Construction at Rupp Arena is underway to make room for chairback seating in the upper level; as a result, there will be changes to season tickets next season. Here’s what you need to know.
There will be no seating changes in the lower level
Three thousand seats will be removed, reducing Rupp’s capacity to approximately 20,500. The only area that will be affected by the reseating process is the upper level, so if you have a season ticket in the lower level, you will not have to move; however, while K Fund pricing remains the same, season tickets in the light blue, purple, and green sections (lower level sideline) will now be $1,500/ticket, a $122 increase. Season tickets in the light green sections (lower level end zone) will now be $1,400/ticket, a $22 increase.
Chairbacks are coming to the upper level sidelines only
All seats located along the sidelines in the upper level (sections 211-217 and 228-234) will be upgraded from bleachers to blue chairback seats, as shown below (the white chair is just a sample):
There will be cupholders on the backs of the chairs for all but the front row, who will have them on the armrests.
The bleachers will remain in the end zone sections; however, one of those end zones will reserved for students (more on this later).
The seat selection process for the upper level will begin next month
Everyone with a season ticket in the upper level will go through the seat selection process. UK held inventory to make sure no current season ticket holders in the upper level would be left out. All upper-level season ticket holders will receive an email later this week from the UK Ticket Office with further information and seat selection details, including a digital seat selection guide. The process will begin in mid-May. The order in which fans will select seats will be determined based on K Fund priority point ranking as of Feb. 1, 2019.
Most upper-level season ticket prices have gone down
Total annual cost for 64% of upper-level season tickets will actually decrease from last season. Whereas in years past, all upper level tickets cost $1,166/seat, there are now seven different price levels for season tickets holders to choose from. Chairback seating starts at $1,150/seat and goes up to $1,400/seat based on location; bench seating will start at $950/seat and go up to $1,050/seat based on location. The K Fund donations for the prime sideline seats (yellow and brown sections) have increased, but there are still two other chairback sections (dark green, blue) that don’t require a K Fund donation.
To give you a sense of how many seats have been taken out, the upper level sidelines used to go from Row A-KK; now, they only go from Row A-Z.
The student sections have moved
One obvious area that’s being impacted by the renovations are the student sections. The upper level student sections will be moved to sections 238, 240, and 241 (upper level end zone). Students will still have lower level sections 33 and 34, along with the eRupption Zone. (Sections 35 and 36 on the old seating chart were marked as student sections, but a UK spokesman noted that they were only used for prospective students/recruits.)
Given the decrease in student attendance over the years, the changes shouldn’t come as a surprise; in fact, UK went ahead and cut the student allotment to 2,500 last season to reflect the declining numbers.
Single-game ticket inventory will be down
Because 3,000 seats are being removed, single-game ticket inventory will be down next season. So, if you have season tickets currently and are considering just getting single-game tickets instead of renewing, something to consider.
UK will help you sit with your friends
If you’ve had season tickets in the upper level for years, odds are you’ve made some pals around you. If you still want to sit with those people or maybe you have friends with season tickets elsewhere in the upper arena, UK will allow you to link your seats by combining your priority points and taking the average. They’ll also help you find your old seat neighbors in case you never exchanged contact information. All of that information will be included in the seat selection packet.
The chairbacks will be in by Big Blue Madness
Construction started on the upper level right after the season ended, and to make sure the arena is ready for Big Blue Madness in October, Rupp will shut down in June. Madness will be Kentucky’s first event with the chairbacks in place.
The reseating process has nothing to do with the new club areas
Another big part of the renovations to Rupp Arena are the new club areas; however, it’s important to point out that the reseating process has nothing to do with that. UK is budgeting for the same ticket revenue it did last season despite all the changes to the structure, which are being paid for by Rupp Arena.
Speaking of those clubs, construction began last July and two will be ready in time for the 2019-20 season. Season ticket holders can purchase club memberships to accompany their season ticket package. More information on that will come out soon.
Get ready for a new Rupp!