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An update on the Rupp Arena renovation from today’s downtown meeting


The masterminds behind the Rupp Arena renovation met with the public in downtown Lexington on Wednesday to bring everyone up to speed on the status of the project. There is still a long, long way to go — they’re still in the design phase — but we’re slowly getting a better idea of what to expect once it’s completed.

A few notes from today’s meeting:

— Lexington mayor Jim Gray said Coach Cal told him to do whatever needs to be done to make it the “gold standard.” Take a drink.

— NBBJ architect Robert Mankin showed a video of some of Rupp Arena’s best memories; said Rupp’s history helps influence the project going forward.

—  The renovation will focus on four principles:

(1) The spirit and history of Rupp Arena and Kentucky basketball

(2) The city of Lexington

(3) Renewal of downtown

(4) Fan experience

— The “character” of the arena’s lower bowl will remain the same, but the upper level will be entirely different. Fans up top can expect to have chair back seating and a new upper level concourse with concessions, restrooms and retail shopping.

— Rupp’s brown exterior will be transparent so people can see what’s going on inside and out.

Seating capacity will not change.


Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

20 Comments for An update on the Rupp Arena renovation from today’s downtown meeting

  1. hersheyisabear
    6:15 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Don’t get me wrong. I am excited for the renovation. But how can they not add more seating? This is somewhat disappointing.

  2. Shawn
    6:15 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Im all about updating Rupp. But, what Is an update without increased seating? Just start having the games at Commonwealth.

  3. Surprised
    6:16 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Wow! This actually sounds great. I thought from the sound of things in the beginning this was gonna be only about the big boosters and adding stupid suite seating or some club level that would reduce other seating. From the sound of this article it actually favors the common UK fan. Good job mayor!

    6:18 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    More seating or not, this place will be absolutely gorgeous. Glad Lexington/UK decided to do this after the Yum! Center was built, you know the architects and everyone else who is working on it will make it a point to out-do U of L on this project. Recruits will be lining up when it’s done (as if they weren’t already). GO CATS!

  5. fb>bb
    6:23 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    There are too many seats now. Most games are not sellouts. There is only one or two games per year you can’t get tickets to.

  6. YUM! Envy!!!!
    6:32 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    LIPSTICK ON A PIG!!! Hahahahahahahahhha!!!! SMH…

  7. Louisville1Cal4
    6:38 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    @6 Hahahahaha what a douche bag comment! You represent your fan base well with your ignorance. Rupp is historical, not only to Kentucky but to college basketball in general. So much history & tradition, things the chicken bucket will never have. Oh and rafters full of tons of Championship & Final Four banners too.
    The Yum may be very nice inside but it is an eye sore for all to see while driving by lol

  8. Miss Nomer
    6:38 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    More seats, people? I’m surprised they say none will be lost. More is not better.

  9. Bradley
    7:13 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Unless this mayor is removed from the process or from office this will not get done in a satisfactory way. The guy is a clown.

  10. Rico
    7:16 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Am I the only one who resents this being grouped w a beautify Lexington project?

    Why do I care if there is a green space park outside Rupp?

    Spend the $$ on making the arena as great as it can be.

  11. Mitch Rapp
    7:18 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    #6: KFC YUM is a beautiful house of C-A-R-D-S that will be bankrupt in 5 years unless taxpayers bail it out. You cant drink enough liquor to save that sinking ship.


  12. Jason
    7:20 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Aaaaaaaannnd….. How much extra will season ticket holders have to pay in order to keep their seats? I’m completely in favor of the renovations but I’m afraid this might knock some of the Average Joe’s (like me) out of the price range. Has there been any discussion about this?

  13. KYStout
    7:43 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    The KFC Yum! Center is the worst name for an arena in history. From the outside, it looks like a huge fax machine. The way it is heading toward bankruptcy is despicable.

    Rupp Arena will be the new gold standard and Kentucky will continue to lead the nation in wins and attendance.

    Just as it should be.

  14. Question. Mark
    7:55 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    #1 and # 2 you are both imbeciles. How do you expect the entire upper level to gain chair back seating while INCREASING capacity. I figured we would lose around 1000 seats in order to get the luxury suites installed along with the chair backs. Great news if true!!

  15. About Time
    8:58 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    I am glad something is finally being done, but I just don’t believe they won’t lose seating capacity! Those luxury suites have to go somewhere!

    No they don’t have too many seats now, because it is almost impossible to fill any venue no matter how small if people have to fight over seats so there should normally be some “extra” seats for those that don’t have season tickets and don’t want to pay scalpers prices. Besides the more seats there are available the less they can raise the prices.

    Don’t anyone think they aren’t going to increase ticket prices, because they are! They have been wanting to raise them a lot for a long time and since Cal came to town they have been. Somebody will have to pay for the renovation, therefore; you can bet your sweet bippy the average person will see a substantial increase!

  16. Tim Kathlina
    9:11 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Lets stop talking and start getting the illegal alien help hired to get this thing renovated. Tobacco farmers are going to struggle to find workers once this project gets rolling.

  17. FedUp
    9:35 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Jim Gray says, Cal told him do what ever it takes to make it the gold standard? PLEASE! Gray is not spending his money, or Cal’s. Ticket prices will go up. If it copies the YUM center it will stick the people of Lexington, and state of Kentucky paying it off because it will not have positive cash flow. This project has train wreck all over it.

    9:42 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Are you kidding me??? GOLD standard out that WAREHOUSE Downtown???? UK fans hot sold down the river (no pun intended)…. YUM! Center will be hosting many more NCAA TOURNEYS for our STATE because it was BUILT not RENOVATED!!! The NEW CAR is in LOUISVILLE! You just got a NEW SET OF TIRES chumps! Just another FIRST CLASS move by JURICH that OL’BARNY couldn’t do.. Sorta like NATIONAL CHAMPIONS vs NIT losers….. Enjoy those new tires…. HAHAHAHAHAHAHa!!

  19. Question. Mark
    11:49 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    ^Lol at this guy. Reading comments like this just makes me literally laugh out loud. Congrats on winning your championship during an extremely down year for college basketball as a whole. Yeah we went to the NIT, just like Louisville has 2 out of the 11 years Pitino has been there. The Cards are only bringing back 2 legit players in Smith and Behanan. Funny thing is though, that Behanan and Blackshear would already be in the league if the played for Cal. Can’t wait to watch the cats win it all again this year.

  20. Chum Bucket not Yum Center
    7:18 am September 19, 2013 Permalink

    #18 really? You’re talking championships? How about 8 vs 3 idiot! Lol, second rate fans crack me up! Go back to a Loserville website!