Renovations are planned at Rupp Arena

Published 4:40 pm Saturday, May 26, 2018

LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) — Rupp Arena is downsizing in capacity but not in upgrades.

The school unveiled details on planned renovations to the structure, which will bring the total capacity down from 23,500 to 20,500 after chairback seating is added to the upper-level sideline in sections 211-217 and 228-234. Construction will begin after the 2018-19 season and is expected to be completed by the 2019-2020 campaign.

“Rupp Arena has long been hallowed ground, home to the greatest tradition in college basketball and the best fans in the world,” Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart said. “We are in the midst of an effort to make one of the most special venues in all of sports even better with chair-back seating in the upper level and new club areas, answering feedback we have heard often from our fans. We are excited to share preliminary details about these upgrades and look forward to providing more information as we move forward.”

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The newest additions also will include club sections, providing additional funds for the new lease agreement and the ongoing renovations to Rupp Arena. Two club areas will open in 2019-2020, while a third one is slated to be available for purchase the following season. Memberships will take K Fund priority and prices will be announced when finalized. A new seating selection process for season ticket holders in the upper level will begin prior to the 2019-2020 campaign.

“I think our fans are really going to enjoy these upgrades,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said in a tweet Friday. “Rupp Arena has long been the gold standard in college basketball and this is another step in making sure it stays that way. I may even make my way to the upper level and try out the new chair-backs.”

The first phase of renovations included a center scoreboard, ribbon boards, along with a new sound and lighting system.