On Tuesday, the newest addition to the KSR family, KSRCollege.com debuted. The writing there has been very strong and they have done what I had hope would happen…put out viewpoints and reporting on UK sports from a campus perspective. Make sure and visit the site when you can and give support to the new generation of UK bloggers. Tonight we feature a post by Ashley Scoby, who says she agrees with Patrick Patterson’s critique of the seating structure at Rupp Arena:
If you don’t follow Patrick Patterson on Twitter (you should), here’s what he had to say last night about the Rupp renovations:
Lookin at the pics on KSR of “renovated” Rupp Arena.. Feeling it. Needs more than one student section tho. Boosters can sit in suites.
Let me just start off by saying HECK. YES. And now let me tell you why this tweet explains my thoughts to perfection:
I am jealous of Duke for one reason, and for one reason only, and that is the student section at Cameron Indoor. I can almost guarantee that the BBN has better fans than the Dukies do, but our arena doesn’t let us show off that gift (because yes, having students as passionate as we are is a gift). Students are stuck behind the goal, making it A) difficult for students to see the game… and B) difficult for TV cameras to see the students unless the camera operators are making it a point to pan the crowd.
If we could have the students circling the court, I think there wouldn’t even be a word to describe the awesomeness that would happen. UK students are the best of the best when it comes to basketball, and we would definitely not disappoint. Like Patterson said, the boosters can sit in suites.
I know the age-old argument as well as anybody does: Boosters pay the big bucks, so they get the best seats in the house. But guess what? I pay over $16,000 a year to attend UK, and people who come here from out of state pay roughly double that. I think the least the university could do is give us some decent seating at Rupp.
And do the boosters really care that much about being two or three rows from the court, as opposed to being in a luxury box? You can’t tell me that the smell of the players’ sweat is that appealing to these people. Nine times out of ten, if those same boosters are at a sporting event other than a UK basketball game, they’re going to be in a suite, not in the stands.
It’s time for change at Rupp. It’s clear that with renovations set to happen in the near future, the overall look of the arena will be changing. But I want changes in the atmosphere of the place too. Spreading the student section around the court would only make Rupp crazier than it already is.
Now, if the people in charge don’t want to spread the student section around, take Patrick Patterson’s advice and add a second student section. Put us at both ends of the court. Give another full section of the lower arena to the students. By no means am I suggesting that Rupp be given fully to the college kids, but we do pay quite a bit more money than the average Joe to be at the University of Kentucky. Give us a chance to show why we love our school.
And on a similar topic, while you’re “fixing” Rupp… fix the lottery system. I’m begging you. There is no reason for me to be sitting at Memorial Coliseum for two and a half hours just so I can get Row U tickets in the upper section for two games.
Assign everyone (or every group) their random number, and then assign them lower arena, upper arena, or ERUPPtion zone tickets. They can pick these tickets up anytime they want to, but before a certain date (let’s say a week before a game). If the people who won the lottery never picked up their tickets before that predetermined date, then allow other people to purchase them.
Or, make it similar to class registration at UK: Give each group of students a window of time that they can go online and purchase their tickets.
Honestly, I really don’t care how it’s done, as long as people aren’t sitting for two or three hours for tickets that aren’t even quality seats. I realize that we’re given tickets at the student price of $5, and that’s far below the face value of a Kentucky basketball ticket, but the system to actually purchase them is broken. The seating system at Rupp isn’t necessarily broken, but it needs to be tweaked as well.
Let’s get it done, UK. And let’s show the rest of the college basketball world why we’re the best in the nation.