Kentucky announces Kroger Field capacity for 2020 season


A military plane flies over the stadium for Heroes’ Day before the game against Eastern Michigan on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 38-17. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Braden Ramsey

Kentuckians have seen numerous other SEC schools, and Louisville, announce fan capacity limits for the 2020 season. As the home opener versus Ole Miss approaches, the Cats hadn’t officially said anything with regard to how many members of BBN can enter Kroger Field. Until today.

In a press release, UK finally released its number, revealing “anticipated attendance for the 2020 season at Kroger Field is up to 20% of normal stadium capacity.” This comes out to roughly 12,200 fans allowed to attend each of Kentucky’s five home games.

The university also left open the possibility of more fans later in the year, saying “all plans are subject to change based on evolving information as well as local, state and national public health developments.”

Reports from the weekend said suite capacity would be at 50%, which left much of the fan base maligning UK’s administration. But the press release stated the suites would be subject to the same 20% restriction – or a maximum of 10 persons, whichever is greater – as general seating.

With regard to student attendance, the university stated “details on how Kroger Field capacity adjustments will affect student ticketing, including the seating format, number of available tickets and sales process will be communicated once those plans are finalized.” It added that all student tickets will be sold on a single-game basis.

The maximum number of approved seating for other SEC schools is 25%, with Texas A&M and Tennessee each getting roughly 25,600 fans in the doors. Missouri, Ole Miss, Georgia and Mississippi State also have plans for 25% capacity.

In the commonwealth specifically, Louisville and Western Kentucky were also both approved for 20% by Governor Beshear. The Cardinals first proposed a 30% capacity (roughly 18,000 people), but were unable to receive approval on that percentage.

Other SEC schools with 20% capacity are Florida, Alabama and Auburn. Arkansas has set its limit at 17,000 (appx. 23%, while South Carolina will have a maximum of 20,000 (slightly below 25%). LSU and Vanderbilt have yet to announce their intentions regarding fans in their stadiums.

Yes, Kentucky’s maximum number of potential fans is one of the lower totals in the conference. In a season that is being played exclusively in-conference, not having a similar home-field environment as other schools could be a disadvantage in some ways. But for fans of football, having any opportunity to watch this year’s squad in person is a win in itself.