Jerry Tipton out Jerry Tiptoned himself this weekend. Tipton interviewed UK fan Jeanette Hislope about her thoughts on the upcoming renovations to Rupp Arena. We linked the story over the weekend, but her remarks deserve another look.
Hislope, whom calls herself a “good old girl from Somerset,” says that if premium seating such as a club level or skyboxes are added to Rupp Arena, she will no longer be a Kentucky fan:
“I always bleed blue. I think this will make me opt out of the Big Blue Nation if they mess with Rupp Arena. Very few things are deal-breakers. That’s one. I would never say a word against the Big Blue Nation. But I’d be done. That will ruin what I consider the heart and soul of Rupp Arena.”
Hislope, a “friendly” and “outgoing” fan according to Tipton, says that Rupp’s charm is that people from all walks of life sit together, creating the true “Big Blue Nation”: “I love Rupp because it’s where a multi-millionaire can sit next to somebody who just got lucky and was able to scarf a ticket.”
I think you meant scalp, Jeannette, but that’s cool. Your utopian views of Rupp are really sweet, and I’ll agree that the arena’s current lack of premium seating and suites does give it a collegiate atmosphere. However, those suites and club levels are critical and likely inevitable because they will fund the renovation, along with corporate sponsorship. It could also improve the game atmosphere if students are given more seats in the lower arena because those multi-millionaires may purchase seats in a suite instead.
Leave it to Jerry to find the one fan who would give up her love for the Cats for something as small as a skybox.