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LEXINGTON, Ky. -- (WDRB) Season ticket sales are down as the Kentucky Wildcats prepare for their first home football game of the season. And the loss to Louisville is making it even more difficult to generate enthusiasm among the fans.
Officials from UK and the city of Lexington held a news conference here at Commonwealth Stadium to talk about how they'll manage the crowd for the first home game of the season. But the question is, how big will that crowd really be.
On Sunday, the Louisville Cardinals left the field with the Governors Cup, and the momentum for its football program.
Before the Louisville game, Wildcat season ticket sales were down some 10,000 from last year.
"Don't have a real feel for the number of people that will come," said UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart.
Barnhart acknowledged the challenge of trying to fill the seats. He says part of the problem is the economy and the glut of games on TV. But he admits it's also wins and losses.
"We've got to take the option out where they don't want to stay home. We've got to say we've got a product that's good enough for you to want to come out and be a part of that. The other piece of that is people will have to make a conscious choice that I've going to get past the weather issue and the television, I'm going to come on."
On UK's campus, students we talked to appear willing to give this team a chance.
"You just got to believe in the team and be together."
"I got my season tickets two days ago, and I can't wait to go to all of the games. We need moral support.We need to be at every game and be as loud as we can possibly be."
But for some, the margin of error appears to be thin.
"If I really enjoy it. I'm sure I'll go to more games, you know. But if not? Then I probably won't go back."
Regardless of the number, Barnhart hopes the fans who do come support the team.
"They're guys that are going to walk out of this place as alumni of this place, and I want them to walk out feeling supported and people cared. Part of it's their responsibility to help put something out there on the field that makes it look good," said Barnhart. "But part of its our responsibility when we ask them to come and wear Kentucky jerseys."
Despite the disappointing start, UK officials are hoping to build momentum and put more people in these seats as the season progresses.