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Rupp Arena Upgrades Set to Debut

Rupp Arena renovation rendering

The 2019-20 University of Kentucky basketball season will bring the debut of Rupp Arena upgrades, including new chair-back seating and revamped concession options.

A multi-phase renovation has been taking place at Rupp Arena, part of a larger $241 million Lexington Center convention facility improvement project. Early results of that renovation will be evident during the upcoming college basketball season, highlighted by new chair-back seating in portions of the arena’s upper level.

The blue chair-back seats will be located above each side line, replacing bleacher seating. In addition, improvements have been made to Rupp Arena’s food offerings, with hand-dip ice cream added to the concessions slate. More from the Lexington Herald-Leader:

“It means more comfort, more leg room,” Owen said of the 5,204 chair-back seats, which are above each sideline (sections 211-217 and 228-234). “It means cup holders. It means a much improved environment, and just speaks to our ability to stretch Rupp Arena’s life cycle.”

And there’s a new dessert. Ice cream! Or as Taylor Cook, the CEO of Taylor Bell’s Ice Cream, put it: “Real ice cream.”

The mention of hand-dip ice cream being available at Rupp Arena concession stands in the 2019-20 season came with an immediate clarification.

“We are not taking away soft serve (ice cream), which I heard is a very sensitive issue,” said Matt Moss, who heads Rupp’s new catering/concession service, Levy Restaurants. “We are only enhancing.”

Additional improvements on tap for future seasons, with new club rooms to debut in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 campaigns.

Rendering courtesy NBBJ.

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