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SBD/February 11, 2014/Facilities
Designs For Rupp Arena Renovation Unveiled, But Financing Still A Question
Published February 11, 2014
WORK TO DO: In Kentucky, Mark Story writes, "If we've learned anything from our friends in Louisville and the messy KFC Yum Center finances, it is that the devil is in the financing when it comes to arena projects." Story: "I'll tell you when I will get excited. When city officials release a detailed financing plan to indicate how the $310 million price tag will be paid for on a project that will also build a new convention center and do other downtown enhancements." Three "powerful Kentucky figures" in Gov. Steve Beshear, Gray and Lexington Center Corp. BOD Chair Brent Rice have "too much credibility invested in this project now not to make it happen.” Still, until there is a “financing plan in place, there's no real way to gauge whether the current proposals are sound.” Meanwhile, Rice said that “even if naming rights are sold to help pay for the reinvented arena, Adolph Rupp's surname would remain part of the venue's name” (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER, 2/11). In Louisville, Kyle Tucker writes the “next news conference -- the one where school and athletic department leaders would celebrate signing a new lease with the city of Lexington, thereby securing a sizeable portion of the required revenue -- is most important.” Yesterday’s unveiling was “just the next step in a major project that is far from finalized.” Gray said his vision is “roughly halfway” to coming alive (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 2/11).