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Why is Kentucky’s attendance going down? UK writer says Rupp is ‘stale’

Dec 12, 2013, 1:13 PM EDT

Boise State v Kentucky Getty Images

Does Kentucky have an attendance issue?

According to John Clay of the Lexington Herald-Leader, they do.

Which is crazy when you think about it. Because this is the same program that brings in crowds for scrimmages and Midnight Madness that would set records at just about any other school  in the country.

But Clay’s got the data to back it up:

Average attendance has gone from 23,868 through the first seven home games of 2009, John Calipari’s first season as the UK coach, to 23,116 in 2010, to 23,039 in 2011, to 22,071 in 2012 to 21,799 this season.

Clay has a couple theories about it. The home games this season have been weak, the seats that the students are given to sit it are way up in the rafters, and the experience of watching a game on a 60-inch plasma is almost as good as watching from the arena when you’re paying for expensive seats, expensive drinks and expensive hot dogs.

His last point is the most interesting: Rupp Arena has become stale.

Now, some of that is, obviously, the semi-boring home games they have played, but this isn’t the first time I’ve heard this. For a big game, Rupp can get rowdy, but generally speaking, it’s not the same kind of environment as a place like Cameron or Phog Allen.

Kentucky fans, chime in here. I’m curious your take on it. Is Rupp a boring place to watch a game?

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