Business

Big Blue Life: Outside the score, UK game involves big numbers for Rupp

Three-point cards were placed on some seats before and during the University of Kentucky men's basketball team's home-opener against UNC Asheville at Rupp Arena Friday. The arena has 23,359 seats to sell for each UK home game.
Three-point cards were placed on some seats before and during the University of Kentucky men's basketball team's home-opener against UNC Asheville at Rupp Arena Friday. The arena has 23,359 seats to sell for each UK home game. Lexington Herald-Leader

The big number is 23,359. That's how many seats Rupp Arena has to sell — and all of them usually do — for University of Kentucky men's basketball games.

That crowd, equivalent to nearly 8 percent of Lexington's population, gathers 16 times this year to create a physical manifestation of Big Blue Nation.

And Big Blue Nation needs to put its cars somewhere, needs to eat, needs to dress in, uh, blue, needs to go to the bathroom and needs to know picky details about the game it is watching.

That leads to a lot of other big numbers.

We could speculate on how many hotdogs are consumed, pompons are handed out and other, sometimes less pleasant, statistics. But we are in the business of asking questions, so we did.

We went to Sheila Kenny, marketing director for the Lexington Center, home of Rupp Arena, and asked for a bunch of numbers for what it takes to pull off the massive feat of staging a UK home game.


Talk to us: Do you have a question about some non-sports aspect of the culture surrounding UK basketball? Tweet your question to @heraldleader with hashtag #BBL, or email it to hlfeatures@herald-leader.com (subject line: #BBL).


Parking spaces in Rupp Arena lots: 2,900 spaces on property. (Actual availability on a game day varies directly with other activity on the Lexington Center complex, Kenny said.)

Pounds of popcorn to be popped and sold: 300.

Gallons soda sold: 1,550, of which 400 are Diet Pepsi.

Number of hot dogs, Polish sausage and brats sold: 2,700.

Soft-serve ice cream sold: 100 gallons, or 1,800 servings.

Gallons of beer sold: 0 (Trick question. Alcohol cannot be sold at UK games.)

Number of public toilets in Rupp Arena: 265. For men, there are 30 toilets and 78 urinals. Women have 157 toilets.

Toilet paper used: 300 large rolls.

Number of seats reserved for VIPs: 74 for courtside seating and endowment seating.

Number of press credentials issued: 120 or more, depending on the game.

Number of seats reserved for students: 5,300.

Members of the 101 Club, aka the guys in the blue jackets: 300. About 150 to 175 work each game.

Number of towels the players go through: 50 courtside, 25 in the locker room per team.

Gallons of Gatorade drunk by players: 3 at each team bench.

Number of basketball nets: 1 on each goal, with 15 to 20 in inventory.

Number of security personnel on duty: 180 to 200 officers total, with 30 to 35 UK Police officers, 20 to 25 Lexington police officers, 80 to 85 uniformed security guards and 50 to 55 admission control personnel.

Amount of trash removed after a game: 4 to 5 tons.

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