Rupp Arena set to host first Kentucky basketball game with strict COVID-19 protocols

Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 11:46 AM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Basketball games and concerts are still happening at Rupp Arena.

Governor Beshear says Rupp Arena has enough people to strictly enforce COVID-19 guidelines.

Rupp is set to host Kentucky’s first basketball game this week and two concerts next month.

Bill Owen, the president of the Central Bank Center, said it had been around eight months since they had an event at Rupp. He said they were looking forward to having people in the building, but he also said there would be a lot of changes for everyone involved.

Monday morning, we were allowed inside the doors of the Central Bank Center, to see the new steps put in place.

People coming to the UK games this week will have a different entrance than in previous years. They will also have their temperature taken as soon as they get inside.

From there it’s metal detectors, and then Tickets will only be accepted using a mobile ticket system.

Owen told us they’ll be running at 15% capacity, which is around 3000 people. Masks are required, and there will be spacing among the people inside.

Rupp Arena reopens as numbers in Kentucky are continuing to spike, and the governor has mandated no large groups.

In addition to several upcoming UK games, they’re also concerts planned at Rupp Arena on December 8 and December 11.

Owen said they’ve been working with the governor’s office, and this is a plan that has been in the works for months.

“We submitted a number of months ago a detailed re-opening plan through the governor’s office,” Owen said. “That address is everything from patron expectations and protocols to sanitization. And worked with that plan and it was approved to be part of the 15% that has been established.

Owen said as, for the construction going on at the Central Bank Center, the pandemic hasn’t changed any of those plans. They are still scheduled for everything to be completed in January 2022.

Owen said they are still working on the plan for concessions.

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