The new Rupp Arena expansions are nearly $5 million over the original budget.
According to Beth Musgrave of the Herald-Leader, University of Kentucky and Rupp Arena officials are scheduled to meet in the near future as they attempt to work through a budget overrun that has them on the hook for an additional $4.8 million. Back in 2018, the Lexington Center Corporation agreed to spend $12 million on four clubhouses. However, documents provided at Thursday’s Lexington Center board meeting showed that the cost to construct just three clubhouses had already surpassed $16,849,259.
The fourth clubhouse has yet to begin construction.
— Lexington Herald-Leader (@heraldleader) January 21, 2021
UK and the Lexington Center signed a new 15-year lease back in 2018 that would keep the Kentucky Men’s Basketball Team playing inside of Rupp until 2033. The University is expected to pay in excess of $100 million over the life of the contract, and one of the stipulations within the agreement was that the Lexington Center would spend $12 million to build four clubhouses.
According to Bill Owen, president and CEO of Lexington Center Corp, the overspend is a result of bad timing. Here’s what Musgrave wrote about Owen’s reasoning:
The lease with UK was signed before final designs for the Rupp Arena and convention center project were completed. That was necessary because UK’s lease and 15-year commitment to continue to play at Rupp Arena were key parts of the financing for the $300 million convention center and upgraded arena project.
Musgrave also said that the total cost of construction has risen since 2018. The clubhouses are currently in limited use to COVID-19 protocols.