Lexington Mayor Jim Gray unveiled designs Monday for a $310 million renovation and redesign of Rupp Arena for the Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team.
Some of the featured upgrades include a transparent facade and moving and expanding the convention center to the west of the arena. The exterior of Rupp Arena will include glass or transparent outer walls that allow for more interaction between the street and what’s going on inside.
The interior bowl of Rupp Arena will remain largely the same, while the upper bowl will have chair-backed seats, better lighting and its own concourse for food and bathrooms. Between the upper and lower decks will be a ring of premium seats, featuring as many as 28 luxury boxes. There also would be new lookout areas on the top floor in the four corners of the arena.
Gray said details of how the new Rupp Arena and convention space will be financed won’t be announced until this later summer.
As of now, the plan for the new Rupp and convention center is that both locations open in the summer of 2017. Rupp will remain open, but parts of the convention center might be closed during the renovation.
Here is a video of the new arena and how UK hopes it looks as a finished product:
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