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2013 campout sets record with 650 tents on first morning

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Campers seeking tickets to Big Blue Madness had already set up a record 650 tents as of 9:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday. (Chet White, UK Athletics) Campers seeking tickets to Big Blue Madness had already set up a record 650 tents as of 9:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday. (Chet White, UK Athletics)
For three years, I've counted tents at the annual Big Blue Madness campout. Each time, I've thought the previous year's tent-count record would be tough to beat.

It's time to stop doubting Kentucky fans.

As of 9:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday - just four-and-a-half hours into the campout and nearly 72 hours from Saturday's ticket distribution - approximately 650 tents had encircled Memorial Coliseum, setting an all-time record. Last year's campout held the record previously with 595 tents, but did not top the 2011 record until Friday afternoon.

Somewhere, John Calipari is saying, "You people are crazy."

The mood around "Tent City" on Wednesday morning was calm, as campers had been up since the wee hours to be ready for the official setup time of 5 a.m. As the days pass, the atmosphere figures to become more festive, particularly as fans await the visits from various UK teams that have become tradition.

Although there are many familiar faces, the annual event has grown each year and demand for tickets to UK's first open men's and women's basketball practice opportunity is at an all-time high in 2013. During last year's record-setting campout, 425 tents had been set up on the first morning of the campout, more than 200 fewer than this year. More than 70 tents have already been set up across the street from Memorial on Stoll Field. In previous years, only a few tents had been erected on Stoll Field by this time.

Even though the record has already fallen, we will continue to continue to count tents to see just how high the bar is set for future campouts. Stay tuned for the next tent count late Wednesday afternoon.

In the meantime, catch up on the campout by checking out Chet White's photo gallery from Wednesday morning and the video below.


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