Kentucky no longer keeps actual attendance figures for home football games after a Herald-Leader report showed that the number of tickets scanned for the Cats’ first six home games was much lower than the announced attendance.
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. Because the school no longer requests those figures, it won’t be subject to future open records requests.
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“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 gap between announced and scanned attendance that ranged from 10,806 (Western Kentucky game) to 26,017 (Vanderbilt).
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.”