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Alumni Game + Football Game = Doubleheader or Football Downer?

We are the best of friends, having so much fun together…

When Coach Cal announced plans for a charity alumni game on September 15th a few weeks ago on KSR, the first question most of us had was “When do tickets go on sale?”. The second question was “Isn’t that the same day as the Kentucky/Western Kentucky football game?” The athletic department quickly issued a release with the 2 p.m. tip off time in hopes of encouraging fans to make the day a double header of Kentucky sports; an afternoon of Kentucky basketball followed by an evening of Kentucky football. Sounds nice, right? But, even though the games are spaced pretty far apart, will the chance to see an all-star cast of NBA talent keep people away from Commonwealth Stadium?

Let’s look at both sides:

YES: Many are arguing that Cal could have done the charity game on any day and raise a ton of money…why mess with football Saturdays? Sure, Cal and the basketball team will encourage fans to head over to Commonwealth after the charity game for some quick tailgating before kickoff, but how many fans will be up for part two of the double header? Even though it’s just an exhibition for charity, the alumni game will greatly overshadow the football game, which is kind of a bummer when you consider the dwindling support for the football program this season.

NO: The doubleheader is just another reason for out-of-town fans to make the trek to Lexington, yours truly included. Yes, it will be a long day, but what more could you ask for? You get to see the best of Kentucky basketball and football in one day, with some tailgating in between. And that’s not even mentioning the possibility of seeing some of your favorite former Cats pop up at a tailgate or two (I hear Boogie kills it at cornhole). Playing against an opponent we may actually be favored to beat, the football game could be the perfect ending to an awesome day of Kentucky sports.

SOLUTION: How can the athletic department ensure fans attend both events?

1) Promote the heck out of both. Tickets go on sale for the Alumni Game on Friday morning. Tickets for the Western Kentucky game are already on sale. Is there a way to work out a combo deal for fans who want to buy both? Half off a football ticket with each alumni ticket purchased? Surely the football team would be in favor of this.

2) Have Cal and the players mention the football game throughout the alumni game. I can see it now: after a particularly powerful block, DeMarcus Cousins runs over to the announcer’s table, takes the mic, and says “I’m coming for you next, Big Red.”

3) Shuttle fans to the football game after the alumni game wraps up. This should be a no-brainer. LexTran already offers a shuttle from downtown to Commonwealth, but it should be free for those who attended the alumni game. Even better? Have Cal and the team take the first bus over.

What about you? Are you planning to go to the alumni game, football game, or both? Why?

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

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

25 Comments for Alumni Game + Football Game = Doubleheader or Football Downer?

  1. Dear IU and UL, We are National Champs; you are not. The end.
    4:04 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    I personally can’t find any negative to this. Sounds like a perfect day to me.

  2. Rockfield, KY
    4:07 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    I’m going to be tailgating all day at Commonwealth. No basketball for me until Big Blue Madness. I went to WKU and will have a ton of friends in Lexington for the game.

  3. nathan
    4:08 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    If the football team is competitive and entertaining in it’s first two games it will make for a great double header on the 15th if they are not than most fans will enjoy the basketball game and head home.

  4. Head Bussa
    4:13 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    Let’s be real here. This alumni game will more than likely draw some fans away from the football game. It would seem that a Friday night would be best to have the alumni game.

  5. monstermash
    4:19 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    It might be great but I’m with #2. Saturdays were meant for tailgating and football. We only get 7 home tailgates a year and you want us to take 4 hours of our quality drinking time to go to a basketball game?!?!?!? Shame! Shame! Shame!

  6. jaws2
    4:27 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    As much as I love basketball, this day is meant for football. I’ll go on record and predict that there will not be 10,000 at this alumni game.

  7. Derek
    4:31 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    I really don’t see anyone that was already going to the football game changing their mind and going to this glorified pick up game. Last time they had a game like this lower arena didn’t even sell out.

  8. Decisions decisions...
    4:40 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    I would think that most people that were planning on going to the football game will still go whether they go to the bball game or not. If anything, I would think the alumni game would only add to the attendance at the football game. Especially if the football team takes care of business in it’s first two games. I wasn’t planning on going to the football game, but if I do get tickets for the alumni game, there’s a good chance I’ll make a day of it and go to the football game, too. What a great Saturday! Go CATS, Go krogering!! (I get so used to hearing that…)

  9. Decisions decisions...
    4:41 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    7. You beat me to it..

  10. dick gosinia
    4:44 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    Will be tailgating in the green lot by 3pm. Love UK basketball but not during prime football season! That being said, I sincerely hope they are both sellouts! GO CATS!

  11. RYNO
    4:54 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    If they announce that Boogie and some of the former Cats are going over to the football game to root on the team (and probably pay them a little extra to do so), it’s a win-win. Some folks from the alumni-game crowd will double-dip to try to catch a glimpse of the basketball players at the football game.

  12. bakertom09
    4:54 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    Easy solution – the alumni game should be played at 12:00. Game is over by 2:00 leaving plenty of time to get to Commonwealth and get some tailgating done.

  13. RYNO
    4:58 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    5) Won’t they be selling alcohol at the alumni-game? It’s not a UK game, so can they sell liquor? I don’t know the rules on that kind of stuff. At any rate, I can understand if you don’t want to get drunk on 8 dollar beers, but a few less over-served drunks aren’t going to be sorely missed. Oh wait…it is the football team. Nevermind they’ll take butts in seats however they can get em.

  14. Pu
    5:03 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    13. I was at the Dominican National vs NBA Cats at Rupp and they served alcohol for that. I would think since Rupp is off campus they can serve alcohol for non-college sanctioned events. Not sure, though

  15. stan
    5:07 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    I think it’s up to the football team how many attend or go home after the Basketball game. Quit like they did last year,no debating this, and if Joker makes the same type of game plan as last year, and there will be few people with or without a basketball game.Wins are great, but lack of effort will run what fans are left away.

  16. Jeremy
    5:34 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    There are only 7 football home games. To schedule something basketball related on a football afternoon is just bad form. Of course it’s going to draw people away. Cal hasn’t given much reason to criticize him but this just reeks of a douchey attention grab.

  17. Keeneland
    5:50 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    Everybody is acting like it is some kind of unprecedented situation to have a popular event on a UK Football Saturday but we do it at least twice every year during October while the Keeneland Fall Meet is running. It will be just like that, which is not harmful at all. People will go to the basketball game (including fans from across the state who will come for the double header that would have just stayed home otherwise). If anything, it’s a whole lot easier to get from Rupp to Commonwealth than Keeneland to Commonwealth and the basketball game will be over much earlier in the day. Yes, a few diehard tailgaters who start at 8 a.m. may be annoyed by the conflict but most people don’t roll into the Lots to tailgate until 2-3 hrs before kickoff anyway. Of course, most of those 8 a.m. tailgaters either never make it into the stadium or black out in the first quarter anyway.

    There is no downside to this.

  18. Big Blue Coming at You
    5:59 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    #1 has it right and anyone else bitching is probably football only fans that won’t attend the alumni game anyway. The basketball game is at 2PM which means it will be over by 4PM. The football game isn’t until 7PM. I’m not seeing any problem here. How can that draw away fans from the football game when it will likely end 3 hours before it? If you can’t get your ass to the game in 3 hours then you’re an idiot. If you’re not going to the basketball game at all then this doesn’t even affect you and you can just STFU. UK has to try and make up some of that lost football revenue somehow. Besides, this is more likely to drive fans to the football game then keep them away. Go to the basketball game, tailgate for a couple of hours, then watch some football. Sounds like a win/win situation to me and another genius move by Cal who is a marketing master.

  19. HamnEggs
    6:02 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    Both events will have a helluva lotta empty seats

  20. Holy Cow
    6:08 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    HORRIBLE idea! Who is going to spend $45 to go to a basketball game and then spend another $45 to go to a football game or vice versa.
    This is football day. They have 6 home games, stinks!

  21. Yngvie Maumsteen.
    6:21 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    UK fb’s ineptness is not UK bb’s fault.

  22. Ben
    6:40 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    i am going to both because I do not live in Lexington! great plan by Cal. all you haters go suck an egg!

  23. Ric flair
    8:22 pm August 28, 2012 Permalink

    If Uk is worried about football attendance hell put a better product on the field . I would much rather see the alumni game.Y

  24. Pam
    8:20 am August 29, 2012 Permalink

    I’m going to both, can’t wait!!!!!! GO CATS!!!!!!

  25. ukgirlinva
    1:12 pm August 29, 2012 Permalink

    Im coming in this weekend for both the alumni game and The football game (my first)…I cant think of a better place to watch both games but in LEXINGTON!!