Kernel Editorial: Left off BBM ticket lottery guest list?

UK hosted a ticket lottery for Big Blue Madness that was about as popular as UK football. That was no coincidence, either.
The email sent out to notify students of the lottery Monday night only went out to those students who purchased season football tickets.

If an invitation to the Big Blue Madness ticket lottery is an incentive for buying football season tickets, making that known to students prior to football season could have driven ticket sales up.

The Kernel recently cited a CatsIllustrated.com article published July 27 that said student season ticket sales for Kentucky football were down more than 50 percent compared with at the end of July 2011.

Instead, the UK ticket office went at the heart of the Big Blue Nation by keeping it somewhat in the dark about an event related to the beloved basketball team.

The lottery was open to all students, and information about it was posted on UK Athletics’ website. However, without some sort of notification — which comes via email for other basketball tickets — many students didn’t know to look.

Those who chose to stick by the struggling football team were rewarded over those who had lost interest in football or never had interest in football at all. And this was true, too, in years past, as UK said this is the way the Big Blue Madness lottery has been done before.

So maybe students didn’t look hard enough for lottery information, but the fact that so many were taken off guard should be an indicator that UK needs to change its lottery notification policy for Madness in future years.

Athletics spokesman John Hayden said approximately 1,000 students attended the lottery. One thousand tickets were available and a lottery-winning student received two tickets.

Had an email been sent to all students last Wednesday, a larger contingent likely would have shown up.

But even that could have been avoided had UK implemented a system similar to other basketball ticket lotteries — in which students are told ahead of time whether they have a shot at getting tickets. Why not randomly select from opted-in students for this lottery, too?

Although some students are upset, had everyone been notified of the lottery, getting tickets would have likely been harder and most students would still have to camp out to get tickets.

So the lottery has passed, but there are still plenty of Big Blue Madness tickets to get. The campout begins at 7 a.m. Wednesday.

You can still gather some of your closest friends, pitch a tent, head out to Memorial Coliseum and hope the system is fixed before next season.