Home of the Kentucky Wildcats, Rupp Arena, is Having Some Work Done

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Rupp Arena

It was announced today that Rupp Arena is in line for some much needed additions.  While preserving the mecca of college basketball with its history and ambiance, officials plan to make it a bit more comfortable for the Big Blue Nation.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Rupp Arena’s latest proposed makeover will make it a stand-alone facility that state and local officials hope will reinvent downtown.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, Mayor Jim Gray and officials from Lexington Center on Wednesday announced a renovation plan that will separate the 37-year-old home of Kentucky men’s basketball from the adjoining convention center, which will be expanded 100,000 square feet. Lexington Center Board chairman Brent Rice said a funding plan will be finalized within 45 days.

Rupp’s 23,500-seat capacity will remain but adds chair-back seats to the upper deck, expanded concourses and a new center-hanging scoreboard.

Lexington city spokesman Susan Straub confirmed that the Rupp Arena makeover will be handled by Hunt Construction Group, an Indianapolis firm that expanded Louisville’s football stadium. Hunt’s web site lists Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium among venues it has built. The firm added 10,500 upper deck seats, sheltered loge seats and 33 suites to the 15-year-old facility, expanding capacity to 55,000 in 2010.

Seattle-based NBBJ, which revamped UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion, is the architectural firm.

The project is expected to take two years to complete with groundbreaking scheduled for fall 2014.

From Joe B. to Mayor Jim Gray and Governor Steve Beshear, Rupp’s additions have hit on all levels of lore and government.  From the Courier-Journal’s Kyle Tucker:

 

There has been a lot of buzz on social media, particularly Twitter, regarding speculation of a name change to the vaunted Rupp Arena.  Personally it would be a terrible move unless a corporate sponsor is willing to follow the format of TD America when it purchased naming rights and kept the past present by choosing to call it TD Garden.  I don’t know which, if any, companies are involved but according to this article and tweet, it doesn’t appear to be anytime soon.

Though groundbreaking isn’t expected until 2014, we finally know the dates we can get tickets to see the 2014 National Champions play at Rupp during their first official practice. If you thought people are crazy with how long they camp out for these tickets, just remember we have the greatest recruiting class in history coming in.

 

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