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What's the cost of reinventing Rupp Arena?

By: Andy Cunningham Email
By: Andy Cunningham Email

To reinvent Rupp Arena, a task force says the best way is to renovate it.

As 27 NEWSFIRST first showed you over the weekend, artist renderings show a dramatically different look for the 35 year old arena.

However, many people are wondering where the money for the changes will come from.

While nothing is set in stone yet, Lexington city officials say the money will likely come from both the public and private sectors. The work for Rupp Arena will be done in phases over several years.

"I am extremely excited about the vision that was laid out on Saturday and the potential that it has to transform our downtown," Arena Arts and Entertainment Task Force Project Manager Stan Harvey said.

Last week, the University of Kentucky announced it could not participate in seeking any money from the state.

UK President Eli Capilouto, Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart, and Men's Basketball Coach John Calipari all said UK needs to keep its focus on projects on campus, like building academic facilities and student housing.

"We are looking at a variety of public and private sources, including private development interest in capital, revenue that could be generated from concerts, from events, from seating from advertising in the arena and outside the arena, and we'll be looking at innovative public-private financing mechanisms," Harvey said of how the renovation would be paid for.

The next big milestone comes on January 31, when the task force presents its final plan and recommendations to the Urban County Council.

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