GameDay Successful Before at UK

Feb. 12, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. – On Saturday, a sold-out Rupp Arena will greet ESPN College Basketball GameDay with what is expected to be the largest crowd in the history of the show.

And, it won't be the first time GameDay has had a big day in Lexington.

Wildcat football fans came out in great numbers on Oct. 20, 2007, when the University of Kentucky played host to the football version of the show. The GameDay regulars were impressed by the crowd and atmosphere for the event, which was held on a lawn on the west side of the W. T. Young Library.

“Tremendous turnout,” the show's senior coordinating producer, Michael Fountain, said at the time. “Looks like 10 or 11,000. If we could get this every week, life would be good.”

The ESPN crew complimented the Kentucky fans for their friendliness, attentiveness to the show, and courtesy when features on other teams were being shown. The crew also was gratified by the welcome shown by the University.

“We have never experienced such overwhelming hospitality from a school and a city in the 14 years of road shows,” long-time host Chris Fowler said.

The good feelings and memories stayed with the crew. Many months later, Desmond Howard was asked about his favorite stop during his time on the tour.

“My favorite place thus far is Lexington, Kentucky,” Howard said. “When we went out there, the fans came out in droves. Behind us was their band, just circled the whole crowd and looked picturesque. It was a beautiful sight. They showed great sportsmanship, a lot of respect.”