Less than a few days before Kentucky opens its season in a newly renovated stadium, the school is still looking for a few good seat fillers.
At a news conference to address game-day issues and update progress on the stadium, Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said there are still about 2,000 unsold tickets.
"I think we're over 59,000 out," he said, meaning tickets sold and distributed. "So with seating capacity in the 61,000 range, we're close. We need some people to jump in here late to finish that out."
The goal is to have a full house for the opener versus Louisiana Lafayette. It would be Kentucky's first sellout since Oct. 23, 2010 versus Georgia when the Cats boasted 70,884 in the stadium.
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"So we're looking forward to having a full house," Barnhart said. "So I'll warn everybody ahead of time: it's going to be a full house."
At a recent media gathering, UK head coach Mark Stoops also asked fans to get behind the team for the opener.
"We want a packed house," he said. "We're proud of the brand-new stadium. We're proud of the work that these players have done. We're getting in a position to be as competitive as we want to be. We're getting to that point where we feel good about our team."
Kentucky has not given out season-ticket sales figures in the past few weeks, saying they are still in flux. The school did announce that the new student section surrounding the recruiting room has already sold out for the season.
On the Southeastern Conference teleconference Wednesday (before UK practiced), Stoops said starting weakside linebacker Ryan Flannigan would be assessed again to see if he could play in the opener.
Stoops, who was not available on Wednesday after practice, noted that Flannigan "is very close."
"We'll see. Hopefully he can play," Stoops said. "If not, we're moving forward with some other guys."
The Kentucky linebacker group did get one piece of good news this week when true freshman linebacker Jordan Jones returned to the practice field after missing most of fall camp with an undisclosed illness.
"It was good to get Jordan Jones back out there — he looked good yesterday — get him healthy and get him moving," Stoops said. "So that will help add a little depth for us as well."
Here comes the Boom?
The minor knee injury suffered by UK running back Boom Williams early in fall camp did not set him back, Stoops said on Wednesday.
The sophomore, who led UK in all-purpose yards as a true freshman last season, has been 100 percent ready to go. He's listed as the Cats' starter at running back on Saturday followed by either junior Jojo Kemp or sophomore Mikel Horton, who all are healthy.
"Boom has really looked good, and he's been very explosive and just making progress like you would expect from a true freshman going into his sophomore year," Stoops said. "So we're happy with his progress and looking forward to seeing him get out there Saturday and hopefully rip off some big runs."