Right now, the Kentucky Senate is reviewing the new financial plan for a renovated Rupp Arena, which includes $80 million of funding from the state, as proposed by Governor Steve Beshear. According to WKYT, the new plans also call for $2 million of the funding to come from selling the arena’s naming rights. That’s one of the highest sums for naming right to an arena without a professional team in the country, behind The Sprint Center in Kansas City, which sold its naming rights for $2.5 million, and ahead of the Yum Center, which sold its naming rights for $1.3 million.
Until now, we had heard naming rights would be a last resort for funding, but it looks like we’re nearing that point, even if $2 million is only a drop in the bucket of the $310 million estimated overall cost. Right now, every penny matters, especially since Senate President Robert Stivers is STILL non-committal after talks on Tuesday. Remember that regardless of who buys the naming rights, “Rupp Arena” will still be included in the name.
So…Big Ass Rupp Arena?