In 2013, the University of Kentucky announced a $126 million renovation for its Commonwealth Stadium. In 2015, those renovations were completed just in time for football season. For the first time ever, Kentucky fans had the opportunity to sit in premium seating sections, as well as luxury sideline suites. That opportunity, however, came with a big price tag.
It all started when UK’s athletic directer, Mitch Barnhart, wanted to give Commonwealth Stadium that “SEC feel”. Traveling all over the conference, one would see CWS was well behind others as far as facilities were concerned. Commonwealth Stadium lacked the big box suites surrounding each sideline. It didn’t have state-of-the-art LED banners circling the field. Audio systems were decent at best. It simply wasn’t up to par as far as the fan experience goes within the SEC. That’s all in the past now!
According to records released this week, UK generated over $7.3 million last season from the new premium seating options. This includes all 67 luxury suites, as well as the new premium seating sections on the mezzanine levels. For the upcoming season, UK officials project to make over $7.36 million, but could exceed that depending on single game sales and ever-changing ticket-holder situations. In comparison, Kentucky’s 67 suites alone generated $3.5 million, while Louisville’s 59 suites only brought in $2.6 million.
If you were hoping to acquire a luxury suite this year, get in line. There’s currently a waiting list, and it doesn’t appear any suites will become available anytime soon. So who currently has a suite in Commonwealth Stadium? This link will bring up a graphic from which you can can click on price boxes to view who owns a suite and where. It’s actually pretty cool to see who sits where for home games.
Prices of the luxury suites are $45,000, $60,000, and $120,000. Joe Craft owns the highest valued suite at $120K, while other notables like Tim Couch own a $60K suite. Each suite includes 16 plush chairbacks, with more included if it’s a double or triple. All suites also include a full kitchen with bar top and multiple HD television screens.
If you’re still looking to add a little bit of luxury to your gameday, UK’s new 1865 Club have tailgating units still available. Each climate-controlled unit has a kitchen, a full-size refrigerator, a bathroom and four televisions with room for 30 fans. These luxury tailgating suites run between $6,000-$8,000 per game, or $50,000 for the season. Catering options are also available.