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What looks like passion is really profiteering — so showed the story in Wednesday’s Kernel, detailing the sale of Big Blue Madness tickets on websites like eBay and Craigslist.
The saddest thing about this story is how it cheapens both the event and the fan base.
Big Blue Madness is a spectacle — there’s no denying that — but what it ultimately amounts to is a short scrimmage that resembles a pickup game.
Does that sound like it’s worth hundreds of dollars to you?
What drives these prices up is the fervor surrounding Kentucky basketball. True fans will go to extreme lengths to behold the madness with their own eyes, to jump and yell within the walls of Rupp Arena.
Other fans are aware of this demand and become businessmen. They cash in on fans’ desire to catch the first glance of the team they will follow religiously for the next six months.
The worst part is “fans” who camp out only to turn around and sell their tickets. They take up valuable real estate around Memorial Coliseum where fans who want to camp out and actually go to the event could set up, then make 100 percent profit from their tickets.
Part of the problem is UK giving those lucky enough to snag tickets four seats instead of two, as they had in the past, giving those with tickets ample chance to attend and sell a ticket or two on the side.
Why not find a friend who would love to see their beloved Cats in action? Better yet, why not find someone who doesn’t get the chance to see the team in person throughout the year? Why can’t passion lead to generosity instead of greed?
Kentucky fans are revered throughout college basketball as the most passionate and loyal fan base in the nation, but with these types of practices going on, perhaps they are the most business-minded. Selling tickets to BBM, a free event that’s supposed to celebrate the upcoming season and all that is right with UK basketball, only casts a negative light on the event and those who sell their fanhood.