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.