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Rupp renovation unnecessary according to John Clay


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.

You can read the full article here.


Article written by Courtney Hessler

Ashley Judd is my spirit animal. Follow me on twitter at: @Hessler_KSR

53 Comments for Rupp renovation unnecessary according to John Clay

  1. fairplay
    1:03 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    Mayor Gray sue screwed he pooch on this one.

  2. Cincy Cayt
    1:12 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    He’s right. Don’t make the entire state pay for Lexington’s envy of Louisville. NKY for instance does not care about this envy. Make some minor upgrades and move on.

    • Yes, Louisville
      3:54 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

      Is that like the envy we have of Ricky’s 15 seconds?

  3. Ronnie
    1:21 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    The point is the state and school have more pressing needs. Kentucky has the most underfunded pension system in the country (read Chris Tobe). Eastern Kentucky is in economic free fall and desperately needs help in building a more diverse economy. UK and higher education have been cut for the seventh year in a row. UK has many academic buildings that are in much worse shape than Rupp Arena. Lexington is having to cut 20 million from their school budget this year. Priorities.

    • frank
      2:03 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

      bingo, way too many other funding priorities for Rupp Arena to compete. It’s not that important in the scope of things

    • Megan
      11:12 am May 26, 2014 Permalink

      When Lexington cuts $20 million from school budgets, the system’s broken.

  4. jq
    1:21 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    Cincy Cayt,YOU ARE CORRECT!!

    Those of us in FAR WESTERN KENTUCKY, would only experience added taxes for something in our opinion, is irrelevant. LET LEXINGTON pay for their ENVY, not the rest of the state!!!!!

    • Bondage
      1:29 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

      Do you understand how projects are paid for with bond issues vs. raising taxes? Since apparently you don’t, read up on the Rupp renovation funding proposal before commenting. Having said that, as a Lexington resident, UK fan and season ticketholder, I agree that this renovation is not and should not be a priority, but saying your taxes will go up is uninformed at best.

    • GrumpyOldDude
      2:48 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

      Bondage, that doesn’t change the FACT that state tax dollars WILL go towards this campaign. We who don’t live within 60-90 minutes of the place prefer our tax dollars be spent on many other, more pressing issues in this state.

    • Dee W.
      4:42 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

      Dear Bondage – Do you know what bonds are? They are debt – in this case it would be from the state, therefore, it is debt owed by the taxpayers to the bond holders that must be paid back with interest. The scheme was for Lexington to cover those costs, but that is not a guarantee.

      The Yum Center’s bonds are now in junk bond status.

    • Bondage
      6:18 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

      Dee W — and so? Jq posted that he would experience “added taxes” for the renovation. That is NOT how a bond issue works. If the Yum center meets its obligations through revenue generated at the venue, then the debt will be retired with no impact on a taxpayer’s wallet. To infer that a raise in taxes would occur is absurd.

    • Cincy Cayt
      7:52 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

      And what IF it doesn’t? (Serious question…I don’t know the answer)

  5. JerryC
    1:32 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    John Clay is right. Any renovation is not for “THE” fans, it would be for a select few fans. The University of Kentucky has far more than 24,000 fans in this state. The average fans may attend a handful of games in their lifetime and are not willing to pay diddly so someone else can sit in a newer seat and watch a game they can’t afford to go to. There are far more important things for our tax dollars to be used for in an economy like this!

    • Joe fan
      1:41 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

      Sigh…bond issue…not tax $$

    • DeanM
      2:23 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

      I guess my question is ….. is John Clay necessary?

    • Megan
      11:41 am May 26, 2014 Permalink

      “In an economy like this’? Perhaps you’ve not noticed, but the economy’s doing extremely well. Markets are making new highs. They rose 25-30 percent last year, their best year since the mid-’90s. Businesses have never been more profitable. The rich are getting incredibly richer.

      And that’s the problem. The great majority of us are no longer benefiting from our country’s economic success. Been that way for 30-35 years now. No matter how well our economy performs, the middle class is left barely treading water. Most all of us are left behind. Something fundamental has to change.

      Don’t blame the economy. The economy’s fine. Blame politicians. Blame policies that don’t create equal opportunities. Blame policies that cause you to cut education while spending obscene amounts of our tax dollars on the military. Yes, it is about our priorities. But we keep electing people who, promises to the contrary, don’t share them.

    • JerryC
      11:51 am May 26, 2014 Permalink

      To all you idiots screaming it’s a bond not a tax, here’s a lesson for you: a bond is an instrument of indebtedness of the bond issuer to the holders. It is a debt security, under which the issuer owes the holders a debt and, depending on the terms of the bond, is obliged to PAY them interest (the coupon) and/or to REPAY the principal at a later date. How the F do you think they are gonna Pay interest AND REPAY the principal. Is money suddenly going to fall from the sky? Not likely. Do you think politicians are in the habit of tightening their belts to repay these bonds? Ya, RIGHT! The $300 Wildcat club membership is a scam. There is no way on God’s green earth they are gonna recoup what they need from such a Ponzi scheme. For God’s sake educate yourself. Our economy is not going to support such a bond issue. 75% of Kentuckians understand that. Ask yourself why you don’t.

    • JerryC
      12:30 pm May 26, 2014 Permalink

      Megan, It appears someone has been drinking the cool-aid. If you’re espousing socialism, look around. It doesn’t work. I’m not sure where you got the “30-35 years” but I remember some very good economic times that fall within that range. It’s just been within the last 5-6 years that the Socialist Left has made Capitalism a dirty word.

  6. Injuries?
    1:36 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    What fan injuries are you talking about? The poor guy that fell at the game last year and is now paralyzed? A horrible accident, but explain how a multimillion $$$ renovation is going to keep an elderly guy trying to catch his wife after she fell from falling. And what other fan injuries are you talking about? You are really reaching to use fan injuries as a call to renovate.

  7. Joe fan
    1:40 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    I am a season ticketholder with seats in the lower part of Upper Arena. Know what the pricey renovation would get me? Jacked up ticket prices, jacked up K Fund “donation requirement” and probably a move up at least 10 rows. In all likelihood, it would cause me to let go of the tix. So i am happy this whole farce has died on the vine.

  8. BILL
    2:07 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    move the press table to row KK an let them sit on a bench. I think he will see the need for renovation.

    • catdaddyd
      3:30 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

      Agree, the press should have the worst seats.

  9. Costa Rica
    2:15 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    I agree with John Clay.

    • Rich Coast
      2:35 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

      I disagree with John Clay.

  10. Sick of Lexington/Louisville Liberals
    2:23 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    Pay for your own arenas and convention centers and leave my tax money out of it. Rural Kentucky is tired of funding you and your urban welfare.

    • sickofruralconservatives
      3:55 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

      Let’s increase corporate welfare and hope that the extra pennies will trickle down to us common folk.

    • Also Sick of Rural Conservatives
      4:35 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

      Do you realize that Lexington and Louisville are the two major tax bases for the state? Do you realize that a much higher percentage of the tax dollars of Lexington and Louisville residence go to fund projects in rural Kentucky than the inverse? Do you realize that Lexington and Louisville combine to represent 42% of Kentucky’s overall population, and, moreover, given that they are the financial centers of Kentucky as well as having much higher average incomes, represent a disproportionately high tax base to anywhere else in the state? No, you probably didn’t understand much of that because you’re a rural conservative. Well, we’ll make sure we’re careful with your tax dollars, all four of them. Oh, and enjoy all that state aid your pissant county gets from the Louisville and Lexington tax base that enables it to function.

    • Sick of Fallacies from Everyone
      5:34 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

      ASRC – how does anything you said justify spending state money on a college sports arena tax sink?

  11. by
    2:32 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    Rupp reno not very popular on the comments section…I agree that $350 million dollars could be used in a much more useful way

  12. You are ignorant
    2:33 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    Wow! What a dopey comment. You do realize that the tax dollars in this state flow from Louisville and Lexington to the rural areas and no vice-versa.

    • Cincy Cayt
      2:47 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

      You should add NKY in that too.

    • ProspectMike
      3:06 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

      That dumba$$ really has no idea how Louisville, Lexington, and NKY carry the state. I’m tired of Stumbo, Stivers and the rest of the rural areas in control. You want our tax dollars, our medical facilities, and entertainment venues, but then say how you hate us all.

    • Fallacies are fallacious
      5:36 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

      Which way the money flows is a distraction and has no bearing on whether paying for arena improvements is a good idea in and of itself.

  13. Justin
    2:38 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    I agree with Clay…KSR’s constant push for this is out of touch with most Kentuckian’s view.

  14. Harvey
    2:53 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    But what is his view on social issues?

  15. patches
    3:19 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    Necessary? Is it necessary for me to drink my own urine? No, but I do it anyway because it’s sterile & I like the taste

  16. Nonewrupp
    3:42 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    Sorry gang, I think 300 millions to much

    Rupp is fine move on

  17. Joe Hacker
    3:58 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    When was Allen Fieldhouse built and last renovated?

  18. pfife
    4:56 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    Meh. Lou/Lex/NKY money is sent to Frankfort to be pissed away. Possum Trot/Monkey’s Eyebrow/Nonesuch money is also sent to Frankfort to be pissed away. Hurrah for equality.

  19. DaveUK
    4:57 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    Courtney – you twice stated that Rupp is a “30-year-old building.” In 2016 it will actually be a 40-year-old building. By the time anything is actually done I would estimate it will be a 50 year-old building.

  20. Bob McDowel.
    5:51 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    Let’s cut back on the extent of the revamp and if Lexington wants to update the convention center & surrounding areas they should pay for that. If skyboxes are the main goal then charge a price for them and include a very hefty K-Fund donation so they will be paid for by those that use them.

    If UK wants to build an on campus arena I think they should go for it, but without UK in Rupp downtown Lexington is a ghost town.

    • Bondage
      6:26 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

      How stupid. UK plays at Rupp about 20 times each season, in the winter, about half of the games are weeknight games, and you say Lexington is a ghost town without a game a week or less between November and March? Uh not. You maybe need to visit Lexington more.

    • Bob McDowell
      9:49 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

      Bondage, that being the case Lexington should be in position to pay a larger part of the rehab. If there were to be an on campus arena built the 2 arenas would then compete with each other for concerts and other events leaving downtown with a bigger loss without UK.

  21. Sittin' Bull
    5:59 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    Courtney if UK is having trouble selling season basketball tickets have them contact me. Me and plenty others would love the opportunity! Sure you didn’t mean football? Which doesn’t play in Rupp…

  22. Editor_Cat
    8:28 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    “…posted a Herald-Leade (sic) column..”

    “…it’s (sic) lack of popularity.”

    “…already got thier (sic) renovation…”

    • You Missed these
      9:41 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

      Chester has not got (sic) a chance

      Sure (sic) the current Rupp

  23. Some me bro
    9:10 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    I still say putting a dome over commonweatth is the only way to go….

  24. Tommy
    9:31 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    Need to start fighten them roosters there in Lex like they do in Floyd County!

  25. W.W.B.B.N.D?
    10:13 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    So, the UK President does not know what UK needs, but you do? KSR needs to let this go!
    When is KSR going to show their poll on the “new RUPP” project? Did you not like the results?

  26. blitzedanddazed
    10:14 pm May 25, 2014 Permalink

    The current situation is what you get when you have a bunch of Republicans controlling the House.
    Go to Manchester and tell me that is what you want for the rest of the Commonwealth.

    • JerryC
      12:00 pm May 26, 2014 Permalink

      Wow! You need to stay away from the keyboard while drinking.
      1) Stumpy Stumbo (D) and his yellow dogs control the House.
      2) I’m Pretty sure you guys got the Governors Mansion too.
      3) WTF does Manchester have to do with any of this?

  27. playersfan
    8:17 am May 26, 2014 Permalink

    IT’s dumb to spend $350 million on a project to reduce capacity of arena that was full ten years ago. By the way how is the chicken bucket working out financially? Give me more seats, better seats, more facilities, and do away with the outside face lift expense, which Clay is right about, it’s Lexington’s envy of Louisville, Basketball players, and fans want what goes on in Rupp to continue, winning basketball and seats to allow people to become fans also, but don’t knock the blue hairs, they were once young, and still support and love the team. You will be old some day, and hear people say kick them out, so young people can get in.

  28. Tha Blonde Bomber
    12:51 am May 27, 2014 Permalink

    Kentucky doesnt have Pro sports, the Wildcats are our Pro team. We have college basketball by the nuts and we should have the nicest arena.