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Kentucky spring game attendance ranks second-best in the country


(Chet White, UK Athletics)

You should know by now that Kentucky packed Commonwealth Stadium with nearly 51,000 fans for Saturday’s Blue-White game. A far cry from the 4,500 that was announced by UK at this time last season. While there was still room for 20k more, we’re talkin’ about practice. Not a game, not a game, not a game… We talkin’ about practice.

In all seriousness, that figure is no joke for a spring game.

As it stands, Kentucky is No. 2 on the list for spring football attendance figures, only behind Nebraska’s announced 60,000. By the way, if you haven’t seen what the Huskers did for a young cancer patient, you need to take a look.

So far about 30 major BCS programs have held their spring football scrimmage and Kentucky is well represented. Take a look at the top of the list, compiled by Cats Illustrated’s Ben Jones.

1. Nebraska: 60,174
2. Kentucky: 50,831
3. Texas: 46,000
4. Texas A&M: 45,212
5. Georgia: 45,113
6. Ohio State: 37,643
7. South Carolina: 35,218
8. Louisville: 33,000
9. Clemson: 30,000
10. Oklahoma: 29,200
11. Ole Miss: 28,000
12. Florida State: 27,500

The record crowd in Lexington shattered the old mark of 20,325 set all the way back in 1987 when Jerry Claiborne was on the sideline and Glenn Fohr was under center.

It is amazing the sudden turnaround in fan support.  While your school does not win any trophies for spring game attendance records, it must be a huge morale boost for the Wildcats to know they have the fans back on their side. How humiliating it must have been for the team in their final weeks of last year with a fan base that couldn’t have cared less.

If last season’s attendance records are any indication for this season, Kentucky’s mark will likely fall to third-best after Alabama holds their spring game this weekend. Third-best in the country and second in the SEC ain’t all bad.

The Big Blue Nation is back in full force and is ready for the revival of Kentucky football.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

45 Comments for Kentucky spring game attendance ranks second-best in the country

  1. Big Blue 66
    2:44 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    all the ones ending in ,000 are making stuff up

  2. Maybe I'm wrong
    2:45 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    I thought the previous attendance record was bill currys first spring practice

  3. Stoops Troops
    2:49 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    Stoooooops!! Who knew were sitting on a football goldmine. This kinda stuff might not win a trophy but you better believe top notch recruits are taking notice.

  4. Josh
    2:52 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    1 – Louisville and Ole Mill being dishonest about something? Say it ain’t so.

  5. Merlin's
    2:57 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    Pat forde reporting on YAHOO! that Maryland booster offered the Harrison twins father $25,000 apiece for each son. Why no mention on KSR this morning??

  6. Hold on now
    3:02 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    1 & 4: They’re just estimations, every school counts attendance differently. The blowout by Vandy last year (haha) had an official attendance of 44,902 while only about 10,000 or 15,000 were actually in the stands, so yea UK is just as guilty. Also, there will be no revival of UK football because you can’t revive what was never alive. UK has never been a football power in any sense. They might become good or even very good under Stoops, but don’t kid yourselves by using the word “revival”. And please don’t forget that while fan support is great for the program and uplifting for the players, it doesn’t always translate to winning…

  7. JoeMoney333
    3:03 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    Was at game and the wife and I had a blast. Fun to make a day of it.

  8. 6 is real
    3:09 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    #6 and also you should mention that fan support for a new coach that has yet to coach his first game is great, but what will it be like 8 or 10 games into next year’s #1 rated toughest schedule when this team will inevitably have a losing record. Yes, stoops has brought excitement, yes recruiting has improved, but marked improvement won’t be seen yet. So will the historically fickle, fair weather, and tailgate loving but leave early UK fans maintain the goodwill? Time will tell.

  9. Jonah Hex
    3:25 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    -#6 ever heard of Bear Bryant? We won a Sugar Bowl, Cotton Bowl, SEC title, National Title, when he was here.

  10. Steady
    3:25 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    6 and 8, get a room.

  11. Jonah Hex
    3:26 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    And Pat Forde is only doing that for the inference: Well if Maryland offered 25,000 for each, UK MUST have offered more. That’s why he writes that story.

  12. JPhelps
    3:28 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    To all you Joker supporters out there, you were right. I guess he wasn’t the problem afterall… Wait a second…

  13. UKfootballfan
    3:46 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    To the players, we as fans were stuck between a rock and a hard place. We wanted so bad to support you as young men that chose our school and the inept coaching staff.
    As fans, it was a very difficult decision to be made, but it was made in lack of attendance, which caused the admin. of UK to make a change. You as players deserved better, us as fans deseved better. I think we all can look forward now with hope and excitement to the future and be proud of all the young men that will be playing this great game and the coach’s that will be teaching you the correct way to play and win.
    This is one fan that will continue to support these fine young men as they look to change the inviroment in CW to a more positive outlook. Continue to work hard every day, and know that the Commonwealth will be there to support.

  14. mudcreekmark
    3:53 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    I have said this for 30 years,UK football has the best and most loyal fans in the country bar none. If you look at other schools that have had our lack of success over a 50 or 60 year period how many still can fill a stadium on Saturday. We have always packed the stadium no matter how bad it got. That is, until Joker or Curry had to go. Sometimes we have to make a statement that enough is enough. All you have to do to make us happy and keep coming is to at least make it a competitive game.Don’t embarrass us or we’ll end up embarrassing you.

  15. UK1983
    3:58 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    the man with the most to think about today is Joker Phillips.

  16. RealCatsFan
    3:58 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    Now where’s that Ohio St toolbag who was on here last night bragging that they could sell tickets for $12 each to their spring game where the fans had to travel, and they would still draw 60K people?

  17. RealCatsFan
    4:02 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    #5, there is not a single thing out there about Forde saying anything about the Harrison Twins being shopped around. #DickBagTroll

  18. Buckeye Fan
    4:11 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    16. Right here. I said, if you read my post (if you can read), that no other team could take their spring game on the road, 110 miles away, charge $12-18 per ticket, and still draw almost 40,000 fans. Do you think UK could come close? We had 81,000 at home last year. Thats 14,000 more tha Commonwealth Stadium can even hold.

  19. Buckeye Fan
    4:12 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink


  20. 6 and 8
    4:15 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    6 the official attendance for vandy last year was 18,885 not 43. 8 you obviously dont know sh#t about UK football fans. Historically fickle and fair weathered?? We aren’t louisville fans.

  21. Gary
    4:16 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    Very cool what they did for that little guy.

  22. Suckeyes
    4:17 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    18 good for you. You and your entire fan base are still a bunch of whiney douch bags. Thanks for reminding us

  23. Buckeye Fan
    4:22 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    22. No reason to get jealous.

  24. Realist
    4:25 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    Lets see if there are 50,000 fans at home for the Tennessee game when UK has 3 or 4 wins under its belt.

  25. Teachable Mo'
    4:29 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    There would have been more if they’d turned on then hand wash water in the jakes on the upper level.

  26. Yep
    4:34 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    Jealous of the Old-Hell-Hole State Butfugz? Hardly.

  27. Media
    4:46 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    A UK spokesperson admitted that the number is a guess. They did not track the number of people coming in. They did not comment when asked if the number was inflated.

  28. Ken in Middletown
    5:11 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    I’m no expert, but I’ve not missed a home game in years & I’d
    say the actual attendence last night was about 40,000 or more.
    Regardless, it was a great turnout & I’m GEEKED about the upcoming season. GO CATS!!!!!!!!!

  29. UKfootballfan
    5:18 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    #23, jealous is NOT the reason we could care less about OSU. We as UK fans, SEC fans, only wish to bring the program to a level that we can be proud of.
    OSU has the better program to date, of that there is no argument, we just wish to get to that level of competition.
    If Coach Stoops can provide a solid winner and compete within the SEC, then you’ll see the power of the BBN. Until then, continue to get your tail handed to you by the SEC.

  30. wrongcat
    5:19 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    28… considering Commonwealth holds 67,606, and with easily over 3/4 of the stadium full, I’d say around 50,000 attendance for the game is more accurate.

  31. Sgt. Jimmy
    5:23 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    #20 18,885 at the Vanderbilt game. I don’t think so. My son and I went to that game and you could hear every converstion in Commenwealth that evening. I was complaining about the lack of fan support the following Monday to a friend of mine(another UK fan)to which he commented “they are supposed to be Divsion 1 football players and it should’nt matter how many fans are in the stands”. When injuries started to mount and the going got tough the fans deserted the football team last year.

  32. CAT8
    5:30 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    14 that’s a joke

  33. Rixter
    5:41 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    Stuart, you keep saying there were nearly 50,000 in attendance. 50,831 is more than 50,000. it’s nearly 51,000

  34. I was there
    5:58 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    To those who are questioning the validity of the actual number in attendance…not that it makes me at all unique, but I was there…myself and 50830 others…I know what a full CWS holds…and looking around at the crowd in the stadium during the second quarter last night I told my son, “There is at least 50k in this stadium right now.” When the official number was announced on the radio on our way home I had to boast at the accuracy of my estimation. I am well aware that most schools- including UK- have padded numbers for games in the past. If you saw the crowds at the end of the Joke Era…er, uh…Joker Era…you would have padded the numbers too out of sheer embarrassment. But last night’s number was accurate and did not need padding any more than Kate Upton’s bra needs padding. booyah!

  35. Lpool03
    6:15 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    I went to the uofl game with some friends an I can tell you there is no way they had 33k in the stands… Spin it however you want but there was maybe a little more than half that actually at the game.

  36. Stats
    6:24 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    UK just announced they made a mistake in guessing the number of attendees. The now say the official number is 2,218,674 people at the spring game.

  37. dogballs
    6:43 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    cool but of course bama will go ATM on that # – but very proud of BBN

  38. Old Timer
    7:50 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    #6..Hold on now.
    Your post just shows what an idiot you are with no knowledge of UK histoy. “UK, never been a football power”…geeze. What do you call the late 40s & early 50s under Coach Bryant”
    Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Sugar Bowl..Natonal Champion within a period of 4 years.
    Educate yourself before posting a comment that is totally FALSE!

  39. Stuart Hammer
    7:54 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    33 – Are you sure about that?

  40. dave
    9:38 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    I would have been there, but still stuck in traffic. Who is in charge of traffic, needs to be fired. But the police motorcycles were cute, the policeman didn’t do jack [email protected], but loved the motorcycles.

  41. Scott
    10:07 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    Seriously, I watched the video of the kid at Nebraska and I cried like a [fun]ing baby.

  42. Duane the cat Johnson
    10:29 pm April 14, 2013 Permalink

    Can you smelllllllalallalallll what the Stoops is cookin.

  43. Jason K
    4:55 am April 15, 2013 Permalink

    Regardless of what the actual number of fans truly was, we have learned not to trust the information department at UK thanks to painfully accurate numbers produced by open record requests, there is no doubt a rebirth of sorts is occurring in Commonwealth. The mind -boggling showing on of support on Saturday has truly shifted the burden back onto the coaching staff. I am guessing behind the smiles of Stoops he is somewhere in the back of his mind thinking “Dear God are you serious?” QUID PRO QUO Coach. Your move.

  44. Unboltedharp
    7:45 pm April 15, 2013 Permalink

    51,000 is probably pretty close. The lower bowl was very crowded, and the upper around half maybe slightly more. An awesome crowd for a practice. Best I’ve seen in over twenty years of going to spring games. The BBN demanded a change because of inept coaching, and we got it. Saturday’s attendance regardless of the final tally speakes volumes. They have a lot of work to do just to get back to where Brooks had us, but this is a program on the rise now. As for inflated numbers, little brother with 33,000, I doubt that. Maybe the number of beers sold, but not fans in the seats. As for the fair weather fan poster, go jump off the 2nd street bridge. UK fans have shown up for years to watch us play some of the best teams in the country, knowing we would probably lose, but we were still there even after halftime. I’ll drive 75 miles to watch UK, but 7 miles to the industrial pizza pit, that’s a waste of gas.

  45. Matt
    9:09 am April 16, 2013 Permalink

    Whoever made this list is an idiot. Texas’ reported attendance was only 10,000 and Ohio State was only 19,200, amongst other errors. IDK if this was just laziness, or just an attempt to move Louisville further down the list than they actually are, lol.