Governor, Mayor Defend Rupp Renovations on Radio

Reported by: Melanie Kendall
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Updated: 5/23 5:55 pm
What seems like a never-ending battle, took to the airwaves.

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and Governor Steve Beshear talked about plans for the Rupp Renovation Project on the radio Friday morning but there still aren’t a lot of answers.

When Gov. Beshear asked if this project would still happen he didn’t say yes but he didn’t say no either.  He simply responded with an ‘I hope so.’

“We have an incredibly solid plan,” said Gray, then continued saying plans are meant to be changed.
“We've got to make sure that everybody is on board or you've got to go in another direction,” said Gov. Beshear.
UK’s lease up at Rupp after the 2017-2018 basketball season.
A letter University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto sent to the chairman of the Lexington Center Corporation said the school is exploring all options, not just Rupp.
Gray said that response was necessary since the Civic Center can’t schedule events because of the uncertainty of construction.
In the response letter, Capilouto calls out the project’s financing.
“You can throw blame a lot of different directions but you just get into these political situations and you start seeing things starting to fall apart,” said Gov. Beshear.
Lawmakers denied investing $65 million then $80 million in the project.
Plans include selling Team Rupp memberships at $300 each to raise an additional $35 million but with lack of community support, radio host Matt Jones questioned how realistic that would be.
“Do you really believe that a 140,000 people would give $300?” said Jones.
“Last year was when the university said we want to run this we want to run this team Rupp Project and Program,” said Gray
Gray and Gov. Beshear have been two of the biggest supports of the project.
“We’ve just go to find the common ground to make it happen,” said Beshear.
If UK does pull out of Rupp, Mayor Gray said they will adjust and adapt.
Gray and Gov. Beshear said they plan to sit down with the Lexington Center and UK to move forward with plans.

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