UKAthletics.com has released some figures today on ticket sales for football, and they aren't pretty:
With the latest figures, season ticket sales in 2012 are down 20.8 percent from 2011 and 32.5 percent from 2009. Sales to the public are down just 15.4 percent, while student tickets - which cost just $35 for the entire season - are down more.
What's most surprising to me are the ticket sales to students -- you would think at that price it would be a foregone conclusion that those would not be down that substantially. When I was at Western Kentucky, there were years when we were no good. Students still came, because we cared about our school and we cared about the guys that suited up every Saturday. We knew they worked hard, and we knew that they would be better other years, and sure enough, that was true.
Is the University of Kentucky, the flagship university of this state, full of students that require a team that they think will be good, sight unseen, in order to attend? Is that what we've come to in athletics now, where school spirit is effectively equal to "what have you done for me lately?"
I'm not sure if this is a commentary on current society, or a commentary on a poor job of salesmanship, or both. Whatever the case, if UK does have a good team this year, they should cap student ticket sales right where they are, and inform and students who wish to attend that they will have to pay general admission prices. Sorry, but if you can't pony up $35 bucks for season tickets, sell those as game tickets to someone else for full price. No second chances.
Sorry for the rant, but this just bugged me a little. Hopefully, all this will turn around if the team exceeds expectations, and apparently from a student standpoint, that might happen if they manage to dress themselves correctly and find their way from the locker room to the field without tripping over each other.
I agree with Larry Vaught on this one:
Give UK credit for releasing this: Season ticket sales in 2012 are down 20.8 percent from 2011 and 32.5 percent from 2009.— Vaughts' Views (@vaughtsviews) August 22, 2012