Rupp facelift cheaper
Posted: Thursday, December 1, 2011 7:03 pm
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Renovating Rupp Arena would cost less than half as much as demolishing the University of Kentucky basketball venue and building another one, a feasibility study shows.
The report to the Lexington Arena, Arts & Entertainment Task Force concludes the city could overhaul the downtown arena for $110 million to $130 million. That would compare with between $300 million and $325 million to replace it.
The authors of the study made no recommendation, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said having the report in hand is a big piece of the puzzle as the city decides its course in improving the arena.
Gray said consultant Gary Bates is expected to make a recommendation to the task force in January after compiling technical data.
The technical information shows that it is “very possible to retain the awesome energy of Rupp Arena while actually getting far more for our city than a new arena,” he said.
UK has been playing basketball games at the city-owned arena since it opened in 1976.
“We needed to answer the important question of what is possible, both in terms of new construction and renovation. That’s what this study has done,” Brent Rice, chairman of the Arena, Arts & Entertainment Task Force, said in an email Tuesday to task force members.
The success of the arena is important for other events in the city, such as concerts and high school basketball tournaments.
Published in The Messenger 12.1.11