Big Blue Madness campout means basketball season is near


Police make a line down Avenue of Champions, separating UK basketball fans from the lawn outside Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, in Lexington, Kentucky. Fans camp out to buy tickets to secure their spot to Big Blue Madness which will be held on Friday October 13, 2017, at Rupp Arena as the beginning to the 2017-2018 basketball season. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Chris Leach

The inaugural event to each basketball season in Lexington starts with Big Blue Madness, and luckily for Cats fans, it’s rapidly approaching.

Big Blue Madness is scheduled for Oct. 13, but tickets for the Madness are available sooner than that, on Sept. 29. Tickets will once again be free for the event that’s meant to introduce both the men and women’s basketball teams.

Campout dates will begin this week, starting on Sept. 27 and lasting until the ticket dispersal. Tickets will be given out at the Memorial Coliseum ticket windows on Avenue of Champions at 10 p.m.

In an effort to maintain public safety, officials request fans wanting the valuable tickets to start the campout no earlier than 5 a.m. on Sept. 27. With construction that seems to always surround campus, spaces will be limited for fans wishing to camp out.

Because of limited space, UK Athletics has asked fans to consider skipping the campout and get their tickets online at Once 10 p.m. strikes on Sept. 29, tickets will become available on Ticketmaster, just like they will be at the Memorial Coliseum ticket windows.

However, these warnings are unlikely to stop the biggest of UK fans. Camping out for Big Blue Madness is a tradition that many students, alumni and general fans partake in.

Because of the excitement that surrounds the campout, the limited spaces will likely fill up quickly once campers are able to claim their spots.

For the fans that get camping spots, a limited number of control cards will be issued to the ones who are present at their camp sites at 2 p.m. on the day of the ticket dispersal. Only one control card will be given to each person and people with control cards must be lined up for tickets before 10 p.m. that night.

The use of permanent, wooden-type structures, portable generators and propane tanks are forbidden because of safety concerns. Tobacco and alcohol also aren’t allowed on the premises of the campout.

However, that won’t likely stop the fun that the campers have during the week. Members of the men and women’s basketball team often visit the campers on their way to and from class.

At last year’s campout, a wedding took place for two of UK’s biggest fans. A wedding likely won’t happen every year, but Cats fans will still find ways to have their fun.

For those lucky enough to get tickets to the Madness, the event is set to start at 7 p.m. on Oct. 13.