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Kentucky's Rupp Arena is getting a facelift, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray announced on Wednesday.
The iconic, 23,500 seat basketball arena will get expanded concourses, a completely revitalized bowl with chair-back seats, a new hospitality level with premium suite seating, a new center-hung scoreboard and a host of other amenities. Architecture firm NBBJ, in collaboration with Lexington-based EOP will design the project.
NBBJ is no stranger to arena renovations as they recently completed improvements to UCLA's Pauley Pavilion, another classic college basketball venue.
Also included in the Kentucky project is Rupp Arena's detachment from the Lexington Convention Center. The downtown convention center will also be renovated and expanded.
"The reimagining of Rupp Arena and the Lexington Convention Center must be approached as one project," NBBJ partner Robert Mankin says. "Together they will become the commercial, sports and entertainment destination that transforms Lexington.
The capacity of Rupp Arena is expected to remain the same. The design concept is expected to be completed in the next four months with groundbreaking coming in the fall of 2014.
Rupp Arena, named after legendary Kentucky men's basketball coach Adolph Rupp, has been home to Kentucky basketball for 40 years.
A rendering of the concourse of the renovated Rupp Arena.