

    1. DT in DC

      Rodney Stiles! What a blast from the past! He was the Students Athletic Council staff leader when I was there 92-96.

  89. ukjonese

    I was a student during the Gillispie years and I sat in the eRUPPtion Zone every game, front row, and camped out for 10-25hrs before games just to get that front row.. I gotta say I wasted a lot of time doing that but as an alum now I miss every snow flake that hit my frozen nose while waiting for that UL, Florida Matt Walsh Bashing, Big Baby LSU, Kansas, Tennessee game that we won or lost..
    I would gladly take a ticket as an Alum for $5 but week games are hard for me and most people.. Now I live 3 hrs from Lex and have a job that doesn’t understand my need to camp out in a parking lot to sit on a sidewalk for 20+ hours.. Damn bosses these days..
    Lottery is just a thing you had to do to get cheap tickets. I worked the lotteries so I was fortunate enough to get tickets for every game but I had to WORK for my ticket. Not sure how to fix it but kids these days are pretty sad about that whole WORK thing.

  90. BigBlue

    I think that is pretty sad that the students lack the passion to support the team as they once did.

    I graduated in ’05, not the best period for UK basketball, but it seemed like going to the games was still a big deal!

  91. Kyle

    I was there from 96-00 and went to every game (exhibition and regular season) there. That is why I went to UK, I wanted to go to games.

    I know some things are different for current students, so I don’t know all the exact issues. I do know the lotteries were at 8 a.m. on Sunday’s and I was at every one, no matter if it was cold, or I was hungover or what. I wanted to go and get the best tickets. And I always got good tickets. My final year is when they changed the lottery to Monday’s, and that is the only time I had poor tickets.

    I also lived on South campus and as mentioned in the story, they use to have LexTran buses take us to the game for a small amount of money. It sure beat driving and parking downtown.

    Again, I don’t know the answer, but I think the students should go to any and every game – especially with this year’s team (I can understand if they skipped games last year).

  92. Austin Monnett

    I can tell you that it’s pretty rough watching the games in person in the Ezone. The fouls are nonstop, and there are about 5x too many timeouts during the game. There’s 3 tv timeouts a half plus the 6 that coaches get. It’s almost boring, especially when up by 20.

    1. randomer

      that is a really good point. fans are supposed to attend the games instead of watching on TV, but the entire in-game experience is built around TV. i cannot STAND the excessive TV timeouts at games and it hurts the quality of the game and always has.

  93. Keyser Soze

    I’ll chime in on this, too. I was at UK for the 2003-04 season and never heard a single complaint about the lottery system. Regardless of the weather on those Monday nights, we walked our happy asses across campus for tickets. If the lottery cut into our homework time, we took our books with us. If our job caused us to miss the lottery, tough shit. Sometimes we sat there for hours, sometimes we were one of the first groups called. It didn’t matter to us because we got the chance to watch UK basketball in-person for five f*cking dollars. Some kids today are the result of what my man George Carlin referred to as “The Pussification of America.”

    PS – Nice work, Tyler. I always enjoy your material.

  94. BigBlue

    Yeah, times must have changed big time in the last 8-10 years. When I was there going to the games was a must, and that was the tail end of the Tubby era! Would have loved to be a student with at team like this!

  95. randomer

    I don’t have a problem with students having their own demands but I think if they do they should vocalize them better.

    A college degree from UK costs 50% more now and you’re half as likely to get a job compared to when most of these commenters attended UK. that doesn’t earn the University much right to say “tough shh” about the less than ideal experience of getting a ticket and attending games.

    i can remember sitting in Memorial for hours and leaving furious that i didn’t get a ticket and some rube that won’t even clap when we score a basket got a lower level seat. And the system now sounds even worse.

  96. randomer

    The students are lazy for not going and the University is lazy for doing nothing about their pathetic system besides blaming the students. In my opinion the folks getting paid buttloads of money in tuition needs to try and solve the problem for the people writing out the checks.

  97. Marc

    This is a sad problem to have. Actually it is embarrassing. Sure the system may be flawed for obtaining student tickets, but that isn’t the real problem here. The real problem seems to be the students being lazy and wanted the tickets handed to them. I (along with a lot of other K Fund members) donate thousands of dollars and then pay another few thousands to be able to even get seats inside of Rupp Arena. Then we probably spend another couple grand each year on gas, food, and lodging for the 4-5 hour trip, sometimes on week nights to see the cats play. There shouldn’t be any complaining from students who live a few blocks from rupp about paying five bucks and walking or hitching a ride to a game. Grow up, have some pride in the program and get to the games. The greatest program in college basketball shouldn’t have this problem

  98. Jeff

    Pretty sure that picture is from the Transy game. I remember seeing a screenshot of the upper arena for that game and it was completely empty. Worst attendance I have ever seen.*

    *for the best recruiting class of all time….#smh

  99. So_true

    Berating the students and calling them lazy and ungrateful is not going to solve the problem. These are different times and yes, these kids have grown up in the technology age and have short attention spans. But if the goal is to get student attendance up, complaining about their attitudes won’t solve the problem. Just because you have a good job, can afford the tickets and the expense and the time to invest in driving to Lexington for games has nothing to do with what the students should be doing.

    As a parent of a UK student, paying the high costs of tuition for them to attend UK, it just makes good sense to me to make an easier system with the use of technology (that the kids are totally comfortable using) and not making them use 4 or 5 hours of their time they could use to do somehing more productive. My child has always been a huge UK sports fan and would have done antyhing to go to a UK game in high school. But since being in college, his time and interests are spread among many more activities, not the least of which is needing more time for academics.

    Any good marketing person knows, blaming a consumer for not buying a product gets you no where. The most successful companies invest lots of money trying to understand their consumers wants and needs, and adapt their products accordingly. Just because you think there shouldn’t be a justified reason for students not to jump through hoops to get tickets, isn’t going to make them change and won’t solve the problem.

    In the end, who is really losing out here?

    1. yevkazim

      The truth is that your analogy about the consumer is not valid. The tickets would be sold if they went out to alumni, with no effort on UKs part. Any good business person knows that making more money (which they would by selling to alumni) with no extra effort or cost, is the wise decision.

  100. caracooper

    Sign Cara’s petition

    The Kentucky General Assembly is supposed to oversee the proper use of coal severance money. But they voted to spend $2.5 million from the dwindling fund to renovate the University of Kentucky basketball arena in Lexington, while coal-impacted communities struggle to fund education, necessary infrastructure repairs, and clean drinking water. This is shameful.

    Stand with the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition to oppose wasteful spending of coal severance taxes and to demand transparency on the ways that severance money is allocated.

    Click here to add your name to this petition, and then pass it along to your friends.

    Thanks!

    –Cara Cooper

  101. dingo

    I wish i had the problems these students have i live six hours away and i come to lexington twice a year just to see the wildcats play it doesnt matter who they play i come to see the CATS