Actual attendance numbers revisited

A few weeks back, a Herald-Leader open-records request revealed that there was a wide gap between the actual scanned tickets at Commonwealth Stadium football games this past season and the numbers that UK was reporting.

To round out the numbers report for the season, I requested the final actual attendance figures for the final home game versus Samford. That’s when Kentucky officials said they no longer requested those figures from TicketMaster, therefore they wouldn’t have to provide them to entities that requested them via the state open-records laws.

Another series of requests eventually yielded the number of scanned tickets for the Samford game: 20,930 versus the 46,749 that was reported. (Remember: UK reports its attendance based on tickets out, which means tickets sold and/or distributed versus actual fans in the stands, which is not against any NCAA or SEC rules).

So here’s how the numbers totaled out: UK’s announced crowds for its seven home games came out to 347,838. The actual scanned attendance figure for those same games ended up being 218,422.

That’s a difference of 129,416, people more than twice the population of Bowling Green. That would make the difference in actual and announced attendance the third-largest city in Kentucky.

The largest discrepancy in the figures came for the Vanderbilt game with an announced crowd of 44,902, but only 18,885 total scanned tickets (that’s a difference of 26,017, or a city slightly larger than Frankfort.)

Game Announced Actual Difference
Kent State 48,346 37,000 11,346
Western Kentucky 53,980 43,174 10,806
South Carolina 49,810 35,086 14,724
Miss State 49,498 29,927 19,571
Georgia 54,553 33,420 21,133
Vanderbilt 44,902 18,885 26,017
Samford 46,749 20,930 25,819
Totals 347,838 218,422 129,416

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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One Response to Actual attendance numbers revisited

  1. Paul W. Robinson says:

    I am losing a lot of my respect for the University of Ky. Hiding the low attendance numbers is childish and not in the interest of the tax payers, alumni and supporters. I will donate money for scholarships and nothing more.