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Tent count reaches 460 on day one

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"Tent City" is growing by the hour.

As of 4 p.m. on Wednesday - the first day of the annual campout for tickets to Big Blue Madness - approximately 460 tents had popped up around Memorial Coliseum. That most recent count represents a 35-tent increase from 9:30 a.m.

The 2012 campout is well ahead of last year's pace. At the same time on Wednesday in 2011, the count was at 398. The 2011 campout set a record of 570 tents by the time all was said and done.

The line for tickets to UK's first open practice opportunity for men's and women's basketball spans the entire perimeter of Memorial and the Joe Craft Center, from Lexington Avenue to Rose Street. In addition, 63 tents have already been set up across the Avenue of Champions on Stoll Field, which is designated as the overflow camping area. UK officials did not even begin directing people to Stoll Field until Wednesday afternoon last year.

The first day of the campout garnered plenty of attention, with various print, online and television outlets on site to interview ticket-seeking fans. There was even some national coverage of the campout, as the popular sports website Deadspin ran a story from the event using footage shot by our own Sports Video department.

The Wednesday afternoon count will be the final one of the day, with another to follow first thing on Thursday morning. Last year, the tent count climbed by nearly 50 overnight, so there should be a big jump in store. It also seems that the most memorable campout events happen when the sun goes down, as student-athletes often spend time with fans.

As you'll surely remember, Wednesday night of the Madness campout is when this happened on the Blue Courts.


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