Will UK continue its Freedom Hall game?

UK will makes its annual trip to Freedom Hall for a home-away-from-home game on Tuesday.

Head coach John Calipari stopped short of saying the game was safe for scheduling purposes for future years.

Calipari noted the game Tuesday against Arkansas-Little Rock isn’t sold out (yet, and probably won’t be). Indeed, the game usually isn’t a sell-out. Here’s the numbers from the past seven years, as ran by 247Sports.com’s Matt May:

Other than Indiana, the games haven’t produced substantial turnouts. Even Notre Dame last year wasn’t a sell out.

Part of the problem is the quality of the opponent: games like Chattanooga and Appalachian State (and Arkansas-Little Rock) aren’t a quality draw.

But as Calipari pointed out, if those games were played in Rupp Arena, “there would be 24,000 people” at the game. 23,230 showed up for the Lamar game.

“People got to come to it and make it something they want us to do,” Calipari said.

Getting a better opponent seems likely. Calipari said earlier in the year he’s looking to drop a high-quality opponent (the notable UNC/Louisville/Indiana triangle), and taking away a game against a top team at Rupp Arena isn’t feasible.

“It’s hard to say, ‘Get us UCLA in there,'” Calipari said. “Come on. You can’t.”

So the game might go away if the fans don’t show up, and Calipari pushed for the Freedom Hall game as an opportunity for those who don’t come to Rupp Arena often (the game isn’t part of the season ticket package).

“We want to continue to do it,” Calipari said. “We want to reach out to our fans. This is an opportunity for people who aren’t season ticket holders. Here’s a game. Let’s go.”

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