Earlier today, the $15 million renovation plans for Rupp Arena received final approval, meaning this is our last season with Big Bertha, the enormous center hung speaker that’s become an iconic eyesore of Kentucky’s home court. Bertha will be retired after this season to make way for a fancy new center hung scoreboard.
To celebrate her 40th year, the folks at Rupp Arena created a commemorative trading card that will be handed out to fans tonight. The back includes some fun facts about Big Bertha, such as…
- Big Bertha got her name when former Lexington Center CEO Tom Minter, upon hearing her for the first time in 1976, commented “It sounds as loud as the Big Bertha guns on the World War II ships!”
- In her first three months of operation, Bertha’s job was to play the score to “2001: A Space Odyssey” for public tours throughout the new facility
- To accommodate for concerts, Bertha can be moved 80 feet from her center position
- Big Bertha is 20 feet tall, weighs 12,000 lbs, hangs 43 feet above the floor, and is 22 feet in diameter
Neat, but I’d be lying if I said I was sad to see her go.