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New Rupp Arena Design Approved by the City




Financing and timing is still to be determined. But above is the look at the outside of the new renovated Rupp Arena design approved by the Lexington Task Force. More later….

Article written by Matt Jones

113 responses to “New Rupp Arena Design Approved by the City”

  1. BigKitty

    Thats a pretty slick looking design

  2. Sean Alexander

    That whole thing looks like a luxury box.

  3. RKA

    If we build it…..who’s comin??

  4. happy man

    love the new design and think this is definitely the way to go. let’s get this thing going!!!

  5. RKA

    Are we gonna tear down the Hyatt??

  6. Hartline

    They have my vote!


    That’s HOT!

    Build it!

  8. ukfan

    Terrence playing like doo doo, again.

  9. JonnyA

    Is it just me or on the right side of the last picture does it not look like that building is on fire?

  10. Rodney Fishback

    Shit is weak, come on this is the beat basketball program in the country and there going to build this shit, bitch please!

  11. Winston

    That. Is. Amazing.

  12. Argentium

    As long as I don’t have to pay for it…knock yourself out.

    Then I’ll sit back and watch when 10 years later the powers-that-be at Kentucky wail about needing more revenue…

  13. Mike

    Jones still a head job once again..that is 4 straight halves with zero production…not sure about Teague shooting all of those 3’s…we just can’t sustain any offensive rhythm…if Wiltjer shows in practice what he has been putting on the floor it is easy to see why he isn’t getting much PT.

  14. Jimmy

    300 million,wow some serious bread there.

  15. UK2K

    Why did we copy the look of the Chicken Bucket? WTF?

  16. BigBlueBrock

    Slick as hell.

  17. TrueBlueFan4Ever

    So proud! That’s incredible, such a great design. Much more than I anticipated with a “renovation”, hope they can get the funding and start this project soon. Look forward to a NEW Rupp, but in the same location. Way to stay true to UK & Lexington. Go Big Blue!

  18. capnmonkey

    Great looking design. I question the decision to allow horses to roam the areas around Rupp freely though, they can be dangerous when startled.

  19. Newtintheville

    So will there just be random horses walking around downtown Lexington soon? oO

  20. KYStout

    Looks great!

  21. Jarweed

    Looks like the big spacecraft that parks itself over New York in “Independence Day”. I may be seeing things this evening, but I like it.

  22. MikeP

    No way that is done without missing games, really, how much of the existing structure is still there? $300 million is more than it cost to build the Chum Center.

  23. brink

    15 that looks nothing like the KFC trailer. I pass that ugly ass building daily and that looks nothing like it in anyway.

  24. scott

    Where do they feed the cows? Will there be a Golden Corral close by?

  25. Tyler

    I wonder if it will be able to support a scoreboard/screen hanging from the middle of the rafters.

  26. WalterDecker

    The most interesting basketball arena in the world.

  27. jl

    I really Like it. Any inside pics?

  28. Bumpy

    It has a lord of the rings feel to it

  29. pooptooth

    25 – it looks like they will be putting a new roof on so im sure it will.

  30. 4th Street Live


  31. jl

    I say do it.

  32. EightLetters

    Looks great. I wonder what the actual seating capacity will be.

  33. Warren

    Please change the color of the damn ‘Rupp Arena’ sign on the building. It’s currently Carolina Blue.

  34. mores

    Not really a fan. The top is exactly the same as it is now, only more tumorous.

  35. eric

    Finally, how can UK win with the current building the way it is….oh wait.

  36. Pleaseeeee

    Whoever you are out there that’s been giving the old college lovin’ to our man TJ, you’ve clearly cut him off & therefore he has lost his superpowers. All I ask is that you stick with him till the end of the season. Please. Think of your Cats… Do it for them!

  37. BPsycho

    Dewayne Peevy wants to let everyone know Jones has tape on his left hand. Also he’s a basketball player.

  38. bluristhurr

    Looks better but for that amount of money I’d say wait 10 or 15 years and just build a new one it can wait TRUST ME everything else in KY does

  39. Wildcat Kyle

    You know the Debbie Downers are gonna say it sucks. Everything sucks to them. I think it looks pretty cool. Save the tradition but take it up to the times. I would go to a truck stop to watch the cats.

  40. Louisville

    Lmao… will never be better than the YUM! U know it lol

  41. Chris

    looks like the Yum! #UKislittlebrother

  42. Doc

    I’m not terribly enthusiastic about that design. Part of this is the general aesthetics – perhaps it appears a bit too “postmodern corporate” with its glass + steel appearance. It initially strikes me as a large auto dealership. Kentucky basketball is rooted in tradition and legacy; its arena should reflect this. The architecture should have a classical appeal with stone and columns. However, I do support the move toward more free-range equines in downtown Lexington.

  43. Brandon

    As a 2002 grad of UK School of Architecture, I’ve always been underwhelmed with exterior appearance of Rupp. Does no justice to the energy and passion within its walls and is a huge wasted opportunity to make a big statement. My favorite part of new design is the transparency and the effort given towards utilizing UK bball to activate the surrounding area. hopefully Big Blue Nation will finally get the home it deserves!

  44. scott

    #42-Well, it’s no Conseco Fieldhouse now, is it? Hinkle? Nope. Just some dumb Kentucky Golden Corral hillbillies throwing up some glass and steel. Nice’n homey 😉

  45. matt

    Looks pretty cool but who’s going to pay for it?

  46. BigBlueKyle

    Looks a little like the Yum!, but we all know this is not how it will look upon completion. Glad to see UK getting this…. Now to the game. Bout friggin time Calipari puts in the subs. % mins to go we was up 32 with the starters still in. That’s ridiculous.

  47. Gilchrist on D

    We will not win it this year… dang

  48. tj

    I hope they keep the uncomfortable bench seating.

  49. Ben

    I would pay taxes for that!

  50. BigBlueBrock

    Anyone saying this looks even remotely like the Kentucky Fried Cardinal Yuk! Center is an obvious troll.

  51. BPsycho

    #50 Yeah, I don’t see any horses standing on their hind legs with chicken buckets over their heads. And where’s the slide from the top deck that’s lubed with recycled chicken grease?

  52. Anthony

    I LOVE IT!!!

  53. Anthony

    And this looks nothing like the Chicken Shack.

  54. Mr. Handsome

    I wanted to have a giant sphere in the sky that had the ability to destroy planets as the new arena…oh well.

  55. Motodog

    Is that a unicorn in the picture?

  56. matt

    #49 it’s about time you paid for something. I’m tired of carrying your a$$.

  57. RP_McMurphy

    Looks like a big boil.

  58. Justin G.

    I just got WOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is……….Amazing!

  59. bcat

    This is more of a concept/master plan idea than a final product, so don’t freak out too much. No one has certainly given the green light to demolish the Hyatt or reconfigure Vine Street and Triangle Park, etc. It will probably end up looking very different, cost being a huge factor. But I think the direction is the right one. Can we start a petition to release wild herds in downtown?

  60. tatiemo

    Where is the Hyatt going / in relation …can we see into rooms too?

  61. Kentucky Fan

    HAHAHA Anyone else think it’s sad that U of L gets an awesome new arena possibly the best basketball arena in the world and we get Rupp arena with a few more windows? Louisville has passed us by since CRP got there.

  62. BigBlueBrock

    #61 – I think its sad for Louisville that Lexington will spend a fraction of what they did to renovate Rupp Arena and come away with a better arena and arena district while still maintaining the history of Rupp Arena’s namesake. I’ll take real, true blue tradition in a nice package with a real collegiate atmosphere over Louisville’s manufactured tradition in a pro sport arena that’s clinical in execution and feel. TS.

    Also, obvious troll is obvious.

  63. Louisville

    Damn! We blew all our money on this arena for a crappy team with no fans instead of building that bridge we desperately need!

  64. Nancy Pelosi

    I that my Occupy friends walking around? If so, I think I can arrange for some federal monies to help pay for this wonderful building

  65. Jim

    Love the design but is something on fire in the upper right hand corner of the wide sky photo.

  66. bcat

    Hahaha. That picture does have UK’s Main Building on fire in 2001! Nice! Here’s the one

  67. NJ

    As long as the building says “Rupp Arena” and there are title banners hanging go for whatever

  68. matt

    #62 The yum center cost $238 million.

  69. bcat

    Here’s the article. Cost of just renovating Rupp would be 110 to 130 million. Well below the 238 wasted on the KFC food court.

  70. Overweight kentuckian from a county you've never heard of

    No parking lots??!!?? Where’m I sposed to park my HumVEEEE???

  71. BPsycho

    #70 If you can find 4 Civics or Prius’ you can park a wheel on each.

  72. Jen

    They are covering up the Hyatt with the Tree! Its still there! Sweet! I like it!

  73. Ukrules

    Looks like part of the funding is going to come from cutting off oxygen and water from the surrounding flora. The only green trees will be the ones in the newly renovated area.

  74. MadWest

    Can we get some live wildcats to roam around along with the horses? That would be awesome.

  75. Coach


  76. Bull

    I like all the wild horses running around!

  77. BPsycho

    #73 Well yeah, but they’ll be ******* sweet trees……..

  78. L3G3ND of ROARK


  79. MERCERnary

    I know they wanted to use the rest of the money to renovate the downtown area. I didn’t know that included placing a horse pastor around Rupp.

  80. WE_ARE_UK

    Are the horses not statues? lol

  81. TBlake

    I’m with #74….BADASS!

  82. BigBlueBrock

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure the horses are statues.

  83. Ncaa

    New basketball building code: if your school sounds like tuckie then you are restricted to a 100 person capasity

  84. catfanran

    I for one think it is a very nice looking structure. As you read all the idiots from the VILLE you can tell they are quite jealous to the fact that they have a Pro arena as Rupp will stay a college facilty with all new bells and whistles. And it will be bought without U K or the city going to Frankfort like the city of Ville did to get it funded… It will come from 3 or 4 COAL companies going together to fund this facility..and it will be called PEOPLE of COAL “RUPP ARENA”
    this place will Rock and coach RUPP will be PROUD………….CFR

  85. Jake

    Interesting. Only thing missing is a ufo or two hovering around.

  86. Ryan

    Im a go if we can maintain the 1970 white cluster-f$@k of a speaker system hanging from mid court.

  87. Reality Check

    Thankfully, this looks nothing like the YUM! Center which is one of the ugliest arenas in the country (from the outside). On the inside, it’s new with a few updated concepts. It’s far from innovative. Don’t confuse new with cutting-edge. It’s far from that. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice because it’s new. But it’s certainly not historically grand and most likely won’t be because Louisville will always be #2 in the state. Facts are facts. This design is interesting but if the plan would take “ten to twenty years” to complete, that’s too long. It could be completely out of date in ten to fifteen years. And so the Hyatt just gets booted and torn down? Not good business sense. Lexington needs those downtown hotel rooms to attract larger conventions. You can’t wipe out hundreds of hotel rooms and talk about attracting larger conventions at the same time. Makes no sense. If it takes ten+ years to complete, these numbers are useless as the price would climb considerably, if not double or triple. Lots of loose ends here. Lots of specifics need to be addressed.

  88. Kevin

    How are they going to do this to Rupp and UK misses no games? Nice pie in the sky of parks and a canal/creek through downtown Lexington as well. Where, exactly, is the poor state of KY gonna get the $1B it’s really gonna take to do this?

  89. Irwin R. Fletcher

    Microsoft paint… that ain’t.

  90. jugg

    scott… dont forget indiana has to come to rupp next year! 🙂

  91. Bluebronco73

    #42, stone and columns? Really? Like Lexington doesn’t have enough of that already. Barf.

  92. SEXtinoisSatan

    LMAO SEXtino will now have the 4th or 5th nicest arena in the state before long. No fans to fill the Chum Bucket so they all have become cats fans. Uavel sucks!!!!!!

  93. Louisville

    87.. U dumb as he’ll. U need to check your facts…smh

  94. Jamie

    Hope the do the horse statues as if they are stampeding out of the arena. Kinda like the ones as you enter downtown. Very cool idea…

  95. Holler Baller

    Two points;
    I still wish someone could explain what is wrong with Rupp now? We win every game and its always packed.

    Will the new arena prvovide blankets for the blue hairs if they need a nappy during games?

  96. Chick Hern

    This is a BFWOM.
    Big Freakin’ Waste of Money.
    Yes, the renderings with the unicorns – along with the project. Economically, ill-timed and unfit ideation.

  97. billy

    Will it have a scoreboard hanging from the middle of the court to see on four sides. That speaker thing is terrible. The scoreboard now is terrible.

  98. Hoops Malone


  99. Hoops Malone

    Doesn’t match lexington’s cityscape. Kind of disappointing.

  100. Mark H

    Shouldn’t the horses be running towards the arena?

  101. Robert myers


  102. Morris Koad

    the exposed exterior does resemble the Yum Center..but certainly not the shape. If there is 1 thing the dirty birds have done right, it was the Yum center. We can only hope our downtown economics boom like l-ville’s has.

  103. Lecter

    The Yum center was built to ultimately lure an NBA team for the city of Louisville. Little Brother is simply its prime tenant at this moment in time. Lexington does not wish to lure an NBA team. This renovation is a Camden Yard style renovation that will change the way Universities renovate their facilities. Little brother will play in Riverfront Stadium and Sports Bar. We will play in Camden Yards or Great American or the new Yankee Stadium. The tradition will shine through.

  104. OH YEAH

    when will the inside photos be released? thats what Im curious to see. The outside looks amazing.

  105. Roll Tide

    The final design will not look like this rendering. Same old girl, different skirt.

  106. Lou eaton

    How can anything not be an improvement to Rupp as it is today. My first attemtpt to locate it years ago resulted in finding three bars which were not the correct address and three beers before I found a hotel with a basketball court. Inside sources assure that there will be horse racing on the specially coated court at half time of all games…

  107. Huntington

    good design but where is everyone going to park? buildings on High street lot and green space on cox street lot. I guess we are supposed to ride public transportation from downtown parking lots!

  108. mortyseinfeld

    The outside is fluff – what will the inside look like??? I cut velvet with Harry Altman for 40 yrs, and I deserve to know.

  109. scott

    #90-Looking forward to it…and the 100 tickets 😉

  110. DukeReigns

    But Kensucky still sucks, regardless of the building. They should concentrate on getting an ethical coach and getting rid of Crapilari (aka the slime) instead of spending all the hillbilly supporters money on a building. Jeez, talk about dumb.


  111. doc

    should bring seating capacity up to 40k so that this site can be a great tourny venue.

  112. Jack

    I’m with “mortyseinfeld” on this. The external design is very attractive — but you don’t sit or play on the outside. I’d me more interested in seeing the interior. Regarding “DukeReigns” — I couldn’t agree more on Calipari, but don’t be so “over the top” about it. Kentucky is a great program and I’m glad to see the recent resurgence, but have little to no respect for Calipari.

  113. blueswade

    ummm….where are you supposed to park?