In preparation for the return of Kentucky men’s and women’s basketball, UK Athletics has received reduced capacity guidelines from state health officials for the 2020-21 season and has designed a distanced seating plan to host fans at Rupp Arena and Memorial Coliseum in the healthiest manner possible.
The plan is focused on the recommended health and safety protocols for the well-being of all student-athletes, fans and staff.
At this point, the anticipated attendance for this season at Rupp Arena and Memorial Coliseum is up to 15% of normal arena capacity, which includes participants, essential personnel, media and a limited number of spectators. All plans are subject to change based on evolving information as well as local, state and national public health developments.
The 2020-21 season schedules, for both the UK men’s and women’s teams, have yet to be finalized but should be announced shortly. Those details will be provided once they are available.
UK Athletics has taken advice from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, UK health officials, the city of Lexington and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In response, UK’s plan includes a number of new measures to promote a healthy game-day experience at Rupp Arena and Memorial Coliseum. These measures include, but are not limited to:
- Enhanced cleaning and sanitization procedures throughout the arena prior to and during all events
- Mobile ticketing to reduce contact between staff and fans
- Requiring face coverings for all fans at all times, with the exception of when fans are actively eating or drinking while sitting in their seats
- Requiring fans to keep the proper physical distance
- Providing signage in common areas to assist with physical distancing
- Locating hand sanitization and washing stations located throughout the arena
- Increasing physical spacing while using elevators by reducing capacity of each elevator
- Providing concessions featuring cashless transactions
- Discouraging the bringing of bags of any sort. Only small, clear bags will be admitted
A complete list of the new gameday regulations will be available soon at the UK Athletics Gameday website.
Fans with pre-existing health conditions, or those who are at a greater risk, should consider not attending sporting events at this time. Even with these measures in place, UK Athletics can, in no way, guarantee that fans will not be exposed to COVID-19.
TICKET INFORMATION AND OPTIONS
The UK Ticket Office and K Fund will communicate directly with season ticket holders in the coming days to provide additional information regarding 2020-21 season tickets and to begin the ticketing process. Tickets will be sold in season packages for both men’s and women’s basketball, and K Fund priority rankings will determine the order for ticket assignment.
Men’s basketball season ticket holders will receive an email with further details later today, and women’s basketball season ticket holders will receive an email with more information early next week. Ticket holders are encouraged to regularly monitor their email for additional updates leading up to the home opener.
Available tickets will be physically distanced throughout Rupp Arena and Memorial Coliseum and will be primarily sold in small blocks of two (2), three (3) and four (4) seats in order to maximize attendance opportunities for a greater number of season ticket accounts. All seating will be reserved, and ticket holders will be required to sit in their assigned seats. UK Athletics hopes to accommodate as many ticket accounts as possible, though there is no guarantee that every season ticket holder will be able to purchase tickets due to the limited capacity.
Fans will receive their tickets via mobile delivery and must scan them on a mobile device for entry at Rupp Arena and Memorial Coliseum.
Fans will notice a different on-court setup this season, as UK Athletics will implement additional physical distancing requirements to create clear separation between the court area and spectator seating. The team benches and scorer’s table areas will be completely reconfigured to ensure physical distancing for participants and essential personnel. Also of note, several rows of floor and riser seating surrounding the court will be unavailable this season, as a minimum 12-foot buffer zone is required between the floor area and the first row of spectator seating on all sides.
UK Athletics will also share further details in the coming weeks about various opportunities for season ticket holders and the Big Blue Nation to continue supporting their favorite teams, regardless of their attendance at games this season. Season ticket holders who are not able to attend games this season are encouraged to consider a charitable gift in support of UK Athletics and the new Ev’ry Wildcat Fund. This new fund will be used to sustain the mission of UK Athletics, serving our student-athletes, during these unprecedented times. Gifts will directly assist in supporting scholarships for more than 500 UK student-athletes. Fans are encouraged to contact the K Fund to learn more.
All current season ticket holders will have the ability to renew their original seat locations for the 2021-22 season, regardless of whether they receive tickets or not this year.
Details about student ticketing will be communicated once those plans are finalized. Student tickets will be issued on a single-game basis.