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Rupp Arena renovation proposal discussed

The plans that were presented this morning wouldn't just change Rupp arena, they would change almost everything around it.

This morning's Commerce Lexington meeting took place on the floor of Rupp Arena. Members of the Arena, Arts and Entertainment Task Force have recommended renovating Rupp Arena and possibly building a new Convention Center.

The task force toured cities that have gone through similar changes, including Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio. They also studied Madison Square Garden because they say it is an example of how to do renovations while still keeping an arena open.

The new plan would make Town Branch creek a focal point. The plan would also have Rupp Arena as the center of an expanded downtown.

"You think a Cheesecake Factory would come here? A Hard Rock Cafe? Sure they would," said task force chairman Brent Rice.

To help fund the cost of the bonding needed for the $250 million dollar project, presenters said the naming rights for the district, buildings and even the new scoreboard in Rupp Arena could be sold.

The task force says if things move according to the plans that they propose the demolition and construction on the site would begin in 2014.


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