Rupp Arena: What's Next?

Reported by: Aaron Adelson
Set Text Size SmallSet Text Size MediumSet Text Size LargeSet Text Size X-Large
Updated: 4/16 6:56 pm

What does the future hold for Rupp Arena?  City leaders requested $80 million from the state, and the Senate denied Lexington that money. 

The 2014 legislative session ended without a vote on the request.

Mayor Gray is gearing up for the next round.  The Senate said no right now, but not no forever.  Mayor Gray believes strongly in the project, and remains optimistic.

Mayor Gray didn't get what he wanted. 

"This is a setback," said Gray.

Mayor Gray wanted to open a renovated Rupp in the fall of 2017.  Gray says that will not happen.

"Taking a little time, letting the dust settle, and then keep moving.  Keep fighting for what's right, and keep fighting for what's fair," said Gray.

The state gave about $120 million to Louisville for the Yum! Center and its convention center.  But the Senate denied Lexington $80 million for Rupp and the convention center. 

"it's simple.  We're just asking, you know, hey, let's be treated fairly.  That's what a mayor would ask," said Gray.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer does not appreciate that comment. 

"To infer that Lexington has been mistreated is, it's a little bit of a slap in the face, and I wish they would stop that talk.  It's not helping them.  It's not helping their situation," said Senator Thayer.

For Lexington to get state money, Thayer says Gray needs to be fully transparent.  Gray says the project is good to go.  It just needs the state's money.

"It's a solid financing plan, because the University is involved in such a meaningful way," said Gray. 

Lexington Center Board Chair Brent Rice says the financial plan includes a 30-year lease agreement with UK. 

Senator Thayer says reading a signed lease would help loosen the state's purse strings.

A spokesperson for UK says administrators are anxious to talk with the city about what comes next.

Brent Rice says he's not sure what that is.  The Lexington Center Board meets Thursday to figure it out.

In the meantime, Mayor Gray says time is money, and the longer the project is delayed, the more expensive it could become.
1 Comment(s)
Comments: Show | Hide

Here are the most recent story comments.View All

rbanta710 - 4/16/2014 5:40 PM
0 Votes
It's a pretty wrap with glass but it only serves the ones who are already being served.
Most Popular
Investigation into Campbellsville University Power Lines Begins
Kentucky Utilities and several agencies are launching investigations into how and why Thursday's ALS challenge went horribly wrong at Campbellsville University. Video Video
KY Republicans & Democrats Call for Investigations Against Grimes & McConnell
On Friday, Kentucky's Republican and Democratic Parties called for investigations into perceived violations made by U.S. Senate candidates Alison Grimes and Mitch McConnell.
UPDATE: New Details On Accident During Ice Bucket Challenge
A statement released by the Campbellsville Police Department detailed what went wrong during Thursday morning's "Cold Water Plunge" at Campbellsville University. Video Video
Officer In The Right Place At The Right Time
An officer doing a routine check at Thorntons helped catch a strong-arm robbery suspect on Thursday. Video Video
A Lexington Neighborhood Celebrates
Some people in a Lexington neighborhood have been fighting all summer to keep the Greyhound bus station from moving into their neighborhood. Friday, neighbors said they won the battle. Video Video
Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital. supports children's privacy rights. All persons under the age of 13 MUST have parental permission to use this website and direct parental supervision is strongly recommended.