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.)