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Thu January 9, 2014
Plans to Renovate Rupp Arena Unveiled
Los Angeles architect Robert Mankin led a public meeting at Lexington's Hyatt Regency Wednesday to discuss upgrades to Rupp Arena.
The plans are based on a survey of 8000 UK Basketball fans, and incorporate changes to the entire complex. Above all, Mankin says the focus is on how fans see basketball.
“It’s going to have more amenities, it’s going to be more exciting, it really is going to be the most unique fan experience in collegiate or professional athletics today," he said.
The changes are characterized as a way to “free” Rupp Arena from its historical confines. Fans applauded some changes, such as stadium-wide WiFi and replacing the upper level bench seating with chairs., Others, such as Hopkinsville resident Mike Foster, had specific doubts.
“Detaching the building from the Hyatt regency and the retail area gives me pause because I’ve become accustomed to that. It seems nice to be able to walk indoors in the winter in the cold weather from the hotel, the lobby, that‘s a pretty nice atmosphere unto itself, and then walking directly into the arena, and that would be eliminated in the new design," he said.
Mayor Jim Gray says the next step is to focus on the plans in detail, and hopes construction can begin in 2015.