City Reveals Rupp Arena Design

Reported by: Aaron Adelson
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Updated: 2/10 6:17 pm
The city unveiled the plans on Monday afternoon for the reinvented Rupp Arena.

The plan is to turn Rupp into a free-standing building. 

The building will have a glass exterior so people can look inside and out. 

The Triangle Park area will have video screens, and the Town Branch will run through the site and into the city. 

Inside, bleachers will be replaced with chairback seats.  Wi-Fi will be available in the building, and the arena will have a new center hung scoreboard. 

But who's paying for all of this?

The design comes with a $310 million price tag.  Governor Beshear proposes $65 million come from the state.  What about the rest?  We still don't know, but Governor Beshear says he is confident this project will happen.

UK administrators have not publicly endorsed the project, and UK's lease with Rupp expires in 2018. 

Lexington Center Board Chair Brent Rice says they're negotiating a new lease.

"We're gaining.  There's still work to do," said Rice.

"It won't happen without us," said DeWayne Peevy, UK Deputy Director of Athletics.

Peevy says the 'Cats want to be a partner, and not just a tenant.

"Even if it doesn't say it on paper, we feel like we're a big part of that, and so it's not going to be a regular tenant rent thing, so we want to look at it bigger," said Peevy.

Peevy said now that they have a design and a price it will be easier to negotiate the specifics.

"When we sign the papers, we'll be proudly up on that stage and telling everybody that we're a partner with Rupp Arena and Lexington," said Peevy.

Rupp's 40 years old, but Lexington resident Don Pratt thinks spending $300 million is waste.

"I'm sorry it's wrong," said Pratt.

The city hopes to open the reinvented Rupp in the fall of 2017.
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