Student attendance at the Kentucky football games has always been a struggle. It has been so poor in the past that during the renovations of Commonwealth Stadium, the student section has been moved and the number of seats have decreased.
After spending my weekend in Columbia with a friend who attends the University of South Carolina, I learned about their student ticket method. Their method is one that Kentucky could take note of in the future to increase the student attendance at the football games.
South Carolina uses a loyalty point system. What that means is that students receive points by attending football, basketball and baseball games throughout the year. All athletic tickets are put onto your CarolinaCard (a.k.a student ID) in order to keep track of points. So at a football, basketball and baseball game your card is swiped and your points are recorded on your student account.
Point System Information
- Ten percent of the points you earned in a school year will be carried over to the next school year.
- All non-conference football and basketball games are worth two points
- All Southeastern conference football and basketball games and all games for other sports are one point.
- Each sport will host at least one double rewards game for students.
- Based on your grade classification, you earn a certain amount of points at the start of each school year.Freshmen: 3 points
Sophomore: 4 points
Junior/Graduate student: 6 points
Senior: 8 points
Students have two days to request a football ticket of each home game on days indicated by the USC Ticket Office. The students are then put in order (highest to lowest) based on their loyalty points. The first 9200 students are awarded lower decks tickets. Emails are sent to students who can claim one of those 9200 tickets and to the students who did not receive a ticket. If any of the lower deck tickets are not claimed, the remaining will be available online on a first-come, first-served basis.
The most important part of South Carolina’s student ticket method is that students are penalized if they have a ticket and do not enter the game. The student loses their ability to attend any of the remaining home games. This rule is what makes South Carolina games so popular for their students and so well attended, which is a very smart tactic by the university.
This method could be very beneficial in increasing student attendance at sporting events overall, but especially at football games. I believe that if Kentucky were to use this method, they would need to add more teams to the list other than football, basketball and baseball; like soccer and volleyball.
So Big Blue Nation, what do you think?