College Facility Notes: Renderings For Renovated Rupp Arena Unveiled
In Lexington, Beverly Fortune wrote Mayor Jim Gray “unveiled a conceptual drawing Tuesday that showed the inside of a renovated Rupp Arena with an eight-sided scoreboard over the center of the basketball floor and a reconfigured lower level with more seats.” Gray at the annual State of the Merged Government speech said that “the lower arena seating capacity would increase by 800 to 1,000 seats.” The upper level would be “rebuilt with all chair-back seats,” and premium seating “would be added.” Other features would include “enlarged concourses, additional restrooms and a lobby entrance off Triangle Park.” The design was proposed by Gary Bates, “the arena, arts and entertainment district's master planner.” Gray said, “This is a big project. Don't think you can snap your fingers and it will happen overnight. We are at step three of a 10-step process” (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER, 1/25).
HOME AWAY FROM HOME: In San Antonio, Brent Zwerneman writes rumors “have festered that Texas A&M might play a season away from Kyle Field -- likely at Houston's Reliant Stadium -- while the Aggies' home of more than 100 years undergoes a big-time renovation.” Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin said, “Forgoing a season at Kyle Field has a huge impact economically on Texas A&M and you. We're in this together.” Loftin “stopped short of ruling out the Aggies playing away from Kyle for a season, however, because all renovation options are still open.” Texas A&M AD Bill Byrne said playing away from Kyle for a season is “way, way down” the list of options (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 1/26).
OVER BUDGET: In Michigan, Brandon Howell reported planned upgrades to Spartan Stadium's scoreboards and sound system “will cost more than Michigan State University officials originally estimated.” The $10M project proposal “goes before the MSU Board of Trustees at its regular meeting Friday for approval.” The board in December “authorized university officials to begin planning for the project, which at that time sported" an $8M bill (MLIVE.com, 1/25). In Detroit, Kevin Bull noted MSU Tuesday “released artist renderings for the proposed new scoreboard and video screens and video fascia.” The new scoreboard “would be in the south end, and the two video screens and video fascia would be in the north.” The scoreboards “would be installed before games this fall” (FREEP.com, 1/24).