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Ticket prices go up for 2012-13

On the heels of Kentucky's eighth national championship in men's basketball, it's going to be a bit more expensive to see the Cats in quest of their ninth.

K Fund donations required to hold select season tickets increased for about 2,750 people. Price increases were also announced for season and single-game tickets Tuesday morning at UK Board of Trustees University Athletics Committee meeting.

The K Fund donations were raised at four of five donation levels. The only level that did not increase was the highest, a $5,000 donation for the lowest four rows of seats along either sideline (those seats were increased from $1,350 to $5,000 prior to the 2010-11 season). The following increases were made:

-$400 donation was adjusted to a $450 donation.
-$700 donation was adjusted to a $850 donation.
-$1,000 donation was adjusted to a $1,250 donation.
-$1,500 donation was adjusted to a $1,900 donation.

Season tickets were increased $5 per game: Lower-level seats will cost $855 per seat for a projected 19-game schedule in 2012-13, and upper-level seats will cost $760. For those that hold "public" season tickets—upper-arena seats that don't require a K Fund donation—only the $5-per-game increase applies.

The price of single-game tickets was also increased. Lower-level tickets will shift from $40 to $50, and upper-level tickets will go from $35 to $42. All student tickets will remain $5 per game.

In all, the projected increases in K Fund donations and ticket prices are expected to generate an additional $3.5 million over fiscal year 2012.

According to the athletic department's budget for fiscal year 2013, which was approved Tuesday, men's basketball's revenue is increasing from $18.08 million to $20.825 million, whereas the football revenue is decreasing from $29.59 million to $27.588 million.

Athletics director Mitch Barnhart said the projected differences in revenue correlates with a projected decrease in football season tickets.

"We’ve tried to be smart about how we budgeted," Barnhart said. "We’ve tried to be intelligent. I don’t think that regardless of where football is in terms of revenue, I don’t think we would ever budget or not prepare well. We’ve got an opportunity to take a really hard look in our basketball pricing, and we’ll always do that."

Football season ticket sales are still slow and are currently projected to be lower than last year; 2011's season-ticket total was a six-percent decrease from the previous year.

The projected 19-game home men's basketball schedule for the 2012-13 season is down from 20 home games last season. The upcoming schedule will also include an additional home game in SEC play because Missouri and Texas A&M were added to the league.

Despite losing the Indiana series, Barnhart said he and John Calipari's staff are committed to maintaining a strong home schedule that justifies the donation and ticket price increases.

"Working out the scheduling of the home-and-homes and the big-name opponents that everyone wants to see, we’ve got to make sure we’ve got a fair number of those on the schedule," Barnhart said. "We’ll work our way through that. There may be a couple of anomalies from time to time where it doesn’t work out just right. Hopefully by and large over time, we’ll have enough of those opponents where everybody will say, ‘Yeah, we get it.’"

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