Blog Entry

Lexington abuzz about the future of Rupp Arena

Posted on: January 27, 2011 1:50 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2011 1:53 pm
Posted by MATT JONES

When you pride yourself in caring about college basketball more than any program in America and then your biggest rival opens what may be the nicest college basketball facility in the country, you take notice. That is what is happening in Lexington, Kentucky this week as the University of Kentucky and new mayor of Lexington go back and forth over plans as to how best upgrade the basketball facilities for its historical basketball program.

In his initial "State of the City" speech this week, Lexington mayor Jim Gray announced that he would put together a task force to study whether Rupp Arena could be renovated in such a manner as to add luxury suites and allow the city to compete against the Yum! Center in Louisville, not only for basketball, but other concert events as well. The talk was of renovation to the current arena in Lexington and the assumption seemed to be more of fixing what currently exists, rather than a new arena being built.

Today a source told that the new mayor's plan is counter to what the University of Kentucky, specifically President Lee Todd and Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart, would support. According to the source, the plans advocated by the mayor would require a drop in available seating, loss of revenue and still have the effect of keeping the city of Lexington behind Louisville in terms of arena attractiveness to outside events. The source suggested that from the University's perspective, the better alternative would be either an entirely new arena in downtown, or an arena in and around the University campus.

With the mayor and the University seemingly not on the same page, the debate will rage in the Big Blue Nation as to what plan will best lead to the creation of a new arena. With public bonding unlikely and private funding lacking, it isn't clear how either plan can be paid for and executed. Meanwhile, the University of Kentucky fans are left with a 1970s mediocre arena, leaving revenue streams on the table and playing second fiddle to it's hated rival's immaculate facility. The latter point especially is unacceptable to the Kentucky fans and will lead to an interesting few months of closed-door squabbling in the city of Lexington.
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Kentucky

Since: Aug 14, 2008
Posted on: January 27, 2011 8:53 pm

Lexington abuzz about the future of Rupp Arena

Another Kentucky no news story...Yawn...

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: January 27, 2011 8:49 pm

As if......

....there were any doubt as to the reconsiliation of this issue. If I were handicapping this I would be betting that a new arena will be built, most likely on campus. Calipari is absolutely clear on wantiing a new place, and UK is lining up right behind him.......If you are going to be the King, you gotta have a suitable palace........I say build it and continue to play at Rupp while it is under construction......., and free Enes.

Since: Jan 27, 2011
Posted on: January 27, 2011 5:36 pm

Lexington abuzz about the future of Rupp Arena

Haha, I think its funny how you made the Pitino reference. For your info, Pitino was our coach first.  We were bashing Tubby and criticizng him based on Pitino's eprformance here long before he ever showed up at Loserville.  Nice try tho. Oh, and before I forget: 78-63!

Since: Oct 23, 2007
Posted on: January 27, 2011 4:08 pm

Lexington abuzz about the future of Rupp Arena

I love how everything going on in Lexington these days is in response to what has already happened in Louisville.  I mean really this is filed under the "Gee didnt see this coming" section.  Just like UK not being happy with Tubby or BCG because they werent like Pitino or worse yet, werent Pitiino.

Big Brother my arse.

Since: Feb 25, 2008
Posted on: January 27, 2011 3:23 pm

Lexington abuzz about the future of Rupp Arena

Though, I'd love to see more tickets available for each game ... I'm not so sure UK needs a new arena right now. Not just to keep up with the Joneses. Louisville is going to be the city that gets the big events ... like Justin Bieber or Kanye West. They're less likely to come to Lexington. If Lex could snag an annual event for several years like the State Fair or maybe the Derby (LOL), then I'd say it'd be worth investing in a new arena. But, until they get that guaranteed annual&nb
sp;revenue in place (other than just 8 months of sold out BB tickets) I don't see it being worth it.
And I certainly don't support the Mayors idea. That's just stupid.

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