Lexington, Ky., Mayor Jim Gray on Tuesday said that four architectural firms are "vying to take the lead in designing a renovated Rupp Arena" for the Univ. of Kentucky. In Lexington, Beverly Fortune noted a selection committee appointed by the Lexington Center Corp. will "interview the firms in the next few weeks and make their recommendations" to the Lexington Center BOD. Gray said that the public will have an "opportunity to see the design proposals and ask questions of the architects." The four firms that "submitted bids to redesign Rupp Arena" are Space Group/AECOM/Omni, HKS/JRS, NBBJ/EOP and Populous/Sherman Carter Barnhart (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER, 6/5).
BIRDHOUSE IN YOUR SOUL: In Atlanta, Tim Tucker notes the SEC is "operating under the assumption" that its football conference championship game will "shift into the proposed new Falcons stadium" in '17 after playing it in the Georgia Dome since '94. The SEC’s contract with the Georgia Dome, "most recently extended in February 2011, runs through the 2017 game." The contract states that the game can be "shifted into a stadium built to replace the Dome" if the SEC "finds the new facility acceptable." Meanwhile, the SEC and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority have had "discussions about extending the contract" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 6/6).
HORSE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR: In L.A., Jim Peltz reports Santa Anita Park execs are weighing the option of night racing "because the track has landed additional horse-racing dates next year." Santa Anita Publicity Dir Mike Willman said installing lights at the park is "definitely a topic of discussion." Santa Anita also is "looking at having its daily racing card start later in the afternoon next year during May, June and July to see whether that step alone" would address the track's problem with heat (L.A. TIMES, 6/6).
DESERT OASIS: In Arizona, Joe Ferguson reports the Pima County Board of Supervisors has "given the green light for the county economic development staff to investigate leasing 400 acres south of the Pima County Fairgrounds for open-wheel racing, and finding someone willing to build a track." The staff will spend the next three weeks "drafting a plan for a long-term lease for the site, allowing a third party to build a several-mile-long track to be used for Formula One races as well as other kinds of open-wheel racing circuits" (ARIZONA DAILY STAR, 6/6).