The Kentucky Wildcats have one of the proudest traditions in all of sports in their basketball team. With 2,111 all-time wins, UK is the winningest program in the history of college basketball, according to CoachCal.com.
Needless to say, the best program in college basketball deserves one of the best arenas there is and Rupp Arena is certainly in need of some renovations.
On Monday, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray unveiled designs for a $310 million renovation and redesign of Rupp Arena and the building of a new convention center next to it, according to Beth Musgrave of Kentucky.com.
The report also states that construction for the redesigned arena and new convention center could begin in 2015 and then open in the summer of 2017. During the process, Rupp would remain open.
With the football program getting new renovations to Commonwealth Stadium and a new $45 million training facility, it was only a matter of time before the basketball team got renovations done to its arena. Per Musgrave's report, here are some of the highlights of the planned renovations:
- A new row of luxury seats.
- The upper bowl will have chair-backed seats, better lighting and its own concourse for food and bathrooms.
- The number of wheelchair-accessible seats is likely to double.
- Premium seating between the upper and lower bowls that includes as many as luxury boxes.
- A beautiful redesigned exterior that allows people from outside of Rupp Arena to gaze into the inside of it:
First images of plans to upgrade Rupp Arena are in pic.twitter.com/4Id2ml14Bu— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) February 10, 2014
Here is a video of the new Rupp Arena:
This has been in the works for some time now, but there was a delay in the process after there was debate over whether to build a new arena or just renovate the current one.
UK head coach John Calipari was on the side of those who wanted to build a new arena, according to WHAS.com, but it appears his opinion was not enough to sway the decision to just go ahead and renovate Rupp Arena.
The best college basketball program deserves one of the best arenas possible and based on the initial plans, it appears Kentucky will be getting just that in the future.