Lexington Mayor Jim Gray has suspended the City’s efforts to reinvent Rupp Arena and build a new convention center. The city says it cancelled its plans because the University of Kentucky changed its mind about a new facility lease in 2018.
Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto are scheduled to meet later this week to discuss the Rupp Arena Project. The meeting this Thursday came at the request of Gray. Governor Steve Beshear supports the reinvention of Rupp and construction of a new convention center.
A letter from the University of Kentucky President to the Chair of the Lexington Center Corporation is causing new debate about Lexington's Rupp Arena project. Lexington Center Board Chair Brent Rice has been deeply involved in moving the Rupp/Convention Center project forward.
In the letter dated May 20th, UK President Eli Capilouto expresses significant concerns about how financing for the 350 million dollar project has been handled.
A state lawmaker from Lexington isn't surprised by poll results questioning the use of state funds to help reinvent Rupp Arena and build a new convention center. The survey showed only 18 percent of those questioned approved of spending state money on the 351 million dollar project.
Lexington Representative Jesse Crenshaw says it can be hard to sell long-term benefits. "People look at things and look at it from the standpoint of we have a number of needs that are pressing now, so we should spend anything for the future," said Crenshaw.
Designs released February 10, 2014 show the renovations of Rupp Arena and the Lexington Convention Center. This is a view of the renovated Rupp Arena from Triangle Park.
Credit nbbj+EOP NBBJ+EOP via Lexington Herald-Leader
Plans for the 310 million dollar Rupp Arena project were unveiled Monday. The "reinvention" of the 38-year-old facility will include construction of a new convention center. Funding for the massive Lexington development is still being finalized.
Governor Steve Beshear will join Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and other city and University of Kentucky officials in revealing plans for the re-design of Rupp Arena Monday afternoon.
Efforts to come up with a new design plan date back almost three years to March of 2011 when Mayor Gray announced the appointment of a Rupp Arena, Arts and Entertainment Task Force, a group of over 45 citizens. Gray asked the group to study Rupp Arena and the entire Lexington Center complex.