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Full details on the Rupp Arena upgrades


By now you’ve probably heard the Lexington Center Corporation Board of Directors unanimously approved $15 million in technology upgrades this morning, but do you know the specifics? If not, take a second to read the entire press release to learn the details.


Rupp Arena will receive a $15 million dollar technology overhaul that includes a new center-hung video, audio and scoreboard array, wireless internet for fans and patrons and major roof structure improvements so the arena can attract more concerts and major events, it was announced today by Bill Owen, Lexington Center CEO and President.

The Lexington Center Corporation Board of Directors voted unanimously in favor at its monthly meeting on July 27 to approve the technology improvement plan. The upgrades will be rolled out over an 18 month period beginning immediately and executed in phases so arena programming will face no interruptions. The board of directors authorized installation of LED ribbon boards on the upper arena fascia at its May meeting at a cost of $800,000 provided by Rupp’s media partner, Learfield Sports. The ribbon board will be installed and functional for the upcoming UK basketball season. The press box on the east side upper arena to match the one on the west side and authorized at the May board meeting will be installed following the 2015-16 UK season.

Other improvements will include the installation of new venue video production equipment bringing the venue video system to an HD level and replacing the four corner LED screens with HD state of the art screens in a 16X9 aspect ratio. This will be completed during December between UK games so fans will experience the upgrades as they occur. The LED courtside scorer’s table display will be replaced some time during the upcoming season.

Other improvements scheduled over the next 12 months include replacing the video display in the Rupp Arena lobby and the exterior LED Marquis signs that hang on the Hyatt Regency hotel at Broadway and W. Vine and Broadway and High St.

The center-hung audio/video scoreboard will be installed during the summer of 2016 and completed in time for the 2016-17 UK Men’s basketball season. Upgraded Wi-Fi will also be installed before the 2016-17 season as well as improvements to the roof’s steel support structure. Upgrades to the roof structure are needed as concerts and other productions have increasingly gotten larger and heavier. In order to continue to attract major concert and family show productions it is necessary to increase the show load capacity for hanging production equipment.

Additionally, the sports lighting used for basketball games will be replaced with LED fixtures which are far more energy efficient. Also, the HVAC ducts and structural support towers, currently red in color, will be cleaned and repainted a different color.

The $15 million improvements will be financed through the sale of Lexington Center bonds which will be conducted in early 2016. The bonds will not require guarantee of Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.



Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

12 Comments for Full details on the Rupp Arena upgrades

  1. android guy
    4:07 pm July 27, 2015 Permalink

    It just says “a DIFFERENT color”? What if they paint them orange like the seats used to be. That would be even worse!

  2. Benito
    4:41 pm July 27, 2015 Permalink


  3. scouse
    5:03 pm July 27, 2015 Permalink

    baby lemme ruppgrade you

  4. ClutchCargo
    5:29 pm July 27, 2015 Permalink

    You had me at “…the HVAC ducts…will be CLEANED…” About time they at least knocked the dust off those nasty things. Hell, give me a leaf blower and let me up on the catwalk and I’ll do it tomorrow.

  5. Mr. Blue
    5:45 pm July 27, 2015 Permalink

    No seat backs in the upper arena? The benches are horrible.

    • stupidpeople
      6:25 pm July 27, 2015 Permalink

      This isn’t a renovation of the arena, it’s just a badly needed technology upgrade. When the stalled renovation plans happen the upper level will have chair backs.

  6. Gary Bridgewater
    6:12 pm July 27, 2015 Permalink

    Hate to see NO mention of improving the seating in the upper decks COLD aluminum has got to go!!!

  7. Greg
    6:17 pm July 27, 2015 Permalink

    If they’re going to keep the bleachers at least they could hand out free cushions.

    • Brian
      6:26 pm July 27, 2015 Permalink


    • Right Winger
      9:03 pm July 27, 2015 Permalink


  8. Iris
    9:08 pm July 27, 2015 Permalink

    Just attended my first ever event at Rupp (the Eagles concert) 2 days ago. I had been so excited to finally get inside those doors, and was met with bleacher seats. What??? It was so uncomfortable and so HOT up there, everybody was dripping sweat. The music was amazing, the venue was so disappointing. Please work on those upper level seats (some seats with backs!) and get the AC fixed!