Skip to content

Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

KSR’s Rupp Arena Renovation Survey

By now, you’re familiar with the Rupp Arena renovation saga. On Sunday, the Herald-Leader published the results of a poll about the Rupp project, in which they asked 1,782 registered voters across the state of Kentucky this question:

Should state lawmakers provide $80 million in state funds to help renovate Rupp Arena and an attached convention center in Lexington? Or should the city of Lexington find some other way to finance the $351 million project?

Only 18% said they believe the state should provide the funding, while 75% said the city of Lexington needs to find another way to pay for it. The problem? Right now, there is no other way. In its current form, the Rupp Arena project won’t happen without $80 million (or a similarly high number) of funding from the state. That funding is supported by Governor Steve Beshear, was approved by the House, and died on the Senate floor as Senate President Robert Stivers and the project’s opponents refused to let it pass. Now, those opponents are pointing to the poll as proof their efforts were in their constituents’ best interest; however, because the question gave an option (the project happening without state funding) that isn’t really an option at all, the results are meaningless.

Therefore, we here at KSR came up with a poll of our own to make sure your voices are heard. As a general disclaimer, internet polls aren’t always the most reliable, but we’ve done our best to make this one secure. Also, we request that you only complete the survey if you live in the state of Kentucky. So, fellow ex-pats, sit this one out with me.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Thanks for participating. We’ll close the poll tomorrow at 5 p.m., and share the final results then. I expect Matt will discuss the results with Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and Governor Steve Beshear when they come on the show on Friday (Senate President Robert Stivers is busy in a meeting sick on vacation).

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.

29 Comments for KSR’s Rupp Arena Renovation Survey

  1. UKJonny
    8:05 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink


  2. Suzanne Allen
    8:12 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

    I’m voting on the Rupp Arena renovation only and not the proposed convention center. Hope that’s what you meant. I think the 2 should be separate.

  3. Uktailg8er
    8:15 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

    I think this poll is going to be skewed in favor of simply because the respondents are all primarily uk fans and have an interest in the program. It does not reflect the opinion of the state as a whole.

    • We have a winner
      8:42 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

      Excuse me. Inherently. Speaking of pathetically worded.

  4. John
    8:20 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

    I love Rupp t he way it is with the mall and food court attached, I can make a day out of the game. Don’t ruin it, leave it the way it is!

  5. Haha
    8:27 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

    A lot of really dumb fans in our fan base if you believe that the Rupp renovation is “Very Important” to the future of UK basketball. Guys we would go to a game held underground in the sewer in order to watch them play. UK will go on with or without a Rupp renovation.

    • 193
      8:31 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

      recruits want to play in a nice arena.

    • You're one of them
      8:53 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

      You’re also shortsighted if you thinking fan attendance is what makes Rupp renovation important. Sure, UK fans would go to games if they were held in a barn. Hell, we basically already do. The point is, UK is missing out on A LOT of money if Rupp isn’t brought up to modern standards.

  6. Haha
    8:27 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

    And if you all want to pay so much make damn donations and stop asking for them to take it out of my pocket.

    • ukjonny9
      8:43 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

      Yes, if this doesn’t pass, you’ll be a rich man. Keep believing that load.

    • Cry more
      8:56 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

      It’s a publicly owned building, so taxpayers have and will continue to pay for whatever is done to it.

  7. True Blue
    8:32 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

    Why can we not get a Arena built on campus for the students/players. Why does it have to be tied to Downtown. We need the Arena on campus and done the right way. Students Close to the floor. Not the blue hairs.

    • Answer
      9:03 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

      Because UK isn’t big enough nor has the budget to afford it. They want Lexington and the State to pay for it and UK will then lease the arena when it needs it.

  8. Mark Perkins
    9:00 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

    The funding plan for Rupp is sketchy, especially the part about $300 donations.
    Here are two other alternatives:

    1–I suspect the city of Lexington has the capacity to bond the entire cost. Rather than burden Lexington taxpayers with repaying the bonds, place a surcharge on tickets to all events in the arena dedicated to pay off bonds.

    2-Ask the General Assembly for authority to impose a restaurant tax. Current state law allows only for small cities to impose a restaurant tax. I live in Morehead, population 7,000. The 3% restaurant tax here generates about $1 million a year.

  9. TheRealLinda
    9:00 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

    I vote for Rupp renovation only, no money for the city or the convention center…it will come once the renovation is finished. Rupp should not be expected to be the savior of Lexington downtown. I really think Rupp should be on campus and not naming rights!

  10. Common Sense
    9:01 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

    Should be building a new arena by commonwealth

  11. Bob the replier
    9:05 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

    Here’s a crazy idea, let those who want it and those who stand to profit pay for it.

    • replier the bob
      9:15 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

      no, you want public funding for a project in order to brag about your business savvy if the project turns a profit, duh.

  12. Chris
    9:06 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

    I would blame the issues on both the city of lexington and the state, does Rupp need to be that nice no but it is a plus. But how can the state throw funding away from Rupp arena but give 50 million to the KFC yum center. The Yum center has driven it’s self into the ground because they can do enough to make a profit off many things, not only would it be amazing for the fans of UK and concert goers. What about the city high schools who hold graduations there, or the events such as the boat show or even Monster jam. Its just time to look at it from the point of view that this isn’t just for UK but more so a face lift for the city of Lexington. If this doesn’t get done then maybe UK should look into buying land a building it’s own arena

  13. Cincy Cayt
    9:06 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

    Technically I think it should be renovated – just not to the proposed extent. Like most things in life, moderation is the way to go here. Let’s compromise and get the updates we want the most (perhaps another poll for this). Cut the rest. Please don’t take my yes vote as support for the current lavish plans.

    • Cincy Cayt
      9:09 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

      Also, honestly don’t care whose fault it is. I voted Stivers, but he may be doing non-Lexingtonians a favor here. Please compromise and be responsible. Two wrongs (Yum + Rupp) don’t make a right

  14. cedar
    9:13 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

    step 1 – tell your audience you disagree with the results of a question.
    step 2 – tell people the question was worded incorrectly.
    step 3 – tell them how it should have been worded.
    step 4 – ask them the question as you said it should have been worded.

  15. the burg
    9:15 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

    Not sure why the school doesn’t fund it over the course of years. Haven’t they raised season ticket prices and tuition costs in multiple consecutive years and added to the medical and research campuses…. oh, and signed a $20m a year contract with the ESPN/ SEC network. I’m a HUGE UK fan, but , seriously, the institution (federally supported in many ways over and above the state institution level) needs to stand on it’s own 2 feet. (subliminal message: Kentucky coal, where are your dollars?).

  16. Robin
    9:39 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

    My main problem with this project is that the city is trying to use Rupp momentum to get their albatross of a convention center updated. Keep in mind that this will be the second state-funded TIF to improve their convention center in less than a decade. Their “study” 10 years ago showed that it would net $40 million in new tax money that never materialized.

    The first upgrade at state taxpayer expense didn’t do the trick so they’ve come back for a second bite at the apple. I mean the first renovation was such a failure that $18 million of this project will be used to pay off bills from 2004. On top of that they’ve already blown through the $5 million the general assembly gave them in less than a month. There is noone responsible steering this ship, just city officials looking for a downtown handout.

  17. ukdouglas
    9:41 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

    I really think they should build on campus. Let the state and city have it , if they don’t want to fix it .At least get the Damn red out of it. Loserville sucks

  18. Dub Z
    9:48 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

    Let’s be clear… All we really need are chair-backs throughout the upper level, some bigger screens, maybe a better center scoreboard (although I do appreciate that it’s classic Rupp), and double the ice cream windows.

    Done! How much could that cost?

    (oh, an upgrade the food quality/choices would be nice, but not required)

    • Cincy Cayt
      9:56 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

      This! Couldn’t have said it better.

  19. Dub Z
    9:52 pm May 20, 2014 Permalink

    Beer sales.would go a long way to paying for a renovation, and would probably wake the crowd up a little too… C’mon SEC, lets open this up!