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Kentucky Football: Attendance for Vanderbilt Falling Short of Expectations?

Fan support is a legitimate topic

As has been mentioned all week on ASoB, tomorrow's game against Vanderbilt is extremely important for the University of Kentucky football program. A loss would be detrimental to this season's dim bowl hopes, would continue a SEC losing streak, and could also stall recruiting efforts. But hey, no pressure! Despite the importance of this game, fan support seems ambivalent at best:

In some respects that's a pretty good number considering it's 10,000 short of capacity and on the heels of a 2-10 season. It's also a noon kick-off against an opponent with a losing record. What's there to be enthusiastic about?

On the other hand, it seems less than BBN claims it is capable of doing for the school it "bleeds blue" for at all times. UK has a football program that is obviously not only improving on the field, but one that is building a solid foundation for the future in regards to infrastructure, recruiting, and a displayed commitment to an increased football budget. And yet, it's not selling out home games when capacity was 76,000 previously?

I had a diatribe in me, but then Drew Franklin's post on KSR does the heavy-lifting:

I don’t get it.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is gorgeous; lower level tickets can be purchased for $20; and Kentucky is expected to win its first SEC game since 2011. So what’s the problem?

Last year’s average attendance in Commonwealth Stadium was 59,742, roughly 8,000 more than what we’re currently looking at for tomorrow. 53,000 people showed up to watch a 2-6 Kentucky team play Alabama State in 30 degree weather last November. Are you telling me excitement was higher then, over a much-improved UK team looking to go 3-1 with its only loss coming in triple overtime in the Swamp?

I get HD televisions and the comfort of home is seductive opposed to making the trek and spending money to enter a mass of humanity and later spend even more money. James pointed out earlier this week: money isn't an excuse to not attend the game Saturday if you're in the area, and  love your program with $20 tickets.

Rupp Arena was 90% capacity during the BCG years. Why it's not that for a football program clearly on the rise is confusing to me. It says UK fans are of the fair-weather variety when it comes to football. Absent passing judgement, there could very well be ramifications down the road.

UK is not a destination school for football. It needs all the help it can get to retain good coaches. An athletic department that increases funds for assistant coaches and infrastructure, and provides non-monetary support is a factor. Another important factor is fan support. If you're a coach, do you want to play in front of sold out crowds, or crowds of 75% capacity?