July 29, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University have agreed to a four-game football series during the 2010-2013 seasons, the schools announced at a news conference Wednesday at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn.
The Wildcats will play host to the Hilltoppers in Commonwealth Stadium in 2010 and 2012. The teams will play at LP Field – home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans and the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl – in 2011 and 2013, with WKU serving as the home team for those games.
UK has made three appearances at LP Field in the Music City Bowl. The Wildcats defeated Clemson, 28-20, in 2006 and Florida State, 35-28, in 2007. UK lost to Syracuse, 20-13, in 1999. The bowl attendance record was set in all three games, with Kentucky fans dominant in the stadium on each occasion.
“Congratulations to Western Kentucky on becoming the state’s third program in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision,” said Mitch Barnhart, UK Director of Athletics. “The game presents an opportunity for people across the Commonwealth to continue watching athletes they saw playing in high school and their progression in the collegiate game. It creates the opportunity to travel to a venue known by many UK fans – the Titans’ stadium at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. Our fans had a great time with all the hospitality Nashville offered the last two times we visited for the Music City Bowl and I am very much appreciative of all the efforts of Wood Selig and Scott Ramsey to make this series work. We look forward to an exciting series against the Hilltoppers.”
“This will be a very good series for both schools and certainly great for our fans in the western part of Kentucky,” Coach Rich Brooks said. “We really enjoyed our experiences in the back-to-back Music City Bowls in 2006 and 2007 and we look forward to returning to that venue.”
The schools’ first meeting in football came in the 2008 season, with UK notching a 41-3 victory. Western Kentucky has become an official member of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) this year after spending the last two seasons as a provisional member.
“I want to thank Mitch Barnhart, Rich Brooks and the University of Kentucky for agreeing to this historic four-year series,” WKU Director of Athletics Dr. Camden Wood Selig said. “Their leadership team is a class act, and this four-game series is a great way for UK to welcome WKU to the I-A neighborhood. As the newest of the 120-member Football Bowl Subdivision, our team and fans are eagerly anticipating the journey we are beginning and four future meetings with the Wildcats will certainly add to everyone’s level of excitement. Opening the 2011 and 2013 seasons in Nashville is a creative and unique way to grow our program’s visibility, and it will also be great for football fans and youth players throughout the region.”
“The University of Kentucky has many scheduling options, and I compliment them for agreeing to this four-game series,” Head Coach David Elson said. “These matchups will be exciting for our players, staff and fans and will also result in added exposure to our program.
“We look forward to returning to Lexington and also playing two home games in the great city of Nashville, where many loyal Topper fans reside. Our transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision has had many firsts, and the first four-year series between these two schools will benefit many. I congratulate all the parties involved in getting this done.”
Scott Ramsey, President and CEO of the Nashville Sports Council, helped arrange the series and is excited about the return of the Wildcats, and their fans, to the city.
“This is a great opportunity for Music City to host the University of Kentucky student-athletes, administrators and fans as the kickoff to their season,” Ramsey said. “Having UK in Nashville during the 2006 and 2007 Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl games was tremendous for the city and we look forward on delivering another great experience for the Wildcat faithful.”
Seats Available for Kickoff Luncheon: A limited amount of seats are available for the annual Kentucky Football Kickoff Luncheon, which is set for Friday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Lexington.
During the luncheon, fans will hear Coach Rich Brooks’ plans for the 2009 season as he attempts to guide the Wildcats to an unprecedented fourth-consecutive bowl trip. Fans also will have the opportunity to ask questions of the head coach. The event is capped by the always-popular highlight video, which chronicles the successes of the 2008 season and the AutoZone Liberty Bowl championship.
Individual tickets cost $40 each and a table of 10 costs $400. Parking will be available in the High Street parking lot across from the hotel. For reservations, contact Leslie Bray at 859-257-2589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kentucky Football Calendar:
|Fri. July 31||Kickoff Luncheon, presented by Kroger, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Lexington; individual tickets are $40 each, table of 10 for $400|
|Thurs. Aug. 6||Players report|
|Fri. Aug. 7||UK Media Day at Commonwealth Stadium; first team practice|
|Sat. Aug. 8||Fan Day at Commonwealth Stadium, gates open 6:30 p.m., activities at 7:30 p.m.|