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Big Four Bridge/Waterfront Park fundraising scam the latest shameful act in Louisville


As you’ve probably heard by now, there’s been some drama over a fundraiser held by Waterfront Park to light the Big Four Bridge in downtown Louisville red or blue based on which fanbase donated more money, Louisville or Kentucky. Despite Kentucky having a substantial lead in donations when the poll closed at 4 p.m., the donation site mysteriously reopened fifteen minutes later and Louisville received two major donations ($1,000 and $625) to put them over the top. Shocker: the contest was rigged. Given the history of how things go down in that city, especially when it comes to things involving the University of Louisville, that shouldn’t be surprising. Besides, it’s a bridge, and who cares about a bridge, and it’s all for a good cause, whatever.

But it still bothers me. Here’s why.

On Thursday, I received an email from the events coordinator at Waterfront Park asking KSR to promote the contest. According to the person, the Waterfront Development Corporation was cut from the state budget so they came up with the fundraiser to generate some much-needed revenue for the park.

“We created a fun competition to see which fan base (UK/UL) could raise the most money to have the Big Four Bridge lights be blue or red for the basketball game,” the email read. “We would be so grateful if you could help us rally the BBN on your show and encourage them to make the Big Four Bridge the #BBNbridge and have it lit blue next week!”

The request seemed genuine, so we were happy to help out, although because I was in Vegas, I wasn’t able to “rally the BBN” on the site until yesterday. And rally we did. When I posted about the contest, Kentucky was down $150 in donations; six hours later, Kentucky was up almost $1,600. Hashtag KSR effect, right? If you checked the Louisville message boards, Cards fans were furious at the notion that their beloved bridge would be blue the night before and the night of the big game.

So, imagine my surprise a few hours later when Kentucky lost the contest despite being up over $1,000 when the polls closed. Again, it’s not surprising that the contest was rigged, but the fact that several readers of our website donated money to the contest believing it was legit when it actually was not makes this wrong. Waterfront Park essentially preyed on Kentucky fans and KSR to generate money, during the week before Christmas nonetheless.

Way to be a grinch, guys.

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.

46 Comments for Big Four Bridge/Waterfront Park fundraising scam the latest shameful act in Louisville

  1. Mathlete
    11:07 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

    Skirting (or outright flaunting) rules is par for the course at U of Littlebrother. It’s just how their culture is set up… and it makes it even more satisfying when we beat them.

  2. ukjaybrat
    11:09 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

    they literally cheat at everything

    • sluggerali
      2:56 pm December 21, 2016 Permalink

      Says the school with more NCAA violations

    • ukjaybrat
      3:00 pm December 21, 2016 Permalink

      that’s just because nothing you’re cesspool of a school has done in the last couple years has resulted in violations… yet. just wait, it’s coming. then, just like “cal will cause you a banner”, you will eat your words.

    • J-Dub421
      3:13 pm December 21, 2016 Permalink

      UK hasn’t done anything since the 80’s, meanwhile U of L can’t go a week between scandals.

  3. Booby Petrino
    11:12 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

    so we were up by 1600 and they got late donations in the amount of 1625? How obvious an pathetic.

  4. JVice
    11:13 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

    Not a harsh enough rebuke. People were lied to and taken advantage of. Hopefully, you’ll assert yourselves and agree to never support them in the future.

  5. christopherharrison26
    11:21 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

    Would they consider splitting the color on the bridge – half blue and half red – as a sign of good will for the Holidays?

  6. KyRattlesnake
    11:21 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

    Being as I’m a Cat Fan, living in Louisville… Does it really matter? The money went to a good cause, and it sounds a bit like sour grapes… we lost because the refs cheated kinda thing
    The Cats are still gonna kick some Card A*s and all will be right with the world

    • ukjaybrat
      11:31 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

      1) The money didn’t go to a “good cause” it all goes to the waterfront park.

      2) This isn’t a “the refs cheated” kind of deal. If you want tocompare this to sports. imagine winning a basketball game by 30 points. the score is final. then for absolteuly no reason, the ref walks over and says, there will be 15 more minutes on the game clock and the other team gets to shoot until they make up the difference, oh and don’t tell uk to come3 back out of the locker room, their services are no longer needed.

      3) it isn’t about the money at all. it’s about the fact that apparently this individual begged KSR to get uk fans into donating for a cause *thinking* they had a chance to win something even if it was as petty as lights on a bridge. when there was zero chance they were going to let us win in the end.

    • RealCatsFan
      11:33 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

      I would agree with you if we legitimately lost – even if it was by a big last second donation by a wealthy UofL donor (i.e., Papa John). However, the fact that they took down the list of donors and sneakily extended the end time to accommodate these “phantom donors”. Wither post the full list of donors to prove it is real, or refund my money please. I feel like I handed a $20 bill to the guy with the homeless sign, only to see him climb into a brand new Escalade and drive off. 🙁

    • ukjaybrat
      11:34 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

      * before someone argues the waterfront park is a good cause, i would argue the people using waterfront park are all less needy than children whose parents can’t afford christmas. So you won’t win that battle

    • Booby Petrino
      11:44 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

      “the money went to a good cause”…yeah that poor Waterfront park, it must need to feed it’s kids.

    • RealCatsFan
      11:45 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

      ukjay, I completely agree. I am seriously thinking about disputing my payment made through PayPal, and then instead donating that money to Home of the Innocents or Wayside Christian Mission.

  7. CatsFan4Life
    11:34 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

    Makes me kind of wish that I had donated money just I could have the opportunity to dispute the charge through my bank to get the money back.

  8. Bergeron
    11:35 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

    Ultimately it is shame for their organization. This could have been an ongoing fundraiser for years in football and basketball, they blew it.

  9. Sentient Third Eye
    11:37 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

    Because of the “foot me once” rule, these idiots will end up costing their cause money in the long run. UK fans will not participate the next time they need to raise some funds.

  10. garypatterson7o
    11:38 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

    Here are the event coordinators at waterfront park

    [email protected]
    [email protected]


  11. Realme
    11:39 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

    I didn’t donate, but if I had I would be calling them frauds and demanding my money back. If they said the side with the most money donated by 4:00 wins, and then changed the rules, they lied in order to get money. And the fact that they must have been planning to end it that way all along (presumably with a donor promising the difference +25 after the contest ended) is deliberate, Louisville-style cheating.

  12. Rod Crandler
    11:50 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

    If you dispute the charge on your credit card they will have to refund the money and they get hit with a chargeback fee.

  13. Megan
    11:50 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

    That’s the definition of fraud. The state attorney general should want to look into this. Make a complaint to Mr. Beshear.

  14. KYcats11
    11:50 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

    Contact information please?

    • ukjaybrat
      11:50 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

      see comment 10

  15. BBN in H-Town
    11:53 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

    Everyone who donated to this “cause” should simply dispute the charges. Take your money back. I also hope the organization is publicly shamed over this. Hit them where it hurts: in the wallet, and PR.

  16. Willis talkin bout....
    11:54 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

    they cheat at everything.. literally, everything. UL fans have such an inferiority complex they can’t even stand to lose a good faith charity challenge. Anything associated with that brand has become a complete joke or criminal. Basketball uses strippers, cheated.. Football, cheated. AD/and President ,too include the Foundations and Boards, are so corrupt and criminal it defies belief that nobody is in prison yet. Taxpayers will end up bailing out the Yum Center when UL causes it to go bankrupt. And apparently UK fans paid to light up a bridge red in honor of this glorious, criminal humiliation of a school.

  17. ghenson08
    11:56 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

    Tell Matt to litigate it (or threaten litigation) if the bridge is red. Simple as that. Also BBN can post to their FB page->

    • CatsFan4Life
      12:25 pm December 21, 2016 Permalink

      I reported their Facebook page as a scam.

  18. RealCatsFan
    11:58 am December 21, 2016 Permalink

    I have a feeling that this thing is going to turn into a publicity nightmare for them unless they release a statement and a list of the donors. Sounds pretty shady the way it stands now.

  19. The Real LindaS
    12:06 pm December 21, 2016 Permalink

    I followed this from the first day it was posted by the Waterfront…other than the first day, UK was winning…Up until the last minutes as stated we were winning by almost $1500 and when I tried to refresh the page for the final results it said it was no longer available. I tried several times to get ack in with no luck. I posted to every UK page on FB I could think of and the numbers kept going up.
    I just tried to call them but lo and behold they are in a meeting…I wanted an explanation as to why two large donations were allowed after it closed. I think it was originally suppose to close at 3 but I might be wrong.
    Here is the phone number, 502-574-3768, please keep it classy don’t act like a loserville fan would.
    the less than esteemed Governor of the Commonwealth, devil bevin, slashed the funds for the upkeep of the park and bridge. The Waterfront Park is in the top 10 in the nation, at one time it won many awards after its completion…but like very thing else education, health, etc it does not matter to devil bevin.

    • 2Dogs
      12:40 pm December 21, 2016 Permalink

      Why didn’t he just tap into our bottomless pile of money for the funding? Oh wait. We don’t have that.

  20. bigblucrew89
    12:24 pm December 21, 2016 Permalink

    Look at all the tears lmfaooooooo…… cry

    • ukjaybrat
      12:27 pm December 21, 2016 Permalink

      hey look. it’s yet another fan who condones cheating. i guess it’s the only way you will ever win anything.

    • RealCatsFan
      12:33 pm December 21, 2016 Permalink

      You will be the one crying tonight around 9 PM.

    • UK Big Board Update
      12:52 pm December 21, 2016 Permalink

      Why would a UL fan choose the handle “bigblucrew89”? Is it because you know you are an embarrassment to your fanbase, so you tried to disguise yourself as a UK fan?

    • The Real LindaS
      12:53 pm December 21, 2016 Permalink

      If you contact the Waterfront, please please don’t act like a loserville fan, show some class….something bigblucrew89 doesn’t even know how to spell.

  21. CarltonBanks
    1:00 pm December 21, 2016 Permalink

    Having worked in customer service AND on a resolution team, here’s what I would recommend if you want to get your money back. I would comment (and keep it classy) on their Facebook page and let them know that you will send them a message so they are able to respond directly to you in private. Facebook business pages CANNOT send a direct message to someone unless that individual has initiated contact. If you’re going to email them instead, try to do it from Outlook or a client/platform that will allow you to send a delivery and read receipt. I’d give them at least a week to respond (it IS Christmas and there are a LOT of people on vacation) before escalating it to your credit card company.

    • RealCatsFan
      1:05 pm December 21, 2016 Permalink

      Excellent advice! I also have to handle a lot of CS issues, and it is true that you will get way better results with a civil and intelligently worded letter or email than simply ranting.

  22. runningunnin.454
    1:31 pm December 21, 2016 Permalink

    Don’t think we’ll care about the lights on the bridge if we light up their scoreboard tonight.

  23. oruacat2
    1:50 pm December 21, 2016 Permalink

    UL: the Walmart-parking-lot-panhandler of college athletics.

  24. Hitch12
    3:05 pm December 21, 2016 Permalink

    I already challenged this via PayPal. It’s a damn shame too. One huge stupid act because they’re unable to be honest cost them a chance to raise money every year. Stupid idiots.

  25. pezduh
    3:57 pm December 21, 2016 Permalink

    So UL changed the rules AFTER they were disappointed with the outcome?
    Aren’t there a bunch of AMERICANS who wanted the rules changed after they did not like the results?

    How does this compare to asking the electors to vote for whoever THEY want to AFTER the election?

    Not saying, just saying …

    • RealCatsFan
      4:16 pm December 21, 2016 Permalink

      Since you wanted to step off into a political discussion, keep in mind that Trump thought the electoral college was just another example of how the election process was “rigged” against him, but now that it has actually worked in his favor, he thinks it is a stroke of genius. So he bears a striking resemblance to the honchos at UofL in his attitude. He would be throwing a tantrum like a four-year-old if the shoe was on the other foot.

      And before you go off on a tirade – no, I am not a democrat nor a liberal. I am registered as an Independent, and I did not like that witch that was running either. IMO both sides are full of bovine excrement, and they are all to happy to take advantage of the sheep who blindly follow either side.

      Rant over….