As expected, this morning’s press conference at Rupp Arena was about naming rights. Central Bank has purchased the naming rights to the Lexington Center adjacent to Rupp Arena, so Kentucky Basketball’s home will now be known as “Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center.”
Here is the graphic from Central Bank:
UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart and Adolph Rupp’s grandson Chip Rupp were in attendance to discuss the importance of keeping the legendary coach’s name on the building.
“What this does is allow us to be a steward of this incredible overarching facility,” Barnhart said of the deal. “It allows us to be a steward of the Rupp name. It allows us to move forward in a way that keeps it iconic and keeps it at the front and center of all of the facilities and on the lips of all of the people that love college basketball. It allows us to be great stewards of an incredible, incredible place and move it forward. You’ve seen the construction that’s going on and what’s happening in this incredible facility and it’s only going to get better. We have won a bunch of basketball games in there and I’m looking forward to winning a lot more as well.
“The name is tied to Coach Rupp and the Rupp family is so important for us, to protect that name and to make sure it is always remembered as the iconic place, family, name, leader of college basketball. Thank you for that. We intend to preserve that forever.”
“Rupp Arena; to different people, it means different things, but to the Rupp family, it takes on a special significance,” Chip Rupp said. “For many, it’s just a place where the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team plays, but for us, we view Rupp Arena as a symbol that acknowledges the time that my grandfather spent coaching with the University of Kentucky, the program that he built, the standard of excellence that surrounds the University of Kentucky basketball program. That’s what Rupp Arena means to us.
“Over the past four decades, the name has come to mean even more. Rupp Arena symbolizes the unmatched tradition of this great program and protecting that name has been very important to the family over the years. We know that these types of partnerships occur all the time with not the same regard and respect that we were treated with in this process. We’re grateful to everyone involved in the process for understanding this and embracing it from the very beginning.”
Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center is in the midst of a $241 million renovation that is expected to be completed in November 2021. Chairback seating has already been added to the upper level of Rupp, and construction is underway on four new club areas and a new exterior for the building:
This story is developing and will be updated throughout the morning…