Kentucky: Actual attendance numbers no longer available

Kentucky no longer keeps actual attendance figures for home football games after a Herald-Leader report showed the number of people scanned for the Cats’ first six home games.

When Kentucky was asked to provide the scanned attendance figure for the Samford game on Nov. 17, a UK spokesman said via email that those figures are no longer available.

“Since your request last time we no longer keep in-house records of actual attendance numbers,” Kentucky spokesman DeWayne Peevy said last week.

In response to the Herald-Leader’s original request, UK indicated that the scanned ticket figures come from TicketMaster. The school no longer requests those figures, meaning they wouldn’t be subject to future open records requests.

“We still can ask for the numbers when needed but we no longer keep the reports on hand since we don’t use them to determine attendance,” Peevy responded via email. “We still use Ticketmaster scans but no longer keep the reports on file.”

The Herald-Leader’s report from the first six games showed a difference that ranges from 10,806 (Western Kentucky game) to 26,017 (Vanderbilt) in announced attendance and actual scanned attendance figures.

There are no NCAA or Southeastern Conference standards for how attendance is counted or reported. It is left up to each institution to determine its own numbers.

Some schools use actual attendance (bottoms in the seats); some use tickets sold; some use tickets out (which includes comp tickets, too); some use a hybrid system involving all of the above.

Kentucky uses paid attendance figures in the report it hands out at the end of each game.

“Most numbers you see is tickets out, not actual, unless (the actual) is greater,” Peevy said several weeks ago. “Paid is a pretty good way to judge. … When you start talking actual, nobody’s sure. It’s what’s actually been scanned. There’s no way to count people. It’s not an old-school turnstile count.”

Our chart from previous games:

Game Announced Actual*
Kent State 48,346 37,000
Western Kentucky 53,980 43,174
South Carolina 49,810 35,086
Miss State 49,498 29,927
Georgia 54,553 33,420
Vanderbilt 44,902 18,885
* UK’s response includes the mention that these “actual” numbers are of scanned ticket sales through Ticketmaster, but that “these numbers do not include players, media, workers, etc., who were also in attendance during the games and do not use the scanned ticket procedure.”

About Jennifer Smith

Jen Smith has been a sports writer at the Herald-Leader since 2000, covering everything from high school sports to auto racing to various University of Kentucky sports. A native of Louisville and a graduate of the University of Kentucky (much to the dismay of her Louisville graduate mother and Indiana graduate father), Jen now resides in downtown Lexington with her husband and two young sons. You can follow her on Twitter @jenheraldleader or send her an email at
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11 Responses to Kentucky: Actual attendance numbers no longer available

  1. Ralph says:

    Hogwash. As long as UK receives a nickle of taxpayers’ money, it should be required to force the rogue athletics association to account for every penny it receives, either from ticket purchasers or concession stands. Sounds to me like a job for Kentucky’s newest super auditor — since UK obviously is attempting to stonewall the Herald-Leader. And anybody caught lying on behalf of UK to the public should be fired immediately. No buyouts. No nuthin’.

  2. Steve says:

    Why am I not shocked that UK will go out of it’s way to subvert the open records law by not requesting the information anymore so that they don’t have to respond to an open records request…instead of just being truthful?

  3. McAllister says:

    Not a problem. Since they won’t give the numbers to the media as a nice convenient way to distribute them, everyone can just call DeWayne Peevy’s office personally and ask, again and again and again until the University realizes that they work for the taxpayers, not a country club.

  4. Boblanderson says:

    Mr. Peevy, how does it feel to be a puppet?

  5. DHagy says:

    I guess the figures were so terrible they were to ashamed to give the actual numbers.

  6. phil thomas says:

    UKAA is soley funded by private donations and receives no state money.Basically all that counts is number of paid fans.Who cares anyway except the lexington hearld .They did a great job of running joker out of town and I bet they will be doing the same thing in 3 years.JS find something else to write about.

  7. Karen says:

    How dare the plebians ask such questions of the empire?

    I love the rationale, it does not reflect actual numbers. Actually, it is still probably inflated b.c there were numerous fans with mutliple tickets who left the stadium to tailgate at halftime and then came back…

    Also, this is the same mentaility that Penn State had, we don’t answer to taxpayers or the law. We are above the law. I know the facts and circumstances are different; however, the arrogrance, attitude and reasoning are the same. We are the law and make the rules!!!

  8. Robert Pride says:

    The only shock is for 2 groups. 1. The ones that still think the Rick Brooks era had us where we want to be (justification for hiring Joker). and 2. The ones that knew when Brooks was hired that he would not get us to the top 1/3 in the SEC and knew therefore Joker would not either. There is a % that are shocked because we thought nothing would ever be done….jury still out on this hire.

    You have programs making quantum leaps all over the country with fast pace offense and our answer is drop straight back and let you QB take the hit and simply blame poor line play, and blame injuries.
    We blame having to play Freshmen and the newcomer to the conference has a Heisman candidate that kicked Alabama’s rear who is what? A Freshman. You would think there is something to be said for an offense that can be mastered by a freshman vs having to have a tenured QB that can be blamed for “””still learning””””” pu leazee

  9. Bluecoat says:

    UK Athletics is being incredibly petty, if not downright Peevy-ish. Hiding trivial information like this is a public relations disaster. What are they trying to protect? Certainly not their integrity, which only suffers from stupid stunts like this and is proof positive they’ve lost all perspective. It’s sad, but further proof that college football is first and foremost a business. The only amateurs left are in the UK Athletics Department.

  10. Russ says:

    I wonder if they’ll use the same tact when announcing…er..bragging about attendance numbers at Rupp?

  11. Dave H says:

    Well said Russ, well said!