Task Force Studies Rupp Financing Options

After nearly a year of discussion, analysis, site visits and public forums, a committee appointed to make recommendations about the future of Lexington's Rupp Arena will have its final meeting Tuesday.
The Rupp Arena Arts and Entertainment District task force will receive a summary report from lead designer Gary Bates of the architecture firm Space Group.

"My perception is there is a genuine amount of excitement about what's been accomplished and the possibilities that have been revealed through this process. I imagine that there will be a lot of hope that these recommendations will be taken seriously," says task force project manager Stan Harvey.

The task force's planning committee voted in December to recommend renovating Rupp Arena and building a new convention center in downtown Lexington. But Harvey says the task force does not have a particular preference for how to pay for construction.

"I think you'll be hearing that there's a lot more study that's been recommended by the finance committee on a multitude of possible funding sources, each that need their own detailed discussion and further analysis."

In his proposed budget delivered to state lawmakers, Gov. Steve Beshear recommends issuing $3.5 million in bonds to start the Rupp project, which could cost up to $260 million.

A final report from the task force will be submitted to the Lexington Center Corporation Board, the Urban County Council, and the mayor.