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New plans call for $2 million naming rights to renovated Rupp


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?


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.

41 Comments for New plans call for $2 million naming rights to renovated Rupp

  1. ukjonny9
    5:20 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    They’ll keep “Rupp Arena” in the name, so I’m fine with it.

    • C....A.....T....S....CATS!
      7:03 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink


      I don’t disagree, or agree, with your point of view…and I don’t pretend:

      * to have 2 million, or 1 million dollars…
      * be a financial genius…
      * own a business in need of advertising…

      However, didn’t we just hear John Calipari during this NCAA Tournament run remind all of us:


      With THAT SAID… it sure would be nice, and a typical act of class, courage, generosity, and loyalty to Adolph Rupp: the man who started it all… IF….

      *a Business Person, or Business, would purchase the naming rights of Rupp Arena for 2-million dollars…

      *and then name it “RUPP ARENA”… without any business name, along side, disgracing the name of THE MAN WHO STARTED IT ALL…

      ANY Business, or Business Person, with THAT AMOUNT OF CLASS would GET MY BUSINESS.


  2. CATS-4-9
    5:20 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    Sell the naming rights to Hugh Jass burger and it could be Hugh Jass Rupp Arena!!

  3. classof68
    5:20 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    Kroger Rupp Arena.

    • ukjonny9
      5:30 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

      Johnny Short gets front row seats. Yes indeedy.

  4. Rixter
    5:23 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    McCormick’s should bid, and name it after the Meat Tenderizer, Adolph’s Rupp Arena.

    • The Taxman
      5:29 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

      Best idea I’ve heard!

    • Amanda Lou
      5:48 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

      That is the best name it could get. Now, someone just has to contact the McCormick people.

  5. George
    5:24 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    Fans should donate that much to keep it as it is. Rupp is enough.

    • NothingButTruth
      5:50 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

      Like redneck UK fans really have enough money in the bank to support such a thing. your average UK fan barely has enough to buy their daily case of Budweiser AND pay child support AS IT IS.

  6. We Hang Banners
    5:24 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    KSR…..write the check!

  7. Mr. Obvious
    5:27 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    I would like to extend this heart felt “get your head out of your a$$” to anyone who plans to vote to re elect our good friend Mr. Stivers.

  8. Insider
    5:29 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    Naming rights have already been sold. That is why they have been so hush hush about this whole thing and can already put the figure out about 2 million dollars.

    • classof68
      5:37 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

      Per Rex Chapman.

    • Rex Chapman
      5:41 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink


  9. KG
    5:30 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    He would never get elected again if it were up to my vote. That also goes for the rest of our State Senators.

  10. Deacon
    5:40 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    A Frankfort staffer called the show this morning and advised Stivers is using this as a political ploy, holding “funding for Rupp” hostage if you will, to get the other side to concede to things / agree to things Stivers and his party want.
    If you recall about a year ago, there were rumblings Stumbo was doing the same type of thing with Football renovation funding, hoping to leverage Pikeville College into becoming a State University. As I recall, Ryan Lemond (of all people) asked Stumbo the question directly when he was on KSR and brought the ploy to light. Stumbo backed down and the football renovation funding went through.
    Matt can push this issue with Stivers and expose his actions. This has nothing do with Stivers believing it is, or is not, a good idea to go through with Rupp funding. This is about Stivers knowing the other side wants to proceed with this plan and his using that knowledge to his advantage.

    • Amen Corner
      5:43 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

      All the more reason to relieve Mr. Stivers of his duties.

    • Dee W.
      9:25 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

      “All the more reason to relieve Mr. Stivers of his duties.”

      Yes, indeed. Politics didn’t exist before Mr. Stivers, and if he is gone, it will be that way again.

  11. really
    5:48 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

  12. East Kentucky Infidel
    5:58 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    Make the economics work so everybody could be for it. 2 million each year for naming rights is wishful thinking, Wishing don’t build much, show the damn financial plans so we all can see, they can’t. Blame it on the other side to deflect from the facts. Pitiful and same old doing business as usual.

    Big Blue Nation Rupp Arena… let the fans buy in a dollar, two, ten or whatever and have a lottery for set asided choice seats each game. Make a big deal of it, limos, pomp, and circumstance for the really big games each year for promotion. Advertisers could treat a truly lucky winner as Fan King/Queen for the day, really roll out the blue carpet. Problem solved. BBN would line up.

    • MtnCat
      6:02 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

      Start today and sell the lotto tickets, could have millions of seed money right now, put BBN to work, we’ll get it done! Put the money on the table and Let’s Go! Politicians would line up right and left.

  13. bcat
    6:05 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    Just no ‘Coal Arena’, or ‘Oil Sludge Center’. There’s almost no way this doesn’t happen. ‘Rupp Arena at The Phillip Morris Tobacco Barn!’

  14. El Gato
    6:08 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    Hugh Jass Rupp Arena?

  15. Accuracy Matters
    6:09 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    You seem to miss the important point (or leave it out) that the figures given for the Yum! Center are PER YEAR.
    So a 15-year deal at the rate proposed would generate $30 million for the renovated Rupp.

    • Seriously
      6:19 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

      But it is the UK brand that allows this level of revenue stream. What are the benefits to UK from this cash flow. Lower lease rates for the basketball games, the opportunity to play in the city’s building, the savings from not building the arena on their own…

  16. Glasgow Booster
    6:11 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    I hope everyone realizes no matter what they do, the lower arena is staying with the current season ticket holders. The University has to honor existing booster contracts.

  17. Ace
    6:21 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    Why is the senate so non committal toward funding this? Has other funds been allocated to Louisville or other universities by this senate? Could there be a conflict of interest somehow?

    Is this something our investigative journalist at KSR could look into?

  18. Buckets
    6:23 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    This is unacceptable. The mayor said only if there was no other way to get it done. $2 million is a drop in the bucket.

  19. Regina
    6:25 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    So Lexington mayor Grey flat out lied during his radio interview on KSR in late January that naming rights were not a part of the deal. It seems that all of the politicians involved have been dishonest with us from the start. Let’s hold all of the accountable at the next election and vote them out of office.

  20. catheaven
    6:40 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    They better not ever call that arena anything except RUPP ARENA!

  21. HonorAdolf
    7:08 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    Seriously? Selling out for 2 of the 310 million? This is Rupp Arena. We should transcend, rather than sellout. That name means something. Don’t care that it will still be “a part” of the name. It should be “THE” name. Period.

  22. johnemcgregor
    7:13 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    Funky Coal Arena

  23. John
    7:48 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    Leave Rupp Arena alone. Don’t mess with a good thing. The place is great the way it is.

  24. UKBlue
    8:22 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    Ding Ding Ding Hello, adding a name to Rupp Arena for money was always going to happen. If you didn’t think it was going to happen no what the financial situation, here is the memo, you are extremely naive. The politicos are all too greedy to not take $2 million to do nothing.

  25. Cat
    9:02 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    UK fans should start a fund to raise the $2 million to purchase the naming rights and avoid a corporate name.

    • Dee W.
      9:28 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

      Is this $2 million one time, or per year?

  26. Some Guy in Kentucky
    9:14 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    How many events a year will the “new RUPP” need to cover its bond obligation? How many events does RUPP get now?The YUM center needs about 200, but gets about 100. So, it will always lose a lot of money. If the YUM center name cost $1.3 million in Louisville, how is Lexington going to get $2 million? The area around the YUM center was going to make about $6 million in TIF, it makes about $2 million. How much will UK basketball tickets go up?
    Would it be better for everyone, if the state just gave UK basketball $10 million in its budget?

    • Mr. Obvious
      9:24 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

      No, but $300 million would help!

  27. Stephen Miniard
    10:20 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    Why don’t WE raise the money? If everybody in the BBN gladly donated $10 I think we got this. Then we leave it “Rupp Arena”. MATT, you know how to do this. I’d give $100. We’d be like the Green Bay Packers . . . “locally” owned. Do this Matt.

  28. KevinM
    11:05 pm April 15, 2014 Permalink

    You guys are going to want to call it ‘Cal Palace @ Rupp Arena’ before long. We are getting ready to go on a ‘ship run and put a dent in UCLA’s lead.