It’s not a question of if whether changes will come to Lexington’s Rupp Arena, but it’s a question of when. Rupp, which is the basketball home of the University of Kentucky Wildcats, was discussed today by state lawmakers. Lexington Mayor Jim Gray told them his city may ask the state to help finance a Rupp Arena project. “What we’re doing is examining our financial options now and that will be part of the financing options that are considered..what would be the sources…how would we encourage funding and support..from private sector and the public sector,” said Gray.
Such a funding request could come when the general assembly reconvenes this winter, but, Gray says no decision has been made. Senate Local Government Committee Chair Damon Thayer says, right now, the state would have a hard time providing financial assistance.
“At this time I don’t see any public money coming from the state for that projects or very many projects…because of the situation we’re in with the state of the economy,” said Thayer.
In the house, Local Government Committee Chair Steve Riggs says he would be open to a discussion in 20-12 on Rupp funding. Riggs adds college athletics generate a lot of money for the Commonwealth. Another yet to be decided matter is whether to renovate or build new at Rupp in downtown Lexington.