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Herald Leader: UK Football Season Ticket Sales Down 27%

Jennifer Smith of the Herald Leader was finally able to put some concrete numbers to a feeling and belief that many have held for a while now: UK football season ticket sales are down. The Herald Leader put in a request for a release of information in order to obtain the figures.

According to Smith, as of Sunday, the total number of season tickets sits at 35,486. That figure is down 27% from last season’s final tally, and down 37% from the Wildcats’ peak in 2009. 

UK spokesman Dewayne Peevy stated that a push for more season tickets often occurs in the late summer weeks as the season approaches, but did acknowledge that the numbers are down.

“It’s a combination of the economy…performance on the field and the television package offering another option for fans,” Peevy said, noting that every UK game is on television now where they haven’t been previously, meaning some prefer to watch games from the comfort of their living rooms.

“Last year’s season, not going to a bowl game, probably had some impact,” he said. “But I’d say it’s not attributed only to that.”

Peevy also noted that other schools in the SEC reported having down numbers in season ticket sales as well. To read the full article, click here. 

Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

51 Comments for Herald Leader: UK Football Season Ticket Sales Down 27/span>

  1. Biggass Hungguy
    7:57 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    So down over 20,000 since Joker has been the coach, good work Mitch!

  2. SexnNursinHomes
    8:07 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    hmm, how arrogant of the HL. Should have read “Herald Leader: Herald Leader Paper Subscriptions Down 655%”

  3. DB11
    8:08 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    Sigh, some people will never learn. Go cats! I’ll be there!

  4. Coach Cal
    8:11 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    I bet ticket sales would go up if I offered to have my team come to all home games and sign autographs for all… just say’n.

    Oh and thanks for the heads up on that bet Matt, I just put a Mil down for UK to not get to 5. Sorry Joker, I’m a businessman!

  5. MHFaulkner
    8:18 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    Commonwealth Capacity:

    67,606 – 52.5% of the stadium is filled with season ticket holders.

    Others, just as food for thought:


    Capacity – 101,821 – 82,000 season tickets – 81%


    Capacity – 87,451 – 77,951 season tickets – 89.1%

    Miss. State

    Capacity – 55,082 – 43,518 season tickets – 79%

  6. Blue 100%
    8:25 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    If I were Georgia and South Carolina fans, I’d be hacked off. Instead of getting their tickets from the people outside of Commonwealth on game day that I will losely call football fans (and who jumped ship-see ya later, please move to Tennessee), they will have to buy them from the UK ticket office this year. UK football is like Keeneland, it is an event. Bottom line, the 27% are those that hopped on the band wagon during the Woodson era, and hopped off when the fire got hot. Fair weather fans – may you be cursed with a cable malfunction on every Saturday during football season.

  7. Jim
    8:26 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    I bet the numbers are still bogus. Last year, Barnhart included all tickets in the attendance, including giveaways in which the people never showed up. The proof is in the stands – or lack thereof. I don’t care if the games are on TV, I am not watching until The Joke is gone and we get a real football coach.

  8. UK Blue
    8:30 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    Jim, spend each football Saturday as you preach. Spruce up your doublewide trailer, sell it, and move to Knoxville.

  9. Dave in Bangkok
    8:35 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    “Peevy also noted that other schools in the SEC reported having down numbers in season ticket sales as well.”

    Yeah, the ones that have sh*tty football programs like UK’s.

  10. Dave in Bangkok
    8:40 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    #6 I seriously doubt that any of the folks who declined to purchase tix for a feebly coached team are going to waste their Saturday watching that same feebly coached team.

    People like you are sick. You expect others to spend their hard earned cash on mediocre bullshit just so you can be proud of a sorry *ss coach and his sorry *ss coaching. Bite a donkey’s dick.

    I hope your vehicle breaks down on the way to the game each Saturday.

  11. BPsycho
    8:44 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink


  12. MHFaulkner
    8:47 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink


    I am one of those fans that you claim “hopped on the band wagon” as I did not renew my season tickets. Why? Because I am not willing to spend that much money on a product I cannot support.

    Will I watch games? Absolutely. Will I go to games? Absolutely. But, I am not willing to throw down that much money for what very well will be a terrible season. And if I’m wrong? Well, I’ll just call the ticket office – availability will clearly not be a problem.

    The 27% may be band wagon. The 27% may also be people that have lost jobs, moved, died, or were no longer willing to commit time and resources to a program that isn’t worth the price of a ticket.

  13. Blue 100%
    8:47 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    Besides Bangkok Dave, maybe the remaining 26.99% out of the 27% who gave up their season tickets can report in.

  14. Jim
    8:48 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    @8, actually I am a UK graduate, and probably make more in 6 months than you do in a year. However, I refuse to throw money at a failure that Barnhart created and has not changed. He could have taken care of this last year and fired Joker and started something new. But he didn’t and now the whole university suffers. Why do you think the basketball ticket prices went up? To pay for the failed football program. He could have hired Tim Couch as coach and at least put some enthusiasm in the program.

  15. Celticben
    8:52 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    I dropped my tickets. I didn’t want to but if it meant sending a message to the administration that enough is enough, so be it. When they want to get serious about making an investment if football, myself and the other 27% will be back. Until then, why should I invest in the football program when there is little to no return. Without change, that number will only increase next season as more & more fans abandon a sinking ship.

  16. UK True Blue
    8:56 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    Totally agree with #15.

  17. dr catfish
    8:59 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    What’s most disturbing about the empty seats in the picture is that they are in the student section.

  18. Mr Tailgate
    9:03 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    Football Saturdays in Lexington are a social event that just happens to have a football game going on the same day.

  19. Dr. Bizers Vision Center
    9:03 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    We are giving free eye exams to those ‘fans’ that see anything in Joker or this team that remotely look like a successful football program. If anyone honestly thinks THIS team wins 7 or more games, then you need serious help. At this point, I would bet there are at least 10 high school coaches in Kentucky that could do just as gooda job as Joker.

    Its a good thing UK fans like to drink / tailgate, or there would be no reason to go to Commonwealth on Saturdays.

    Board of Directors, please do your jobs!

  20. UKBlue
    9:17 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    People vote with their pocket books; times are still tough, and for some people money is still tight & they aren’t going to keep spending their money on things like UK football if they can’t justify doing it given the past couple of years of seeing the product on the field. As the saying goes: the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

    Seeing ticket sales down, along with what Makers donated to UL, and what other schools are doing; someone over at UK better get the message that they better get up off their butts & get something done like now. Mitch may not be good at fundraising, well he better find a way & quick. UK better start passing the hat at games to start raising money.

  21. Big Bandwagon Nation
    9:24 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    I sincerely hope none of those who dropped their season tickets because Phillips wasn’t fired ever buy another ticket or watch another game. How ignorant that “fans” would punish the player because the “fans” didn’t get what they wanted. How ridiculous that the “fans” would demolish recruiting, further lower national perception, and actively root for the team to fail. If you aren’t present during the struggle, don’t bother trying to show up for the success.

  22. Mr. Jagerbomb
    9:26 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    All I ask is just be fun to watch,open things up.Don’t try to beat the Big Boys doing the same things they do,they practice against that every day.
    I dont go to the games but love the CATS and want to see them play for the SEC football championship at least once in my lifetime.I’m 48…..tick…toc..tic…toc.

  23. Big Bandwagon Nation
    9:28 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    The #2 corner in the nation is giving heavy consideration to attending UK with his highly regarded brother. Another ESPN 150 WR is visiting this weekend along with yet another highly regarded Florida WR. When UK football has another bad recruiting class, I hope all of those bashing the program because Phillips didn’t get faaaaaaaar’d and all of those who didn’t renew seasons tickets look squarely in the mirror if recruiting suffers further. Idiots.

  24. jpgott2
    9:39 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    1. I will take half of Joker’s 1.8 million a year, and get the same results. Mitch, that is a darn good offer!

    2. UK fans do not expect to win every game, or win the SEC. The reason ticket sales were good during the second half of the Brooks Era was because he put a product on the field that had a pulse, and had a chance at being competitive. Brooks’ teams at least had a pulse. Joker on the other hand, has had a dreadful start to his tenure, one in which UK is loosing out on a lot of instate 4-Star recruits. They to look at UK as product not worth representing. All we want is a COMPETITIVE team within the SEC!!!!!1

    3. Hire James Franklin of Vandy. The man in his 1st year, took a bunch of 2-Star Vandy players to a 6-6 record and a season that saw them competitive in every SEC game. He also has a recruiting class that has some serious 4-Star talent (It’s VANDY!!!!!!!). Bring him here before it is too late!

  25. Jim
    9:45 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    Hey Big Bandwagon, I guess you supported Billy Gillispie too? It has nothing to do with the players, it is the d*mn coach. What is so hard to understand about that?

  26. 3 fan
    9:50 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    Wonder what the season tix totals would be if Mike Leach were the HC

  27. Slappy
    10:05 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    Why did my comment from earlier get deleted? I didn’t say anything derogatory or mean-spirited. Strange.

  28. sahump1
    10:28 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    First of all, I am glad Jen Smith finally got somebody at UK (while Barnhart was in Africa, no doubt) to admit that Football season ticket sales were down 27%.

    I am a contributor to that 27% decline and I am furious about it. I didn’t want to do it but my hand was forced for multiple reasons. The results of the 2011 season were a part of it but not the entire equation for me. I am hoping to make it to Lexington for at least a couple games this season but I am not certain if that will be able to happen at this point.

  29. MBarnhart
    11:13 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    ‘Well…..ticket sales from my biggest source of revenue are in a freefall. It’s the biggest PR time of the year for that sport……..think I’ll leave the country! Sure am glad my bro L-Todd got me nice and comfy’

  30. Joe
    11:42 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    24 day challenge or Spark energy drink click above…Go Cats

  31. Hope For Change
    11:45 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    That’s fantastic news! The true fans have now forced UK Athletics’ hand by creating an understandably embarrassing situation come game day at Commonwealth Stadium. FINALLY, a significant number of season ticket holders have voted with their wallets/purses and sent Mitch Barnhart a loud and clear message: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Frankly, it’s mind-boggling that 30,000+ people—enablers—are still willing to pay overpriced ticket and parking prices only to see Joker Phillips get out-coached week in and week out. After this assuredly dismal season is over, Barnhart will have no choice but to fire Phillips. Perhaps then, UK will seek a truly innovative and SEC-caliber coach to lead the program out of the gutter. If not, fans should consider to stay away en masse until they do. The message is clear: Mediocrity will no longer be tolerated by intelligent fans who know that UK can field a winning program if they chose to. And once and for all we can put to rest the ridiculous assertion that “no real coach will come here.” That’s laughable and ludicrous. Of course they won’t if they’re never asked! If an empty Commonwealth Stadium leads to a new coaching staff—so be it! It’s too bad it’s several years too late.

  32. Yabba Do
    11:49 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    The UK administration milked the fans for far too long. Those people aren’t coming back until there is a consistant effort and major investment put into football like every other SEC school already does.

  33. Formerly section 136
    11:59 pm July 26, 2012 Permalink

    I’m a 27%’er. I seem to recall Joker saying “call me when we’re 3-9” My reply to that would be “Call me when you’re 9-3”. Seems as though Joker and Mitchy the microwave seem to think it’s a good idea to top off a bad product with a heavy dose of arrogance. Bad move.

  34. JayCee
    12:02 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Don’t feel sorry for the school one little bit. They brought this on themselves.

    Hate it for the players, though. But, hey, wrong place wrong time, bro. Players come and go. UK football is a forever thing and I (like the 27%) am thinking long-term, unlike the UK athletics department.

    Bravo to the 27%-ers.

  35. big tim
    1:40 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    when they start wining this year band wagon fans will jump back on board

  36. putinrichie
    6:25 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    7 – I guess you’ll never watch UK football again. UK’s next coach won’t be that much different from Joker. The UK athletic department isn’t about to open their pockets for football or bend on the recruiting budget. You might not like the “Joke,” but the “joke” will be on you when we hire our next coach and the product stays the same.

    12 – UK football is cheap as it comes. As the second cheapest ticket in the SEC, you get what you pay for. The teams that win in the SEC pay double or triple per ticket what you pay for season tickets.

    15 – I guarantee you did not send a message by not renewing your tickets. If you don’t want to come thats fine….but you have sent no message. Joker controls his own fate more than you or any season ticket holder does. If we win six games and go to a bowl, Joker will be back regardless of ticket sales. If we are as bad as we are projected to be and win four games than Joker will be out, but it won’t be because of your boycotting. It will be because of his performance on the field.

  37. putinrichie
    6:32 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    34 – Boycotting the program is thinking long term……lol…now I’ve heard it all….the 27% crowd that thinks they are helping the program by not showing up are insane…if you think the UK administration will actually decide to spend more money to get the 27% back than you are crazy…they will spend even LESS on football

  38. Bill in Blue
    6:43 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    God bless the 73% that continue to support UK football. We beat Tennessee last year. Love to hear about those that proved their point and boycotted that game. Who really gives a darn about you? It’s pretty dang fun partying in the parking lot before and after football games. Pete Rose has a quote that seats are made for asses, and their is an ass for every seat. I love that families can not get good tickets for regular price and bring their kids, the future of UK football fans, to games and enjoy the Cat Walk. Stay home forever 27%, stay home!

  39. putinrichie
    6:44 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    To my point….just look at baseball…the Pirates are the most profitable franchise in baseball yet are near the bottom in attendance. WHY?? They have the cheapest payroll and keep all their expenses down. What is going to stop UK from taking the same approach? Just because ticket revenue is down 27%, doesn’t mean they can’t turn a profit.

  40. putinrichie
    6:50 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    38 – Well said and couldn’t agree more. They say they don’t want to pay for the product, but the funny thing is that UK football ticket prices are at the bottom of the SEC. So, technically you are getting what you paid for. The last two seasons there has been a home game where fans rushed the field. Joker ended the Spurrier streak against South Carolina and beat UT.

  41. Babble
    6:56 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    #34, get into reality. The players are in the best conference in the country. Wrong place, wrong time. Look in the mirror.

  42. Jaye
    8:54 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Never fear, Joker will recruit the 13th best class in the SEC next year. Full of 3 star players. But still at the bottom of the SEC.

  43. Beavis
    9:20 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Insane ???? because I refuse to go to UK games. What is wrong with you ??? The AD will not spend less on football,,,,he will spend less on other sports because of the shortfall in revenues from the football program. Just a matter of time,,,,Joker will be gone.

  44. Hokey Pete
    9:34 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    My family has had season tickets for 30+ years. We did not buy them this year. I can’t justify the commitment of my resources if the UK athletics department can’t field a competitive team. The pissing contest between M. Barnhart and D. Williams on the bonding issue sealed the deal. I’m tired of the excuses. It goes far beyond Coach Phillips. The Kentucky football program is broken (or, more accurately, has never been built), and until systemic changes are made, we’ll continue to get embarrassed on the field on a routine basis like we did last year. The tailgating even got to be a chore last year. When enough people finally get tired of tailgating for a loser, UK football is DUN.

  45. JayCee
    9:38 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    37- Hey, moron. I don’t want them to spend more money. I simply want them to act like they halfway care about FB. Instead, our AD leaves the country to go mountain climbing and leaves an ex-golfer to answer questions about the dwindling attendance. Seems legit, right?

    Have fun slapping backs with the other big blue blinder simpletons for being the best damned fans in the world. Karma loves you.

  46. Mike Leach
    9:51 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    It was really a pleasure talking to you Mr. Barnhart about your program and your School. Ile be waiting on your call Mitch about the first of October. NOW GET ME OUTTA THIS DUMP!!!!

  47. mj
    10:16 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    I wonder if the ticket prices for season tickets has something to do with it. I know that the prices for tickets are in comparison to others, but what about factoring in the blue/white fund donation per ticket? How do the season tix compare in price then?

  48. mj
    10:17 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    I wonder if the ticket prices for season tickets has something to do with it. I know that the prices for tickets are low in comparison to others, but what about factoring in the blue/white fund donation per ticket? How do the season tix compare in price then?

  49. Wesuckagain
    10:49 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    Its because we SUCK again and have no chance to contend for the top spot in the SEC east. UNDERSTAND THAT UK AND BOOSTERS!

  50. Wesuckagain
    10:54 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    and by the way I am one of the many that did not renew their season tix. I had sideline 30 rows up lower level. I doubt I come to games or watch them on TV. It kind of sucks. I guess I will casually watch and root for other teams in a game by game situation. Thinking about going to some other stadiums this fall and take in the sights and sounds. We are trying to plan a trip to Alabama now and watch them play someone.

  51. putinrichie
    11:46 am July 27, 2012 Permalink

    44 – This is a fair response. I hate the direction of UK football but the coach is only a small part of the problem. Everything from recruiting budget, to facilities, to assistant coaching salaries, to the attitude of Mitch and Co about allowing fans to attend recruiting camps, etc. You get so little help from the athletics department that every coach is fighting an uphill battle. Im not sold on joker but not sure the product changes to much with a new coach either. Maybe1-2 more wins but same recruits and losing culture.