LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Tent City is back. Wildcat fans waited outside Memorial Coliseum this morning to set up tents in order to get their free tickets to Big Blue Madness.
At 5 a.m., it was a mad dash to get in line. A group of University of Kentucky freshmen suffered some bumps and bruises along the way, but they say it was worth it to get the front spot at the ticket window.
"I've never seen anything like this. I've lived in Kentucky my whole life. Just what people do for Kentucky basketball is insane,” said UK freshman Cannon LaFont.
All of the fans will camp out for the next few days to get tickets, which become available this Friday. On October 11, UK will hold its first open practice for the 2019-2020 men's and women's basketball teams.
"I just love it because you meet new people, you get to meet the players, get autographs, have fun. Just have a great time,” said UK fan Mitchell Peyton.
For some, it was their first tent city experience.
“We were taking naps and having dance parties before and then at 4 a.m., my heart was racing for the whole past hour and I'm still shook to the core that we actually got our tent down,” said UK freshman Kylie McDonnell.
For others, camping out is a long-time tradition.
“You meet people here and you get to see them every year and it's kind of like a mini family reunion,” said Marsha Poe, who’s camped out the last 14 years.
Campers will get free food and the UK Sports Network will have live stream coverage of "Tent City Live" Thursday from 6-7 p.m. on the UK Athletics website and on the men's basketball Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Tickets for Big Blue Madness are limited to four per person. They'll be available this Friday at 10 p.m. You can get tickets in person at Memorial Coliseum and online at ticketmaster.com.