Fans are going to have to shell out more green to watch Big Blue at Rupp Arena next fall.
The Kentucky Athletic Board raised the cost of basketball tickets Tuesday for the first time in three years, a move officials said was necessary to keep the program moving forward.
Fans will have to make an annual $5,000 donation to the school’s K Fund for the right to purchase the best seats at the 23,000-seat arena. That’s a bump from $1,350 a year.
Season tickets for the lower bowl of the arena will be $680 for a 17-game schedule or $40 a game. Fans sitting in the upper level of the arena will pay $595, or $35 a game. That’s a $7 per game increase over last season.
University president Lee Todd said he was “fine” with the increases, which are expected to total $3.65 million, with $2.8 million from increased donations to the K Fund and an additional $850,000 coming from ticket prices.
The goal is to keep the athletic department, which is selfsupporting, from dipping into the general fund.
Athletic director Mitch Barnhart said the big jump is in the most coveted basketball seats, which are on the sideline and directly behind the benches.
“You want to be cognizant of what’s going on in the marketplace,” he said. “That is very much in line with what is going on at other schools in regards to those seats.”
Just more than 8,100 seats will require a K-Fund donation. Only 512 will be required to pony up $5,000 to buy season tickets. The other jumps are considerably smaller. Seats that required a $1,100 donation last year will require a $1,500 donation this year, with smaller increases in the other K-Fund seats.