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Ambitious Plans for $310 Million Upgrades to Rupp Arena Unveiled

Renovations to Rupp Arena were announced Monday, an estimated $310 million in upgrades that will include an entirely new facade and updated surroundings that Mayor Jim Gray described as a “freed” Rupp Arena. Inside the arena, chairback seats throughout the arena, wifi for fans and a new center-hung scoreboard inside Rupp highlight the project. The project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2017.Of the $310 million budget for the renovations, $65 million will come from state government, approved by the Kentucky General Assembly three weeks ago. The rest of the financing will come from a “detailed financial plan” that will include a long-term lease with UK, along with partnerships from the state legislature, the Urban County Council, the Kentucky High School Athletics Association, said Brent Rice, chair of the Lexington Center Board of Directors.International architecture firm NBBJ, which renovated UCLA’s Pauley Pavillion, and local firm EOP worked together to create the design, which Rice described as “locked in.”By James Pennington of KY Forward. Republic Bank is the sponsor of KY Forward's coverage of UK Athletics.Photos of the renderings:Video by Bullhorn Creative