Apparently Chester has not got a chance to sit down and talk to John Clay about the importance of athletics at a University, because Clay posted a Herald-Leade column last night on the renovation of Rupp Arena and it’s lack of popularity. In the article he pointed to the (badly written) survey which said Lexington should fund the project, not the state. He said it was unpopular because it was unneeded.
The current Rupp Arena doesn’t appear to be hurting him one bit. In these times of deep budget cuts to essential services, dumping $350 million into an unnecessary project with debatable benefits isn’t going to fly. This community and state have much more important financial needs. And let’s be honest, if it wasn’t for Louisville building the KFC Yum Center in 2010, we wouldn’t be having these discussions. Lexington experienced arena-envy.
While it might be true that the building of the Yum Center has left some of BBN with arena-envy, it is also apparent that any 30-year old building could use a good renovation every now and then. Yes. The team is doing just fine without the renovation, but the team already got thier renovation when the locker room was renovated after the 2012 National Championship.
Sure the current Rupp Arena isn’t hurting the team on the court at all. However, the Rupp Arena renovation isn’t for the team, it is for the fans. A renovation might not only help with the dwindling start of the season ticket sales, it would also address safety issues in Rupp, a 30 year old building, issues that have left fans injured. To say the renovation is totally unneeded is a stretch.