Rupp Arena Project Gets Bad Poll Numbers

by:Matt Jones05/18/14
209876-0-600 I love this rendering of the Rupp redesign in large part because it includes a guy in jean shorts for no explainable reason The Rupp Arena redesign project likely took a turn for the worse today as a Bluegrass Poll showed that 75% of the state's population think that the state should not spend $80 million on the project. The question was asked to 1700 residents of Kentucky over the past weekend and the results are certainly a hit to those supporting the project. Already those in the Kentucky Senate against the project are suggesting that the results showcase that their efforts to kill the project are supported by the state. However before we reach that as the obvious conclusion, I do think it is worth noting that the question asked was quite misleading and may have led to the results garnered. Here is the poll question as asked: Should state lawmakers provide $80 million in state funds to help renovate Rupp Arena and an attached convention center in Lexington? Or should the city of Lexington find some other way to finance the $351 million project? The question gives the responder two scenarios...either Rupp Arena is built with state money or the city finds another way to do it. However the question presents a false dichotomy and leaves out other possible answers. The assumption is that the project will be done and it can be done either with state money or who in that scenario would not say, "lets use something other than state money!" However that is not the reality...the reality is that if the state money isn't given, the whole project goes out the window. The question as presented gives the person answering the option of the project being built but without state money...however even the biggest supporters of the Rupp redesign admit that is unlikely. So the question allows for two options, one of which isn't on the table. PLUS, if you are against the project no matter where the money comes from (as some surely are), there is no way for you to register that opinion in the poll either. Thus to be honest, I don't think the poll is accurate in suggesting that 75% of the state is against state money on the Rupp project (as some headlines are suggesting). They are against it, if there is another option...but what if there isn't? That is why a better question would have been: For the Rupp Arena redesign project to take place in its current form, $80 million must be paid by the state of Kentucky. Do you support the state giving these dollars or do believe it should deny the request for the project? This question would give a better indication of the true support behind the Rupp Arena redesign. The question above is misleading and certainly had a role in the overwhelming results against the state money being utilized. Whether that role was minimal or significant is unclear, and won't be known for sure unless another poll is done. Either way, it isn't good news for those supporting the Rupp Arena redesign and showcases once again that the project is clearly on shaky ground.

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