Bridge closure will not keep die-hard fans from games

By Caitlyn Crenshaw–

Instead of encountering fanatic Cardinal fans on the journey to the KFC Yum! Center from campus, students have to overcome traffic due to the construction on the Sherman Minton Bridge. The chaos and extraneous hassle may discourage some fans from games; however, there are many Cardinal zealots to fill Yum.

“I have been to a game, and I have seen how chaotic it gets,” said freshmen political science and French major Zelina Bartholomew.

The chaos caused by the bridge construction wreaking havoc on downtown Louisville has begun to integrate itself into the life of the city and the university. Some fans might have asked themselves if the extra time and planning is worth the experience, but the numbers of game attendance have not noticed.

Kenny Klein, athletic director of media relations, said, “Everyone has to allow for extra time to reach the arena, particularly with weeknight events.”

This extra time is more challenging for students as the semester end nears, finals approach and time keeps running.

Bartholomew said, “It’s a college basketball game and you want to see from tip off to end.”

And that is what she has done, despite the traffic, hassle and planning.

Marinna Michael, a freshmen political science major, said that the complications from the bridge have “not yet” prevented her from going to a game, but “it may.” Although Michael has memorably enjoyed every game thus far, the threat of too many obstacles may one day prevent her from showing her support for Cardinal basketball.

“I feel as if the sooner the construction is finished, there could be a relation to an increase in people coming to the games,” Bartholomew said.

U of L basketball fans are only in their second season of attendance at the KFC Yum! Center, which has the potential to hold 22,000 people, and many might still be in awe of the Cardinal basketball experience at Yum motivating them to venture through the traffic to the court.

The policy that student season ticket holders must attend all of the first thirteen games except for two in order to receive the second set of their tickets is forcing students to attend games despite the conditions. Michael, a season ticket holder, said, “We’re all busy and there are some games that we just have to miss. It’s just too much hassle.”

Senior exercise science major, Samantha Lewis, said that after the reopening of the bridge, “[attendance] will probably increase.”

However, Klein said, “For U of L events, it has been an inconvenience for our fans, but it has not adversely affected our attendance.”

Like many students who look forward to basketball season every year and must now face the chaos of downtown traffic, Michael said, “Getting there I asked myself do I really want to go through this and walk through all this confusion, but when I got to the game it was all good.” And the game is the ultimate, memorable goal that students will endure traffic challenges to witness.

Bartholomew said, “die-hard fans will be willing to put up with it” all in the name of Cardinal basketball.

More on Sherman Minton:
Editorial: Bridge closure is the lesser of two evils
Bridge Out: Closure of Sherman Minton Bridge lengthens commute for some students
Photo: Cody Hibbard/The Louisville Cardinal

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