The metal siding around Rupp Arena is finally going away

by:Mrs. Tyler Thompson07/20/17

@MrsTylerKSR

Hate that ugly metal siding around Rupp Arena? Good news: it’s going away.

Today, plans were unveiled to renovate and expand the Lexington Convention Center, which includes some big changes to Rupp Arena. A new glass or transparent entrance to Rupp will be built, which will free it from the metal siding. From the Herald-Leader:

The 2014 designs included expanding the second tier of Rupp Arena and installing a new glass outer wall. Under the plans unveiled Thursday, the top of Rupp Arena would still be visible. The current metal siding would be removed and it would get a new exterior covering. The glass or transparent covering would only go up a little more than half way. The plan would still “free Rupp Arena” so people can see it from Main Street. Currently, Rupp is only visible from High Street.

In addition, the Lexington Center hopes to replace the benches in the upper bowl of Rupp with chair backs, which will require the removal of some seats at the very top. As was announced back in December, Rupp will get four new hospitality suites, one exclusively for UK’s use. The estimated cost of the entire project is $265 million and construction is set to begin in January, with an estimated completion date of December 2020. As has been discussed ad nauseam, the Lexington Center Corporation will sell naming rights to the convention center, but NOT to Rupp.

Rupp already looks like a new arena on the inside thanks to the new ribbon boards and center-hung scoreboard. Now, it sounds like the outside is finally catching up to the times. Hallelujah.

For more details, head on over to the Herald-Leader.

UPDATE: Here are renderings of the new Rupp Arena entrance.

Photo via EOP

Photo via EOP

And “The Gorge”:

Photo via EOP

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