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LOOK: The original design for Rupp Arena

Photo via Mark Mahan | Herald-Leader

Here’s something cool to end your Thursday with. Mark Story of the Herald-Leader recently visited Lexington broadcast legend Jim Host to tour his collection of Kentucky sports memorabilia, and included was one of the original designs for Rupp Arena.

The never-seen-before rendering shows Rupp as a three-level, 25,700 seat arena, but the plan had to be scaled back because there wasn’t enough space to build it. Here’s what the building looked like when it opened in 1976…

Photo via

…What it looks like now:

…And what the outside will look like when the renovations are complete in 2021:

For more on Host’s amazing collection, head on over to the Herald-Leader. He says he’s trying to downsize, and I know a great place where a lot of those pictures can go…



Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

3 Comments for LOOK: The original design for Rupp Arena

  1. taylorsvillecat
    9:52 am September 14, 2018 Permalink

    Those orange seats sure were ugly.

  2. ClutchCargo
    9:55 am September 14, 2018 Permalink

    The whole place was pretty ugly. At least the people in the bleachers weren’t able to see them through the heavy cloud of cigarette smoke back in the day. lol

  3. BBaxterUK
    11:40 am September 14, 2018 Permalink