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University of Kentucky baseball is set to host an NCAA Tournament Regional this weekend. There is just one major problem.
There is nowhere for anyone to stay!
Kentucky, which went 36-18 during the 2023 season, was selected as the No. 12 overall seed in the national postseason tournament. The Wildcats deserve to host a Regional, for just the third time in school history, but the timing has created a total housing disaster.
Ball State, West Virginia and Indiana will round out the four-team Regional, which will be played in Lexington (barring weather) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Typically, when a team hosts a Regional, they put the other schools up in nearby hotels.
That will not be the case for the Cardinals, Mountaineers or Hoosiers. They will stay in dorm rooms.
And not only will they stay in the dorms instead of a hotel, they have to pay to stay in the dorms.
Kentucky’s housing issue stems, largely, from a music festival.
As baseball is being played at Kentucky Proud Park, Railbird Music Festival (the largest music festival in the state) will take place less than three miles away at Red Mile Racetrack. The lineup is stacked.
Considering that the festival lineup was announced in early December, attendees have booked their places to stay — whether that be on AirBnB or a hotel — in the five, nearly six months since. Hotels are jam-packed as it is.
To make matters worse, Kentucky State High School Baseball, Softball, Track and Tennis Tournaments will also be held this weekend on the University of Kentucky campus. The hotel rooms and AirBnBs that were not booked by Railbird goers were booked by high school athletes and their families.
Visiting teams will stay in dorm rooms.
There are not enough hotel rooms available to house Indiana, Ball State or West Virginia baseball. As a result, the three visiting teams will be staying in dorm rooms on campus.
Players will stay in residential suites, with two separate rooms that share a bathroom. The beds are single beds. One of the rooms has bunk beds.
Teams can either put one athlete in each room, or two. Each room will cost $92.50 per night.
To make matters even worse, there is nowhere within a reasonable distance for their friends and families to stay. Danville, Kentucky is about 35 miles away from Lexington. It is a larger city in which visitors who cannot get a place to stay in Lexington will use as a fall back.
Danville is hosting the Brass Band Festival this weekend on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The festival will have about 40,000 attendees, and Danville has just five hotels. Thousands of people who are attending the Brass Band Festival have had hotels booked in Lexington and its surrounding suburbs for months as well.
Families and friends of Indiana, West Virginia, and Ball State baseball have nowhere to stay. Kentucky fans descending upon Lexington to watch their team on less than a week’s notice have nowhere to stay.
Needless to say, it’s a disaster.