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UK Athletics preparing for decreased ticket revenue in 2020-21

Whether or not fans will be allowed at games this fall and winter remains to be seen, but UK Athletics is bracing for the impact of COVID-19. This afternoon, the athletics department proposed a $148.5 million budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year, down $7.4 million from last year’s total operating budget of $153.9 million. While UK says it is planning on hosting events as scheduled, they adjusted the budget to account for a projected decrease in ticket revenue.

“Our goal in building our budget for the upcoming fiscal year was to respond to the unique climate brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic while avoiding adverse effects on the welfare of our student-athletes and reductions to our coaches and staff,” Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “To do that will require sacrifice. We also must be ready to adjust in an ever-changing landscape.”

You can get into the nitty gritty of the budget on UK’s website, but here’s a breakdown of where the adjustments came from. As you can see, UK is planning to save some money on travel and recruiting.

And a breakdown of revenue and expenses by sport in both list and pie chart form because it’s interesting:

The budget will be voted on Friday by the Board of Trustees.

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.

6 Comments for UK Athletics preparing for decreased ticket revenue in 2020-21



  1. Not Dan Issel
    6:22 pm June 18, 2020 Permalink

    This is definitely going to happen. I was talking with a friend of mine a couple of days ago, who played football at UK, and he told me he had declined to purchase season tickets for this year. Several reasons why, but the fact is a FORMER PLAYER declined his season tickets. I think this will be a trend.



  2. JEUofK
    7:01 pm June 18, 2020 Permalink

    Make fans sign waivers and let’s pack the house.



  3. WILDCATS1968
    7:12 pm June 18, 2020 Permalink

    offer about 5-8000 free tickets on first come first served basis on the day of the game. Maybe have a lottery or line at ticket offices start about 3-4 hours before kickoff. Hey, better than going to waste, plus you get concessions, parking, novelty items and UK gear sold if you let fans in. If they can of course. Better than throwing them in the trash, not to mention it will actually help create a home field advantage. Never happen, but should. Maybe do something like free admission after the 1st quarter or something. Stupid idea I know, but that would combat SOME people from waiting for free tickets. I would purchase one to not miss any of the game, but after the 1st quarter, some people would take free tickets. They would have to to a ticket office and get a ticket to be admitted.



  4. WILDCATS1968
    7:19 pm June 18, 2020 Permalink

    So say they sell 30/40 k tickets counting season ticket holders. Then give away 5-8k. It would be better all around to have a attendance of 40-45k as opposed to 30-35k. If each of the extra 10,000 fans spent $75 (not hard to do with concessions and souvenirs, especially with tickets being free) not counting parking that would be a extra $750,000 per game. X6 home games would be $4.5 million added revenue.

    I bet Ole Meetch wishes he would have approved beer sales now to make up for all the shortfalls in revenue. Imagine if you added that to the proposed added revenue.



    • satcheluk
      10:49 pm June 18, 2020 Permalink

      It’s not about not being able to sell them because there is no demand. It’s because they will be forbidden to allow that many people in the stadium. I will be shocked if they allow 50% capacity. Infections are rising in many states with new records being set in some states. KY does not want that to happen, so I’d predict 30% of captivity unless something dramatic changes between now and then.



  5. WILDCATS1968
    9:56 am June 19, 2020 Permalink

    Yes part of it. I even said “if the can have fans”. But there was last year and will be this year, several empty seats at Kroger Field. Not a UK probelm, ticket sales are down everywhere. Fans are staying home and watching on TV more. So even if 100% capacity (which it will not) is allowed, there will be several tickets not used.