Rupp Arena expansion continues despite Central Bank Center budget woes


The view of the Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center expansion from High Street

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, concerts, conventions, and sporting events have been put on hold or canceled, leading to huge budget shortfalls for venues worldwide. One of those venues is one we all know very well, Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center.

Rupp and the adjacent convention center are currently in the middle of a $275 million expansion to add more exhibit hall space, premium club areas for alcohol sales at Kentucky Basketball games, a new lobby, and a new glass and metal exterior for Rupp. According to the Herald-Leader, the Central Bank Center has been forced to furlough over 100 full- and part-time employees because of the pandemic and is working to find a way to make debt payments on bonds that total $218 million; however, the work at Rupp continues.

In fact, Bill Owen, president and CEO of Central Bank Center, said that since there are no events happening, construction crews are actually ahead of schedule, with a possible completion date of late 2021. Where the Central Bank Center will get the money remains to be seen, but for now, stopping is not an option since the contracts have already been signed.

It’s probably been a while since you’ve been by Rupp, so here are some pictures of the expansion taken this afternoon by our intrepid reporter Zack Geoghegan. These are taken from High Street heading away from the Hyatt.

For more on the Central Bank Center’s budget woes, click the link below.


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