Image via WikipediaEither I or my family have held UofL season basketball tickets since 1985--until this year. A large portion of my resigning the tickets has to do with my parents being older, so they never go, and me having a young daughter and working two jobs, so going to 18 or so home dates became time-prohibitive. But here's the real reason--the 2008-2009 Louisville home basketball schedule.
With the exception of the Kentucky game, which you get every other year regardless, there is not a single non-conference home game that is worth shelling out money to attend. UNLV is the next best team on the home non-conference schedule, and unless those seats come with a time-warp back to 1991, that's not much to write home about, either.
UAB? Sure, there's some interest because ex-Indiana coach Mike Davis is there and the Blazers beat Kentucky in Freedom Hall last season, but that should be the minimum we expect from the non-conference, not a highlight. The mildly exciting non-conference games--Mississippi, Minnesota (hello, Tubby Smith), and local fave Western Kentucky--are all neutral-site games. WHich is to say, season ticket holders don't get to see them. Just like last year, when the big North Carolina matchup was only a possible outcome of a Vegas tournament--and it didn't happen.
I get it that the Big East conference schedule is brutal, I do. And I enjoy that Notre Dame and UConn are coming into Freedom hall. But is it too much to ask that one, just one non-conference, non-Kentucky home opponent be a serious, name squad. We can't get Indiana, North Carolina, UCLA, or Kansas in here? We can't get Tennessee, or Florida, or Ohio State? Seriously? ESPN would shell out money for that? Or ABC?
I spent about $1500 last season on a pair of tickets and my seat donation for the right to buy tickets, and out of about 20 home games there maybe five worth attending. And I couldn't give away, let alone sell, the matchups with Sacramento State or Bellarmine. I'll actually save money this year paying scalper's prices for the Kentucky, UConn, and West Virginia games, rather than buying season tickets and selling the ones I don't want. There's something wrong with that equation.