Outgoing Kentucky President Lee Todd recently made some comments about Rupp Arena and the necessity for upgrades and/or a new arena. Interesting that it appears nobody of importance (Todd, Barnhart, or Cal) think that Rupp Arena is good enough for the Kentucky basketball program.
Question: Will you acknowledge that UK prefers a new arena rather than a renovation of Rupp?
Answer: “UK prefers it be downtown. That is our first preference. And we would hope it’d be downtown and accommodate the needs of our program.”
Q: John Calipari and Mitch Barnhart talk about how UK basketball needs to be the gold standard. Why doesn’t Rupp Arena represent the gold standard?
A: “If you go out and compare it to amenities in other forums that are out there, (Rupp Arena) has got a lot of things missing. The suites. The club (seating), which is very attractive to fans. Video boards. So it is lacking some things. We want to keep it an up-to-date arena.”
Q: Why is keeping current important?
A: “It gives fans a better experience. And it gives you the opportunity (to boost) K Fund donations. We’re in the lower third (of the SEC). The more money we can generate, the more things we can do with that funding. We’re missing an opportunity, I think, to maximize the potential we can get from the fan base willing to pay it if we provide something different.”