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Kentucky Basketball Extends Rupp Arena Lease

Kentucky Wildcats

The University of Kentucky‘s men’s basketball program will remain at Rupp Arena, as the school has agreed to a lease extension that runs until 2033. 

Kentucky’s current lease for Rupp Arena was to expire following the 2017-18 season, but the new 15-year agreement ensures that its men’s basketball program will remain there for years to come. Under the terms of an agreement with Lexington Center Corp. that was signed on Thursday, the facility will see upgrades in several areas.

As part of those improvements, Rupp Arena will receive new seating in the upper bowl while four clubs and club spaces will be added. More from the Lexington Herald-Leader:

Lexington Center has agreed to add four clubs and club spaces within the arena for UK’s use during games. The agency also agreed to switch the seating in the upper bowl from benches to chair-backed seats.

The new clubs and seats are part of a proposed renovation and expansion of the attached convention center. UK will pay Lexington Center the full $1.9 million once the four club areas are completed. It will only pay portions of the $1.9 million until the club areas are completed, likely by the end of the 2019-2020 season.

“Reaching an agreement keeping Rupp Arena home for Kentucky basketball for another 15 years is a milestone event for Lexington Center Corporation,” said Bill Owen, president and CEO of Lexington Center. “It is a compliment to the high level of event support provided by our facilities and its entire staff for the past 42 years. We are all looking forward to the next era of our partnership.”….

The agreement also gives UK control of all souvenir sales during the games and allows UK to secure and market naming rights for the entire complex.

Rupp Arena originally opened in 1976, and has hosted Kentucky men’s basketball throughout its history.

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