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UK Basketball agrees to stay at Rupp Arena through 2033

Breaking news: UK has reached an agreement with the Lexington Center to stay at Rupp Arena through 2033.

The two parties signed a new 15-year lease today to keep men’s basketball games, some women’s basketball games, and winter and spring commencements downtown. The current lease was set to expire at the end of the 2018 season.

As part of the agreement, UK will control multimedia rights and souvenir sales during games. The university will make a $1.9 million yearly lease payment in exchange for 28 events and receive revenue off the addition of four clubs/club spaces, as well as chairbacks in parts of the upper level. Those upgrades are part of a $265 million renovation/expansion to the Lexington Center proposed last year, which also includes the removal of the metal siding around the building. Here are the renderings of the new Rupp Arena entrance from last summer:

Photo via EOP

Photo via EOP

Photo via EOP

The metal siding around Rupp Arena is finally going away



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.

45 Comments for UK Basketball agrees to stay at Rupp Arena through 2033

  1. RajonTheDon9
    3:58 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink

    What about ending the student upper level section? We need those seats filled by $2000+ paying customers in that section. Need less liberals and more conservative fans.

    • RobHD4
      4:16 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink

      We need more louder fans, not more blue hair conservatives.

    • thenamerobdigity
      4:17 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink

      You got it wrong! More Liberal less conservative!!!

      Of course I was joking. Who cares whether a dem or a rep?

    • FACTS
      6:02 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink

      Liberals are retarded. Go Trump!!!!!

    • bhb71
      8:02 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink

      You sound like a real winner, FACTS. I could’ve sworn people stopped using “retarded” as an insult like ten years ago.

    • MadHatter
      10:08 am February 9, 2018 Permalink

      Don’t be triggered lol

    • bhb71
      6:26 pm February 9, 2018 Permalink

      I’m not triggered, I think it’s funny. The people that use the word retard or some variation (Trumptard, Libtard, etc.) of it don’t tend to be the most intelligent bunch.

  2. itsabouttheblue
    4:01 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink

    You’ve got to be kidding me, on campus is where it needs to be and all the revenue

  3. itsabouttheblue
    4:04 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink

    Needs to be on campus, for the students not the blue hairs.

  4. Cousins Fake Tooth
    4:05 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink


  5. bigbluejon
    4:07 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink

    Seats throughout for Petes sake! Make it happen. People don’t like being packed in like sardines

    • Peas and Carrots
      4:30 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink

      I agree. It would be worth it to decrease capacity and upgrade seating for everyone. Maybe giving the entire arena an upgraded fan experience would lead to more engaged and vocal fans.

    • DelrayCat
      5:15 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink

      LOL….ANYONE who has ever sat in the upper arena knows you speak the truth.
      It is a joke. I gave my seats up just for that reason. Just isn’t worth the nearly $100 a ticket anymore.

  6. Rod Crandler
    4:20 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink

    Huge missed opportunity. Should have built a new arena near the football stadium on campus. Could have been used for all sports and concerts. Would have been a huge boost for the campus.

  7. Jiminy Crickets
    4:31 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink

    Someone that knows help me. I thought the SEC rule for alcohol sales was “no alcohol sales on SEC campus”. And read SEC was beginning to allow “neutral” site venues to sell beer, mainly due to increased revenue. Since Rupp is the only off campus stadium, I had heard they conformed to the rule even though by rule they could sell it. So with the upgrades, will a Budweiser or miller concession stand be coming too??

  8. Swizzle
    4:39 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink

    Bad for ever ha ing a great environment to play in. We area joke. And that whole upper seating situation is also a joke.

  9. Jiminy Crickets
    4:49 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink

    Again, I may be wrong, but I don’t think on campus arenas are allowed to hosts concerts. Those saying build on campus arena, I think it would costs $400-500million to build an arena as big as UK fans want it, and as nice as we’re asking. And then the only revenue comes from men’s basketball. That’s why if you look around the country, most on campus facilities are either really small, or predate the 1980s. Louisville for example threatened to build one, but all Econ experts said there was no way

    • UKPROF
      12:02 am February 9, 2018 Permalink

      WHY do we need to pack 20,000 plus into a basketball venue? Have you ever been to or watched a Duke basketball game at Cameron Indoor Arena? Do you think if we put a dome over Kroger Field that 60,000 would show up for a basketball game? Nooooooo. I’d much rather see and hear 12,000 screaming fans that have 20,000 just showing up for a local social event.

    • Jiminy Crickets
      4:44 am February 9, 2018 Permalink

      If you have seen any of my other post, I have said that Rupp arena is one of the quietest places 24,000 people gather. It was like that when I was at UK in the 90s, and it was quiet as a mouse on two games that I’ve been to this year although both games I went to were against very low competition. I did however go to the Louisville game, and it was pretty impressive

    • Rod Crandler
      8:57 am February 9, 2018 Permalink

      Not true at all. Lot’s of on campus arena’s host concerts.

    • rabblerabblerabble
      11:32 am February 9, 2018 Permalink

      But why all the apostrophes?

  10. TJY
    4:54 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink

    I split season tickets with a friend, upper level of course, a nice aisle seat. This past Tuesday, I was given two seats to the UKvsUT game, which were still upper level but better seats than mine. I gave my personal seats to an acquaintance as she and her husband rarely get to go. When I went to sit in the better seats, I was treated very rudely by other UK season ticket holders. I am a large man, think offensive lineman, and the guy that gave me the seats is larger than I am. The lady to my immediate left would not move over an inch to give me ample room to sit down. She went further to lean into me like she was blocking out for a rebound. The seat to her immediate left was empty! I am a UK graduate from the mid 90s, UK season ticket holder for 10 years and was wearing UK gear and she was just leaning into me without saying a word.

    Her son/grandson/nephew got to the game about 2 minutes after tip off and he was a good 5 inches and 100 pounds lighter than me. She was excited to see him and he sat down to her left with plenty of room but she still leaned into me. To make it worse, at half time, my friend and I were trying to get by the 7 people to our left to go to the concession stand, and not one person stood up to allow us through! I couldn’t believe I was getting treated like this at my own Arena! It was all that I could do to not step on/fall on the people in the row in front of me. When I returned with a soda, I was treated the same and there was even less room for me to sit than when I left. Meanwhile this smaller man had his legs spread out like he was trying to do the splits.

    Had these seats not been given to me by a co-worker OR if I was at an away stadium, I would have definitely had words for the people. I still can’t believe how horrible they were. I really hope Rupp Arena puts seats in the upper arena so I can avoid nasty fans like I dealt with Tuesday.

    • DelrayCat
      5:09 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink

      I understand your frustration.
      However, I see two sides of this. My upper level season tickets for years had guys on both sides of my 2 seats that were 250-270 lbs. and the amount of room left for my “area” made going to the games not very fun over time. And anytime I took someone that was even remotely “big” there was simply not enough room to even breathe, much less actually enjoy the game.
      Rupp needs to completely re-allocate the upper level after adding chair backs and expanding the footprint of each seat by AT LEAST 4 inches per seat.

    • Jiminy Crickets
      4:49 am February 9, 2018 Permalink

      Agree. Citing that they are going to put chair backs up there, like they did at the football stadium is almost worse. Sure you no longer have someone’s knee in your back however I’m not sure now where your knees will go. there is no room in the upper deck for anything. If you ever sit in the middle of the aisle, which is where my season tickets were for a couple of years, if you have to leave for any reason the entire row has to move

  11. DelrayCat
    5:03 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink

    The amount of room in the upper level seats is ridiculous.
    Granted, people overall were much smaller back in the 70’s when Rupp was built.
    People also act like Rupp is the athletic association’s sole source of revenue. That is far from the truth.
    TV money far exceeds any other revenue source. Therefore, it would not be a big loss to completely reshuffle upper level seating, put in a few boxes, and add chair-back seating with MORE OVERALL ROOM PER SEAT. It might mean the loss of 1000 seats, but that can be easily adjusted for.

    • Jiminy Crickets
      4:53 am February 9, 2018 Permalink

      People may not know this, but even during the joker years, the football team generates three times the revenue that basketball does

  12. cjruk1
    5:15 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink

    “as well as chairbacks in parts of the upper level”

    Why not do chairbacks in all parts of the upper level?

  13. Duuuuuude
    5:21 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink

    Here’s an idea! When we say we’re going to build a state-of-the-art arena and lower in an NBA team! Then we will say that we want 1st dibs on scheduling. By the time they figure that out, it will be too late and we will have our arena on the taxpayer dime!

  14. Headhurts
    5:51 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink

    They can put lazyboy recliners in the upper deck and I still would prefer to watch on a 60” HD with rewind& fast forward,no line for potty breaks and cold beer?

  15. FlatTopsAndBlockedShots
    6:28 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink

    We’ve lost recruits to other schools simply based on the game environment and crowd interaction. One of the most notable was born bleeding blue, the entire family loved UK, and then an official visit to Cameron Indoor happened with Myles Turner. Luke Kennard now bleeds dook blue. Another recruit we lost was Lonnie Walker who fell asleep at a game.

  16. mj7juice
    7:29 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink

    Bulldoz Rupp, upper lever is garbage. You literally have 5-6 inches to squeeze into a seat. The whole atmosphere is pitiful. People say it’s loud. Lol, it sound aloud because 95% of the game feels like your in a library. Yet another great last move by Barnhart. Good job buddy, you Jackoff!

    • antiquefurnitureandmidgets
      2:42 am February 9, 2018 Permalink

      Yeah! Why doesn’t that jerk just pull 1/2 a billion out of his wallet and build an arena?! Best AD in my lifetime and it isn’t even close.

      9:09 am February 9, 2018 Permalink

      I guess Antique furniture was born after CM retired.

    • mj7juice
      11:39 am February 9, 2018 Permalink

      Really, Barnhart? Sold out our marketing rights to JMI, hired Billy G, got lucky with Cal. Hired Joker after Brooks, signed off on these atrocious checkerboard uniforms. But most importantly he consulted with “Secretariat’s” people from Virginia, we should all be so thankful. This guy is a complete jackoff. We need a new AD. The fan experience is fading in all sports and mostly importantly the decline in basketball recruiting. Peevy handles all of basketball for crying out loud, hand the keys to him.

    • antiquefurnitureandmidgets
      1:06 pm February 9, 2018 Permalink

      CM? You must be basketball only.

    • antiquefurnitureandmidgets
      1:07 pm February 9, 2018 Permalink

      And CM did soooooo much for any sport that wasn’t basketball (and to a lesser degree football). CM. Ha!

  17. serdi
    9:56 pm February 8, 2018 Permalink

    Should have never left 11,500 seat configuration Memorial Coliseum and expansion of best basketball venue ever

  18. Halfway 2 BioHazard
    12:48 am February 9, 2018 Permalink

    Rupp Arena is an embarrassment to host the greatest college basketball team of all time. It has no feel to it.

  19. RajonTheDon9
    5:26 am February 9, 2018 Permalink

    The students don’t show up anyways. Take our seats at the very least and give the poor folks in the upper levels real seating. End the upper level $10 student tickets.

  20. nicky
    8:36 am February 9, 2018 Permalink

    Perfect example of lipstick on a pig….very disappointing

  21. CombatMedic_98
    9:34 am February 9, 2018 Permalink

    I can already see it…Calipari Coliseum…2034!