Kentucky basketball is king in the Bluegrass state, and even high school football gets to lean on the Wildcats when it needs a boost. In 2017, that means using ticket stubs from state title games to land a discounted ticket to the next Kentucky men’s basketball game.
As reported by the Lexington Herald-Leader, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association has brokered a deal to land a $10 discount on all tickets in the 200-level at Rupp Arena for Kentucky’s game against Harvard when fans present a ticket stub from one of Friday and Saturday’s Russell Athletic/KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl championship games. The ticket stubs are also good for discounts at a number of area restaurants.
While there are benefits to the deal, there is an unique catch: Only the biggest classification — Class 6A — will have its game finish before the Kentucky-Harvard game tips off. Class 1A, 2A and 3A teams and their fans will also be available to attend, as they play on Friday night.
Still, because the discount is only available for the Harvard game (and only in a specific zone of seating), a significant portion of the weekend championship gate (that’s the total attendance) won’t be able to take advantage of the benefit that was designed for it.
Whether any of the added-value promotions KHSAA negotiated for its ticket stubs do anything to drive up attendance remains to be seen, and is likely a long shot. Still, the fact that officials negotiated something with the Kentucky basketball program is no small feat, and worth at least a pat on the back.