Jen Smith on UK Football

Wondering about new football parking donation? I asked Kentucky about that

Kentucky fans won’t be paying more for their season tickets in 2016, but parking could be a different story.

When season ticket and parking details were released recently, many fans noted a new mandatory “donation” was a part of the purchase price.

There is a $300 K-Fund donation for parking passes in the Blue, Red and Green lots surrounding Commonwealth stadium. The Orange lot requires a $200 donation; Purple and several other surface lots further away have a $100 donation attached to them.

After looking at several options, which could have included a straight increase in parking prices or increases on ticket prices, UK opted to go the donation route, said Dewayne Peevy, deputy director of athletics.

UK needed to increase revenue because of the rising cost of program expenses and as a way to ensure blue bench-style seating could be added around the lower bowl of the stadium this offseason (except in the student section).

Officials also noted that the previous prices for parking passes didn’t fit the demand, meaning that passes sold in secondary markets were going for much higher than UK was asking.

“People were selling those passes for a lot more, so we thought there was some room to add a total cost to parking while also trying to maintain our current number of spaces.” Peevy said.

Kentucky opted to go the “donation” way for several reasons, Peevy explained.

It allows season ticket holders who had parking passes to now receive K-Fund points for purchasing the parking pass and there is tax deductibility attached to the pass.

“We felt like we needed to raise the prices for parking, but we thought a donation-based system would give us some more flexibility and allow us to grow our donor base, too,” he said.

As for fans purchasing parking passes, Peevy added: “Your out-of-pocket cost might be higher, but at least there’s some tax deductibility and you’re getting something.”

▪  For now, Kentucky believes it will maintain its current number of available parking spaces for next season despite the likely start of baseball stadium construction on that side of campus.

“Demand could become even stronger because there could be even less spaces,” Peevy said, noting that the department is trying to grab spaces back as other projects are completed.

“Right now our biggest goal is to maintain the number of spaces that we had available last year.”