Rupp Arena to undergo major facelift



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Rupp Arena and Lexington Center Image: NBBJ/EOP Architects

Rupp Arena and Lexington Center in Kentucky will undergo a $214-million facelift and the renovation work is scheduled to be completed by November 2021, according to local me dia reports.

The Lexington Center board has hired Messer Construction for the renovation job, Lexington Herald Leader reported.

The work on the convention center will commence from July in phases which will allow the use of half of it space throughout the construction. During the ongoing construction work, the arena will continue to host the University of Kentucky (UK) men’s basketball games as well as concerts and events.

The renovation of the arena will include a new exterior for the arena with a distinctive wedge-shaped front and new upper level seats. The designs were created by an international architecture firm NBBJ and local firm EOP Architects. In addition, new chair-back seating will be installed in the upper decks and new club areas with first-class amenities will be introduced, the UK Athletics website reported. Two of these clubs will be available for the season ticket holders for the 2019-20 season with a third one to follow in 2020-21. The arena will seat 20,500 after the renovation (venue construction).

The overall project includes demolition of Jefferson Street Bridge to expand the convention facility, with the Rupp Arena becoming a separate building and rest being used to increase the areas of the exhibit and ballroom space and the rest of the land will be developed into Town Branch Park. The renovation will also see a reduction of around 200 parking spaces.

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