Low football attendance impacts UK community



By Amelia Orwick

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After dropping games to Louisville and Western Kentucky, the UK football team has a losing record early in the season.

Even in victory, the football team struggles to draw a crowd.

In its win against Kent State last weekend, UK played in front of the smallest home-opener crowd since 1973. However, the football program isn’t the only one taking losses.

Low game attendance means trouble, not only for Joker Phillips, but for many others in Lexington.

Those who have raked in money parking cars on game day in the past are suddenly finding it hard to fill spaces.

Mechanical engineering senior Matt Wagner, who charges fans to park in his driveway on University Avenue, said that six of the 13 spots available were filled for the Kent State game.

Some have recognized the effects of low attendance early on and are employing creative strategies to attract passers-by.

Analytics junior Austin Harvey and his roomates have taken turns dressing up in a gorilla costume and advertising their available parking in an attempt to entertain, and beat out their competition.

“The UK football team is on the down,” Harvey said. “We’re a basketball school, and who’s going to come for a game like Kent State?”

However, some local businesses are seeing steady or improved crowds, likely because fewer people are actually attending the games.

Communications senior Heather Fields works at Tin Roof, and says that every seat was filled for the Kent State game.

“Honestly, I just think we stay steady no matter what,” Fields said.

Although others, such as ticket scalpers, are not so lucky, some are hopeful that the situation will improve as the season continues and the competition gets tougher.

“Today’s better than last weekend because Western fans didn’t have far to travel,” Harvey said. “It should get better when the SEC starts.”