Proposed Rupp Arena renovations stir up discussion once more

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) Supporters say it’d be an economic boom for Lexington but some Urban County Council Members say they don't know enough about the proposed $350-million renovation project for Rupp Arena to make a decision.

So now, they've come up with a list of questions they want Mayor Jim Gray to answer.

Before any renovations on Rupp Arena and the Lexington Convention Center can begin, the questions of how, when and how much will have to be answered.

“You’re looking at a project that’s upwards of 350 million dollars,” said Council Member Chuck Ellinger.

In order to ensure that the city, state and university are involved in the decision, the Budget and Finance Committee will hold a special meeting later this month to iron out whether or not the proposed renovations are realistic and financially responsible.

“One of the issues was the $35 million that they were looking at for fan support. That means there has to be 140,000 people writing a check for $300,” Ellinger explained.

Some of the questions the committee is also asking include: what will happen to the businesses inside the convention center while it's under construction? And is Lexington a big enough city to handle such an expensive renovation?

“In the back of our minds, we’re looking to Louisville and their Yum Center and how that’s not as successful as they had hoped.”

So to be successful, Elligner says everyone has to agree on a reasonable budget before any ground is broken.

The Lexington Mayor's Office plans to address the committee's questions at a Special Budget Meeting which will be held June 23rd at 6 p.m. in the Government Center.

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