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Kentucky Senate Shoots Down Rupp Arena Funding


photo courtesy of Lexington Herald Leader

It is late so we will make this quick. The Senate is not going to pass the Rupp Arena funding proposal. After giving $75 million to the Yum Center and another $60 million in this session to the Louisville Convention Center, the Kentucky Senate has denied any funding for the new Rupp Arena project. The decision was lead by Senate President Robert Stivers, who earlier in the evening had said he was undecided on the project. We will look more into this tomorrow for details and discuss on the radio. This is a definite blow for the Rupp renovation and a big step in keeping UK behind Louisville on the facility/revenue side for the near future.

Article written by Matt Jones

168 Comments for Kentucky Senate Shoots Down Rupp Arena Funding

  1. DB11
    11:37 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    Absolutely pathetic.

    • Bart Edwards
      12:04 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      I’m pretty sure Jones meant the decision “was led by” and not “was lead by” Senator Stivers, but my doctorate is not from Duke.

    • Shut Up
      2:01 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Sounds like you received your doctorate from “Douchebag University”.

    • Government For the Loss
      11:05 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Hope he has enjoyed his time as senator, when reelection comes up I’d venture to guess he won’t be returning to his seat.

    • Keshawn
      2:09 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Maybe we should just have the Senate appropriate an industrial sized lipstick case; and put a big swipe of lipstick on that pig. Couldn’t hurt.

    • Hey, "Shut up"!
      8:05 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      What a brilliant, internet tough guy you are! You called him a name just to prove how witty you are. And you went with that super creative feminine hygiene product. How original. I wonder why people like you even take the time to respond to something like that.
      The ad hominem attack from a complete goober is never very compelling. (Look those words up if there are any you don’t understand.)

  2. Craig
    11:40 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    Get out the pitchforks boys.

  3. empireblue
    11:40 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    Republicans are the WORST.

    • True Story
      12:05 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Correction: Politicians are the worst. Retardlicans and Democraps are equally pathetic.

    • Bart Edwards
      12:09 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      For the record, it was Democrats who voted the money for the Yum. Then they flip flopped when it came to UK. Republicans have consistently said the market should decide, and criticized the Yum deal harshly.

    • Dee W.
      12:37 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      I’m actually a bit surprised – I thought they’d just get this out of the way for the sake of political expediency, regardless of whether or not this was a good plan.

      If you recall, when trying to get the funds for the practice facility, it was the Democrat controlled House that stripped the funding and the Republican Senate that restored it at the request of Senator Alice Forgy Kerr (R-Lexington). The restoration of the funding was denounced on the floor of the House by Rep. Jim Wayne (D-Louisville), one of that chambers most prominent members, attacking the legislature of being “for Kentucky basketball, of Kentucky basketball, by Kentucky basketball.” So it goes both ways.

      Again, it is really not a strong argument to say Rupp Arena should get the same thing as the YUM! Center – that turned out to be a real debacle (junk bonds) – not very helpful way to make the case.

      It appears when Rupp was initially built, the bonding came entirely from the Lexington-Fayette government:,5839806&dq=en though the information here is a bit limited.

    • Paul
      7:19 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Dee- the Yum! Debacle stems from contact negotiation, not economic viability. The facility loses a few million a year but adds 20-30 mil to UL profitability. If UK will agree to a reasonable contract, there’s no reason it can’t be a win win. Anyway, I wonder if the parks and streams pork are what really held this back. Shame.

  4. James
    11:42 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    That fat pig needs to be pistol whipped and pissed on.

    • tom
      8:14 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Oh…now that is a professional, well thought out response.

    • Jay_Postoasties
      12:44 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      I thought it was kind of funny.

  5. Ben
    11:43 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    It’s an election year. Remember to express your displeasure at the voting booth.

  6. Leesa
    11:43 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    Very disappointed in this decision. Rupp Arena needs to be upgraded. Maybe they can give up their seats in lower arena and move up to the bleachers.

    • Jayone
      8:10 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      I would hope no state legislature gets free admission to UK games.

    • facts
      8:35 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      ^ they do.

    • Tom Jefferson
      9:11 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Oh they do. Theres an entire section to the left of the erruption zone that is completely elected officials. I know that every cabinet secretary gets season tickets as part of their contract.

  7. DB11
    11:45 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink


  8. Nurtisystem
    11:48 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    Remember that dough boy come basketball season and of course election time. That’s pathetic.

  9. Tax Payer
    11:49 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    “After giving $75 million to the Yum Center and another $60 million in this session to the Louisville Convention Center, the Kentucky Senate has denied any funding for the new Rupp Arena project.”

    Louisville would pay for their buildings if they didn’t have to financially support the rest of the pathetic state. Giving the Yum and the Convention Center these funds is a convoluted way of returning tax money to the only community in the state that produces real number revenue.

    • F off with that ish
      12:02 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Last year I went to Louisville. It was a happy place. They had flowery meadows and rainbow skies, and rivers made of chocolate, where the children danced and laughed and played with gumdrop smiles.

    • Reality
      12:06 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      The Louisville Metro area contains approximately 25% of the state’s population and contributes approximately 27% of the state’s total tax revenue.

      The false implication that Louisville provides more than its per capita share of tax revenues to the Commonwealth is ignorant and unfounded. Hope this helps.

      Perhaps you could seek some state-funded assistance to obtain an education that would allow you to use facts to draw conclusions instead of spurting baseless garbage from a hole just above your neck.

    • True Story
      12:07 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      LOL same old crap from a jeffco. You aren’t the only city in the state bonehead.

    • Really Reality
      2:22 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      If the city of Louisville could pay for its arena it wouldn’t be experiencing such trouble if the local tax actually matched expectations that were proposed when it was built. Truth is even the people of Louisville don’t like going downtown after the work days done and thanks to the sweetheart deal Louisville cut with the city the city of Louisville CAN’T support its own building projects.

      If you don’t believe me check out that glorious Junk Bond rating on those glorious Yum Center bonds.

    • Axe Cop
      8:06 am April 16, 2014 Permalink


  10. Ridiculous
    11:50 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    Wonder who is giving Jurich a nice Lewinsky under his desk these days?

  11. Alex
    11:51 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    All well people Stivers is the reason so get him out of the Senate. Glad he doesn’t represent my district. I wished he did so I could vote against him. This is uncalled for NOT equal at all. Guess he’s a Card fan huh? Remember him at the polls BBN !!!

  12. ukriverboater
    11:51 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    Matt, this blog is the biggest platform in the state. You need to personally take up arms against Stivers and the Republicans that backed UL over UK. You need to call them out daily, on air, and on the blog, and specifically call on BBN to come out in FORCE and vote Stivers and the other McConnell/UL cronies OUT.

    Everyday from now till November needs to be “Vote against Stivers Day” on KSR

    • DB11
      11:56 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

      It’s too late now. Come election however…

    • ukriverboater
      11:58 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

      It’s not too late for forever, but it’s time for retribution. Stivers killed Rupp, BBN needs to kill Stivers’ career.

    • DB11
      12:01 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Patience, our time shall come…

    • MC
      7:38 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

  13. Fat buster
    11:51 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    I believe Ol chubby is wearing a hair piece? Let’s remember this clown come election time and basketball season when his fat butt comes to Rupp for his free seat.

  14. Tax Payer
    11:55 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    KSR attempts to poke fun at the conditions and demographics of the city of Louisville, but the tax revenue generated by the city bails out the methed-out corners of this backwards, incompetent commonwealth.

    • BBN
      11:57 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

      Go away line beard Lousyville troll piece of crap.

    • Your Point?
      11:58 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

      Do you find this relevant? And the tax revenue from what? UL’s $1 beer nights so everyone comes out to “support” the team?

    • Haha
      11:59 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

      Obviously a L-Ville troll, but you are kinda right (except for meth and backwards). Louisville produces more revenue than the next 10 cities combined! I hate the tards as much as anyone but this is a good economic decision.

    • Kbo24
      11:59 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

      If it’s so ‘backwards’ and ‘incompetent’, then gtfo…

      In other news, meth is also in Louisville.

    • Come on
      12:06 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      City of Louisville doesn’t come close to the revenues produced by the coal producing counties but it does lead the Nation in meth production per the Courier Journal.

    • SaratogaCatsFan
      9:57 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      When does the new episodes of The First 48 filmed in Lexington or Paducah or Pikeville air? Oh wait, what? They are filmed in the lovely place where tax dollars flow like honey place called Louisville?

      Have you ever seen the city?

  15. Haha
    11:57 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    Those of you who take sports more seriously than our political futures are fools. If you vote for a democrat because he wants to throw money at something, well I guess that just makes you a typical democrat. Where the heck do you think this money will come from? The Yum center produces huge amounts of revenue because of the ability to sell alcohol, Rupp will make roughly the same amount of revenue without an upgrade which makes this an easy decision for politicians.

  16. Kbo24
    11:57 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    I’m not hip to all the goings ons…but it’s not really that hard to blame them given the dirty bird debacle.

    • DB11
      12:11 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Apples and oranges.

  17. Sam Jones
    11:58 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    Super PAC against Stivers.

  18. Brad
    12:05 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Mitch McConnell is the reason the funding for Rupp Arena did not get passed. He pressured the Ky senators and legislators to block funding for Rupp and approve funding for the UL / city of Louisville projects. It’s that simple. The KY legislators do not want to ruin their careers by opposing McConnell. McConnel has helped UL for years this way. Vote him out of office!

    • Dee W.
      12:42 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      LOL – right – it’s Mitch McConnell’s fault!

      Beyond ridiculous. McConnell appropriates funds from the FEDERAL government, not the state.

    • RightHandMan
      2:42 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      What an ignorant statement. McConnel works in the National Senate and has absolutely no reason to oppose the RUPP upgrades as it has nothing to do with his budget. Get a clue Brad.

  19. Catfan1
    12:13 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Yum was a flop. The money maybe would have been better spent on a more proven program, or even not spent at all. But, nonetheless, the state is in the red financially and with a proven flop in Louisville, this was the right decision.

    • tom
      8:23 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      100% correct. It was not Stivers who held up Rupp renovation it was the abysmal financial performance of Yum Center. Guarantee that if Yum performed well and made money, Rupp would have gone forward. Sound decision by the Senate to not put more financial drain on Kentucky taxpayers.

  20. bahooga
    12:18 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Republicans are awesome. Democrats suck.

    • Brad
      9:10 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      And Bahooga swallows.

  21. Isaiah Hall
    12:22 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    This would irresponsible by the state. The University makes more money than the state. Theres people in Kentucky still driving through streams to get to there houses, we have a high unemployment rate. The money should be used to promote buisinesses across the bluegrass, and also create jobs. Wildcat tickets are outrageous if you can get one. Rupp Arena is not the way to spend hard wirking citizens tax money. I love the cats been a fan since I could walk. Every season I cheer for them every game. I just cant see spending this much money on an arena when theres plenty road work, and starving people living in out state.

  22. joecrawfordsfoot
    12:40 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Ill remember this come election time. Matt&Drew need to find out who voted against this bill and people like me wont elect this idiots into office

    • RightHandMan
      2:42 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Well spoken. *snicker*

  23. Brad Sowell
    12:53 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I really do not understand how the linebeards continue to justify the KFC Double Down Chicken Snacker Arena’s costs, yet they have no problem supporting their position with unsupportable facts. The “Snacker”, in its third year, continues to lose over $30,000 per day for the Commonwealth. I saw one Tardfan above arguing that the difference-maker was the fact that the popcorn chicken arena is able to sell alcohol, thereby implying that it is profitable. Do you ignorant trolls know how to read? You consistently point fun at UK fans because you assume that most are meth addicts who live in double- wides in the hollers of Eastern Kentucky, yet you are unwilling to admit the simple fact that your three-piece chicken dinner combo arena loses tens of thousands of dollars for the Commonwealth on a daily basis. I know that facts are troubling to Tardfans, but my God! Stop being delusional little trolls and hold your elected officials accountable for their malfeasance!

  24. Haha
    1:04 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    So Republicans vote against Yum center funding as well as Rupp funding and get celebrated for one while getting lampooned for the other. Makes sense.
    People need to realize the ones who passed the Yum funding were democrats and the just about everyone voted against Rupp funding.

    • Damn skippy
      7:15 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      This^. Democrats have had control of this state forever. Heaven forbid a financially sound decision for the state with the 2nd largest unfunded pension liability in the US. I would love a new a arena and it will happen.

  25. el hombre juan
    1:05 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    If uk wants to renovate Rupp so bad, why don’t they just use the money from all those parking tickets they give out like candy. If it’s anything like it was when I was there, this thing would be funded in a week .

  26. Isaiah hall
    1:14 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Those hill billys in hollars in east ky built lexington digging coal.

    • alan
      6:23 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      You are correct Mr. Hall. Some dude on here thinks only eastern Ky have methheads that live in double wide’s. Pillheads and double wide’s are in every county of KY. Like to see him drive here and run his mouth about eastern Ky. Guess it is easy being a badass behind a computer screen.

    • Billy from the hills
      7:14 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Eastern Kentucky is a third world country to itself. Low education rates, high poverty, high drug use, low life expectancy, crooked politicians, etc.

    • BigPoppaPump
      8:35 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Sounds more like you’re describing the Democrat party.

  27. UK # 1
    1:19 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    This is BS!!!!!

    Loserville fans how does it feel to get knock out of the NCAAT not just once but TWICE by BIG BROTHER!!!! HaHa.

  28. Peterman
    1:54 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I hope Chester calls in the show tomorrow for this “disgrace and a joke” that the KY Senate won’t fund the renovation and the blames Matt and his party for a bunch of liberal socialism.

  29. Brian
    2:08 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I guess Louisville has to make up for what they lack in national championships with funding for an arena…it is ridiculous, but I’ll take 8 (and soon to be 9) banners over 3 banners in exchange for some less comfortable seats.

  30. Culver
    2:08 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Come on man dat money gots to go to westend dem kids need dat faris weel

  31. Rei
    2:13 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I implore anyone in Clay county’s district to vote against Stivers. He’s an idiot regardless of this blunder and needs to go. Part of me wishes I could vote against him myself, but I’d hate to live in Clay county.

  32. Jason Tocooley
    2:36 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Not voting Stivers! Real Big Blue fans won’t either

    • RightHandMan
      2:47 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      You spelled “clueless” wrong.

  33. RightHandMan
    2:47 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Kind of misleading there Matt. This has nothing to do with Louisville > Lexington, but of fiscal responsibility at different times in the legislature. Rupp needs a face lift, that we can agree on, and in a perfect world; the Cats deserve it. We don’t live in a perfect world though – we live in a broke world where people think that tax dollars are endless and are best used to facilitate sporting events.

    Rupp shouldn’t have to rely on its public for financing (neither should Yumm), but instead the free market should dictate. If the venue is worth it then increase the ticket prices, book more events, come up with different market schemes to improve revenue …or how about getting the University who actually makes money to fund it.

    • Bledsoe's Biceps
      8:44 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      There is some truth to your statements, but you paint a very incomplete picture. Sports arenas generate tremendous economic benefit to the surrounding area and not just the primary user/tenant. Restaurants, hotels, gas stations, local shops, parking revenues, local and state taxes from the jobs created and the monies spent at these places, etc, etc. This is why city, county and state governments should and often do help with the funding. It’s much like the state granting tax benefits to companies that agree to locate within the state (Toyota for example).

  34. soy__juan
    3:13 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    This is DISGUSTING preferential treatment towards L-ville. Giving all the money from that budget to one city is not fair.

    Basketball is big business in these parts and money should be equally distributed, it’d be good for the state, not just the city of Louisville.

    I’ll be voting in a different direction this year.

    • Exactly...
      9:31 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Well, considering one of those “citys” is 6 times larger than the other (Louisville has almost Half the states total population. You could fit 6 lexingtons inside of Louisville)… Id say they are financially in the right. Why throw away millions of dollars for a stupid arena that won’t make the money back?

  35. Tennessee Wildcat
    4:24 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

  36. Blue Boy
    4:46 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Stivers won’t be a senator much longer! He’ll probably be at wal mart on a regular schedule.

  37. Funky Monkey
    6:24 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Matt,… put Mr. Stivers e-mail and phone in article,…

  38. Reality
    6:29 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    We need a new arena. Rupp is a bit of a dump these days and it looks line a warehouse. I mean seriously, bleacher seating?

  39. John
    6:48 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Kudos to the senate for not letting the powers that be ruin Rupp Arena. As far as the politics, they should have never funded the YUM Center, nor should government fund any sports stadium. It is just more socialism. If it something can pay for itself, then let it do so.

    • Turner the Burner
      8:45 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Ruin it? You do realize that UK will now look at options to build an arena on their own…… UK not playing in RUPP will “ruin” it.

    • Bledsoe's Biceps
      8:50 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      So the city, county and state should just reap the millions in taxes generated from sports arenas and have no skin in the game to help fund them? Taxes from the numerous jobs created in restaurants, gas stations, shops, etc, etc. Sales and usage taxes from the money people spend when they are drawn to the area by the sporting events. Are you OK with the state granting untold millions in tax breaks to companies that locate within the state? Or should they not do that either and let the jobs and economic growth go to another state?

  40. Jed Bartlet
    6:57 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I know these votes are public record. Please post a list of the Senators who voted against this so we can wage an active campaign against them.

  41. NothingButTruth
    6:58 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I live in Louisville, but I am a UK fan…
    Just want to point out that you don’t do any research.
    It is the KENTUCKY CONVENTION CENTER… Ya know? because it is in the states biggest city? It has nothing to do with Louisville or Louisville sports. Its because the KENTUCKY DERBY draws so many people and there are so many events held in louisville. If you are going to report on it then please at least get the names of things correct. Thanks. steps off soapbox.

  42. UK Freshmen
    7:00 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Wait! I always thought that Rupp was the greatest place on the face of the earth. That’s all you hear from the BBN. So cry me a river ehen you lose the money and the real truth comes out. Whaaaa.

    • Ben
      7:10 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Welcome back, 42, you prince of trolls!

      How’s it feel to be 1-6 against those freshmen? How will it feel to be 1-7 next year?

    • bluegrassjimmy
      4:40 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      You U of L piece of DUNG, get your sorry ass of the BBN sight! Richard Head!

  43. BigCatFan
    7:02 am April 16, 2014 Permalink


  44. Bringinthepain
    7:07 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    You vote the GOP in this is what you get and deserve

  45. Kentucky Buckeye
    7:19 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    As a tax payer, I don’t want to pay for a sports arena. Why doesn’t UK pay for it itself? Ohio State built the Scottenstein Center about 15 years ago for over $100 million. No public funds were used. Most of the funds came from private donors. I know the BBN is not near the size of Buckeye Nation, but pony up people. Make it happen without taxpayer funding.

    • Dingo
      8:28 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Not near the size of the buckeye nation?? Ohio May have a larger population, but as far as fanbases go, Kentucky’s is bigger by far. Go to ANY venue, ANYWHERE in the country, and Kentucky fans will fill the place. You could play an exhibition game against Ohio state in China, and we would outnumber you clowns 100:1. We are THE University of Kentucky. You guys are just some school up north with a ridiculous mascot.

    • Kentucky Buckeye
      9:00 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Please. The numbers aren’t even close. Ohio State’s enrollment is twice the size of UK’s, therefore they have twice the alumni. It is also the dominant school in a state with 3 times the population. You share fans with Louisville, your largest city. Say what you want, the numbers don’t lie.

    • Suckeyes
      9:02 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Dayton> Ohio state…. Boom mother fugger

    • Kentucky Buckeye
      11:18 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Western Kentucky > UK

      Boom back at you.

  46. Big Blue Brad
    7:30 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Matt…start a donation website……you might be surprised how far $20 here… $100 there might get us

    • Rex Chapman
      7:32 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      With this crowd, probably about $724.79

  47. Rex Chapman
    7:30 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Three good sources tell me that Rupp Arena is going to be move to Larue County. Done deal.

  48. MC
    7:31 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    According to Bart Edwards above comment, Republicans believe the “market” doesn’t warrant UK getting funding, but accused the Democrats of not voting for Rupp funding. Apparently old Bart has no idea that Senator Robert Stivers is the Republican chairman who didn’t want to go along with this.
    This is the same Robert Stivers, Republican chairman who would not let a private property rights bill which passed the Ky House 75-14 be heard in the Senate this year that would protect Kentucky landowners from having their land condemned so a private company could put a pipeline, which was clearly against the Kentucky state constitution of eminent domain. We get what we deserve in Kentucky by continuing to vote for these people. Only 40 percent of people vote so that means only 40 percent of those reading these comments even vote, so don’t complain!

  49. Cycledelicbikes
    7:44 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    You can talk all you want about Election Day and making a difference. That never happens. All you partisan hacks will go in the booth, pull a party lever and walk out feeling patriotic when all you should feel is cheap and used. You let “news” ran by the very corporations that pay off these “leaders” decide for you how to vote, feel, where to eat etc. Until there’s an awakening, nothing will change by voting.

  50. Matteo
    7:48 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I understand that we have a wiener measuring contest with UL, but the taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for a venue that is fine the way it is.

    • Delk for 3
      8:18 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      It is not “fine the way it is.” It’s one of the most well-known arenas in the nation and is a centerpiece to the city of Lexington. It is quickly becoming outdated and unattractive. An investment in making the best for the city of Lexington and the Kentucky Wildcats is important to keep each entity successful.

  51. Biff Switters
    7:50 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    45. ) Just because you decided to be an idiot and like the Buckeyes doesn’t mean that WE the BBN are going to listen to your dumb suggestion. You see, what you folks in the buckeye club don’t get is that Kentucky Basketball is a way of life south of the Ohio River. For good or ill it directly contributes to the overall well-being of the state of Kentucky and that indirectly benefits anyone in the state who is not a Kentucky fan.

    In closing I say the ineffectual politicians who held this up get voted out of office plain and simple. There are consequences and repercussions. Sure it’s just basketball, but I’d be willing to bet that Kentucky’s population is 70% Kentucky fans and that’s an overwhelming majority so shouldn’t the majority of the people get what they want, even if it’s supposedly ‘fiscally irresponsible’.
    Politics and politicians are such a joke!

    • numbers
      9:38 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Unemployment rates: Kentucky 8.4% (Louisville 7.8%, Lexington 6.1%)
      Medicaid rates: Kentucky 57% (of the 402,407 that “qualified for ACA” in KY SINCE JANUARY, 322,827 were Medicaid)
      # of Kentuckians Not in labor force 39.1% (does not include retires, armed forced or those on unemployment) adding those in increases to 43.1%
      # of Kentuckians IN labor force 56.9%
      1.0 million (30%) receive SSDI payments (not including welfare, WIC, or food stamps)

      The “majority of people” are already “getting what they want”, despite “fiscal irresponsible” decisions.

      The truth is UK and City of lexington did not provide adequate time for this kind of request. They tried to “slip it under the table”, and were called out on it. We had MONTHS of talks, and then when we finally got an estimate, we went in with only HOURS left in the senate, with 99% of the budget already adjusted, and asked for 80 million dollars. Blame Lexington officials for being slow and unorganized, not the senate. I HATE politicians Dem and GOP alike, but for once, maybe, just maybe they didnt just throw millions of tax dollars at a project that has as many questions as it does inadequate drawings and promo videos. We have not even seen a real plan, or economic numbers, and we go and ask for millions??

      The state of KY is an economic joke.

  52. Frank
    7:58 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    UK and the city of Lexington should have approved the $500 million IMG Sports Marketing deal a few years ago. If they had done so, we would have a new Rupp Arena and a renovated Commonwealth stadium. The hillbillies in charge of the city at the time turned down the deal and here we are now hat in hand, begging for state assistance. As Mitch Barnhart has said himself several times publicly, the morons missed a once in a lifetime opportunity to get the funding to develop everything UK needs.

  53. Ace
    7:59 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I hope Matt and the Lexington Herald digs into this as to why? Are there conflicts of interest?

    • Jayone
      8:24 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      ACE, do you really think the Lexington Herald wants to dig into anything anti-UK. They support any and all things anti UK. The Lexington paper is UK Enemy #1.

    • BigPoppaPump
      8:26 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      The Lexington Herald? Hell, they don’t even care if there is a basketball program!

      Let me set you hill-jacks straight, the last proposal included a tenuous finance plan that asked for 60 million dollars & it was correctly rejected. So now the proposal included a tenuous finance plan that asked for 80 million dollars! Guess what, it had even less chance than the other. There’s not going to be a repaet of the Yum Center fiasco, so there’s no sense in proposing anything until the financial structure is solid.


  54. Bird
    8:17 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    We need a link showing how each one voted so we can vote these jacklegs out.

    • Jayone
      8:26 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Agree. Without that we are just speculating on who is for us and who is against us. Put it out there and make it public.

    • BigPoppaPump
      8:32 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Who’s us? You mean you want the Seante to vote for a repeat of the Yum Center disaster or for a financially unsound plan? I’m a huge Cats fan, but no way do I want MY money thrown away. There’s enough of that in Washington & Frankfort without adding to the misery.


    • tom
      8:43 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Jayone –
      Do you really believe this was a them vs. ‘us’ decision? How simple minded. The decision was based on dollars, the bottom line, call it what you want. The legislature saw the financial debacle YUM Center has become and simply made a decision to not replicate it. Stupidity is defined as doing something that hurts you over and over again. Rupp will be renovated but the funding just won’t come from the public trough. Correct decision.

    • Jayone
      9:19 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      torn, I see your point and you make a good one with one important exception. The legislature did grant money to Yum and the Convention Center. So please explain why Yum, being the financial disaster we all agree, received funds and Lexington did not. I would not have a problem if none got funding but when one city is favored over another it boils down to us against them. It is ;probably not a Dem vs. Rep issue so that is a reason to make public on KSR who voted for or against. As far as being fiscal responsible, few politicians fit that description.

  55. Haha
    8:30 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    People are actually changing the way they vote because of UK sports. I mean I’m a huge fan but would not go against my morale compass (by voting democrat) to support them. I do not care who you vote for just don’t make such an ignorant decision because they don’t hand out money like candy.

    • BigPoppaPump
      8:45 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      “…they don’t hand out money like candy”

      Democrats sure do, just take a glance toward D.C.!


    • Mack
      9:08 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      There are single issue voters that would not support a politician that went against the “single issue” that was most important to the voter even if the politician supported 95% of the citizen’s issues. Would there be enough of the “single issue” voters to change the result of any of the races?

  56. Dano
    8:39 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Forget Rupp and buid a new arena on UK property.

  57. jq
    8:42 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    All Jones is attempting to stir controversy so his radio ratings are good!

    • tom
      9:05 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      You hit the nail on the head!

  58. Dante
    8:47 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    UK and it’s redneck fans are getting what they deserve. Just reading some of the comments on here are mindboggling! Comments about the westend of Louisville etc. Unreal! Glad I moved out of Klantucky 28 years ago and live in the DC area now.

    • Carol
      8:51 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Kentuckians are glad you moved as well. Racist!

    • Bwahaha
      11:23 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Carol, perhaps you should look up the meaning of the word racism.

  59. DM
    9:02 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I’m not the one hanging effigy’s of Obama on the UK campus, I’m not the one who had the the most racist coach in the history of basketball. The only reason you root for the kids that play there now is because they help you win basketball games. Guarantee you wouldn’t have anything to do with them if they were not playing for the team. And I’m racist? Please!

    • EN
      9:44 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      not only do you sound racist, your stereotypes are ignorant. Most of us on here weren’t even alive when Rupp coached, so to assume we don’t like black people bc someone who died before we were born is a famed coach is completely asinine. We appreciate how Rupp made UK the best basketball school in college basketball history but this isn’t the 1950s and most people in the state do not hate people of color. There are racists in every state so I won’t say there aren’t some.

    • Tom Blevins
      10:32 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Adolph Rupp was NOT a racist. He coached an integrated high school basketball team in Illinois in 1927. He was the first coach in the SEC to schedule games against teams with black players. When our high schools were segregated, and the black high schools had a separate state tournament, Rupp was the only college coach in Kentucky to attend the black state tournament. At one of those tournaments, he spotted Jim Tucker, and called the coach of Duquesne to ask him to give Tucker a scholarship. he did, and tucker went on to be a star at Duquesne and then start on an NBA championship team. Finally, there are over 100 death threats against Rupp on file with the FBI. Why, because back in the 1950s, he tried to integrate the SEC. So not only do I not consider Rupp a racist, but consider him to be a pioneer in civil rights. It is sad that such a man could be labeled a racist.

  60. Reality
    9:04 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Well this sucks. It would be nice to have. But right now in KY we HAVE to assess need vs want. Unless you turn a blind eye to the fiscal state of the Commonwealth, you have to understand there is basis behind this delay or decision. Which I believe is what it is, even because they will give in eventually. The reality is the Kentucky has the 2nd largest unfunded state pension liability in the nation. In the next 2 years we are going to have to figure out how to pay this Big new portion of the Mecaid responsibility our state will have, which got 90,000 new people signed for this year 100% on the taxpayer dime. UK wants a deal similar to YUM, just because, but we know YUM is failing. 2013 it ran $37K per day deficit. So the deal can’t be the same, or close to the same, why? Because its not working. It sucks the Cats don’t have the gold standard of facilities that they deserve. But its not inhibiting our ability to recruit or play at the moment. This is a want, not a need, and it comes at an extremely delicate time, for our state and its tax payers because we are staring down a barrel of fiscal crap and its going to get worse. We don’t have the Fed to print money, we don’t have a rich economy in this state, and its going to get worse with the decline in coal at best. I love my Cats more than anyone. The explaining should be who voted for the YUM funds and convention funds and why vs the Rupp project that was in first. Those are the questions. Not why we didn’t get our money because they got theirs.

  61. CalMedia
    9:05 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Blaming a political party is fine, but only if blame is assigned accurately. Democrats were somewhat pro-Yum!_Center and somewhat anti-Rupp_Arena; republicans were complaining about the expenditures for both.

    Now, what to do to get Rupp upgraded? If the money was going to come from taxpayers in the state, it can still come from those same taxpayers in the state…we can voluntarily support a capital project specifically for Rupp renovation. Someone close to the project needs to organize such a fundraising effort, and those of us who want it to happen need to contribute and spread the encouraging word.

    • beavis
      10:25 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Nice post. This project is not dead. People on both sides of the aisle are asking that the details and funding by the University and the city of Lexington be worked out before they commit the funds. Remember , the funding for the Yum center was approved before there was an agreement between the city of Louisville and U of L. We all can see how that is working out.

  62. DM
    9:08 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    “Come on man dat money gots to go to westend dem kids need dat faris weel” That was a comment from one of your loyal Klantucky fans and you’re calling me racist?

    • EN
      9:40 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      if you really believe that was an honest comment from a KY fan you aren’t very bright.

    • Do whut?
      3:34 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Nothing like someone making an asinine generalization about an entire state’s population based on such hard-hitting evidence as a single comment on a sports fan website. Do me a favor and google irony. Bigot.

  63. roundball fool
    9:18 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Simply pathetic political grandstanding by Stivers and his crew. Exactly like Boehner and Congress.
    Neither group gets a damn thing done!

  64. uktailg8er
    9:28 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    How come UK isn’t brought into the blame game? You think they should get a free pass? They have been remarkably silent throughout this whole process. Do you think they want the public to know how they really stand? Forget getting the politicians on the show today, get somebody from UK. They know the reasons it didn’t pass….

  65. Tennessee Wildcat
    9:34 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I am upset like most of you that have commented. I really wish that we could in the end, have an arena built on campus near Memorial and Craft center, or heck, even overhaul Memorial, so that we can practice on our court that we would play on. It seems like every time this gets brought up like Dano above mentioned, that it gets roundly trashed by a few. Why not have an on-campus arena? I know if it was built around the Memorial coliseum/Craft center area, they would probably have to annex a block or so for parking, but why not? I bet if there was a vote taken by all UK fans, that they would support this!

  66. JP7
    9:38 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Don’t think anyone needs to be trying to defend the city of Louisville. All you have to do to know about Louisville is read about the gang eruption a few weeks ago downtown that spread to several sections of the city. People were beaten and businesses were vandalized. Louisville is becoming Memphis North-nothing but a bunch of thugs, and then some of the people on here want to look down their noses at the rest of the state-give me a break. Jurich and UL screwed the state on the Yum! Center deal, and if it goes under you can bet they won’t worry about it since they have their money. Stivers now has screwed UK for whatever reason while at the same time giving $60 million to Louisville for the convention center. Has he given any kind of reason? Typical politics.

  67. UK # 1
    9:52 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Remember this BBN come voting time. Get out and VOTE.

  68. Tom Blevins
    9:55 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Re Stivers: Let me point out just as a practical matter, he represents a district that, while overwhelmingly composed of UK fans, is also overwhelmingly Republican. Save your efforts. He will NOT be defeated by a Democrat in November. Where he might be vulnerable, is if another Republican were running against him in the primary. (And I don’t know if he is being opposed in the primary or not, sorry. If fact, I’m not sure if he’s up for reelection this year.) Would someone from his district please speak to this.)
    If we want to retaliate, I once heard the argument that one reason for Kentucky playing Louisville in basketball, is that if we did not, our state legislators would cut UKs funding. Barnhart might want to hold off renewing our contract with Louisville unless and until the legislature comes up with funding for the Rupp arena renovation.

  69. Sharon
    10:29 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    So, every citizen in this great Commonwealth is forced to support YUM, but not allowed to support Rupp? I am really trying to understand the thought process behind this!

  70. Frank green
    10:32 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    How is this a Louisville issue when 95% of the guys voting it down are dyed in the wool Blue supporters?

  71. Dan Blather
    10:33 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    The University of Louisville wanted to build The Yum Center on campus but our former mayor and current Lt. Governor Jerry “Happy Pants” Abramson wanted it downtown.

  72. jhnny
    10:36 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Republicans kill it again. It is time for Clay County to vote Stivers out of office. The Republicans have killed Rupp Arena and slots at the tracks. They always stand in the way of progress.

  73. Rivalry Reality
    10:40 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I have traveled to many cities that house reputable universities and currently live in Ann Arbor. It starts with the students and the community must follow. Getting onto this page and thrashing each other is counter productive. Working in property management on a campus that houses 40,000 +/-, it is a joy seeing these kids get decorated, pumped and traveling in hordes to the Big House is an adrenaline rush in itself.

    I can’t wait to come back to Louisville and one day help the community flourish through the university and city alike.

  74. uknbama
    10:56 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    I have lived in the state of Alabama for the majority of my life. Something like this would NEVER happen to the University of Alabama or Auburn University. These legislators know where their bread is buttered. How can the legislature openly favor one university/area over the other so blatantly? The Yum center is bleeding money. To the best of my knowledge, Rupp Arena makes money. Why would they not support that enterprise? It is shameful to believe that the greatest program in SEC basketball has to fight for funding for its arena, and Auburn University has a brand spanking new arena which has perpetually bled money.

    • beavis
      11:37 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Don’t see it as favoring one university/area over another for the very reason you listed, the Yum Center is a damn joke. We don’t need to throw money at another deal like that. The city of Lexington and UK need to finalize deals and funding before the state will commit the funds. Not a question of lack of support. The arena does not belong to UK. I would love to see an on campus area at UK. Did watch some Auburn basketball this year,,,the arena was not 1/3 full. Thats why Bruce Pearl is the new coach.

  75. Jason
    10:58 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    For decades Louisville has been on the short end of the Frankfort budget mess and finally Louisville, the economic engine of the state, where most of the tax revenue comes from. Finally gets funds that are deserved and needed and Lexington doesn’t and you all cry about it. It’s about damn time Louisville got some of it’s money back.

  76. Tony
    11:20 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Awwww, poor uk didnt get something handed to them

    • beavis
      11:28 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Deal is not done Tony. As for being handed to UK, I am glad this deal did not go down like the Yum Center deal. Nothing wrong with a little fiscal responsibility for a change in Frankfort.

  77. T25guy
    11:42 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Hell, forget state funding and their hidden agendas. Just have Cal get donations from all current and future NBA Cats. Combine this money with some type of Cal driven fund-raiser and we could at least address the most important renovation aspects of Rupp I.e. colored speaker removal/upgrade, chair backs, redesigned concourse.
    Or sell out and call it “Retail” Rupp Arena and allow slots to be purchased for naming placement throughout the arena.

  78. CheechCat
    11:49 am April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Legalize weed in the state and we kill two birds with one stone. It would create state revenue while taking it away from many of the residents in the city of Louisville. It would clean up the state and renovate Rupp and bail Yum out.

    • beavis
      12:48 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      Would also keep half the U of L football and basketball players out of jail.

  79. DM
    12:06 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Rupp a pioneer for civil rights?? You’re kidding right?? LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Tom Blevins
      1:20 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      beavis, I assume your post above was a reply to mine. No, I’m not kidding. I stated the facts. I don’t know how much planer I could make them. I admitted Rupp has a reputation for being a racist, but I feel it is totally undeserved. If you wish to question any of the facts I stated in my reply to DMs post. I’ll be happy to defend them as best I can.

    • beavis
      2:06 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

      What post are you talking about ? I replied to CheechCat’s comments on legalizing weed.

  80. CheechCat
    12:06 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    The best thing our nation could do to revitalize itself would be to eliminate political party identification. Politicians would have to gain funding by who they are and the principles they support. More importantly, voters would actually have to identify with the person rather than blindly follow a political party. Can you imagine people not being divided by parties and only ideas? America

  81. DisappointedFan
    1:00 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    As a Louisville fan I support UK getting an updated Rupp or a new arena, whatever they want. I don’t see this as a UofL UK thing. I see it as our state legislators failing the residents of the commonwealth again.

  82. UK Football sucks
    1:06 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    So Let’s just quit the renovation on commonwealth and use the cash to renovate rupp

  83. K
    1:22 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Pathetic. Let’s send some more money to the most affluent area of the state in Louisville and give nothing to the Central Ky area again. For those saying Louisville deserves the money bc they pay more in taxes the city also uses more tax money by far. My family will never go to the Yum center but have been to Lexington and Rupp many times. It would be nice to have an arena there but in truth UK needs to build their own on campus to avoid this political mess in the future. Rupp probably needs to be bulldozed in the next few years for something more practical. Maybe then…

  84. Keshawn
    2:13 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    So let’s just have the Senate appropriate enough funds to buy an industrial sized lipstick case and slap a big swatch of lipstick on that pig. Couldn’t hurt.

  85. bluegrassjimmy
    3:41 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    Mr. Stivers, DON’T WASTE YOUT TIME EVEN RUNNING IN THE NEXT ELECTION YOU ARE HISTORY!! The Big Blue Nation plays HARD BALL! Especially on U of L fans like you!!

  86. Do whut?
    3:50 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    The absurdity and hypocrisy of fanboy Jones and ilk are on full display. For months all we read is what a money pit the Yum Center turned out to be and now we’re somehow supposed to be offended that the state legislature is using wisdom and discernment before throwing another $60-80 million into what very well could be another financial disaster? Classic KSR. Most ridiculous manner indeed.

  87. AnotherWay
    4:12 pm April 16, 2014 Permalink

    As much as I’d love to see a renovated Rupp Arena, I’m not convinced the government should subsidize it. I can see why people are especially worried after the financial woes with the YUM Center. The financial projections surely didn’t show a loss at the time. All the talk of additional “revenue” from increased spending is bogus. Rupp Arena already sells out nearly every game, and the renovated stadium would have fewer seats, so how would that be a net add of revenue? Getting a professional sports franchise is the economic equivalent of landing a large grocery store. With fewer games in college, the economic impact is even less. I truly doubt we’d have an $80 million bill on the floor to sponsor a super Kroger.

    If the market can support this, surely there’s private money available? The 49ers just built their $1.3 billion dollar stadium in Santa Clara without any public funds. One of the ways they did this was to sell permanent seat rights you can buy and sell freely (so if demand goes up, you can sell your rights at a profit to someone else). Selling naming rights, pre-selling corporate boxes, and including more advertising throughout the arena could all boost revenue. A little creativity could go a long way, and if not, well maybe the demand just isn’t there and we shouldn’t expect taxpayers to shoulder that risk.

  88. Ekybubba
    8:57 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Wow you people need to get a life outside of basketball. Since when do responsible politicians make the same kind of mistake twice in the same state. Scale that arena back and build it on campus with all that SEC money we get. I live in Louisville n have been to the Yum for a few rock shows. Don’t see how Lexington can make an arena more profitable than a bigger more populated city like Lville. Truth is it just doesn’t add up

  89. Reality
    12:44 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

    UK has long been guilty of taking an arrogant approach to dealing with Frankfort. Ask anyone who has worked down there. While U of L has hustled and built relationships, UK walks in with the “We are UK-give us $$$” approach.

    It continues to bite them.

    Will they ever learn?