Fans excited about Rupp Arena proposal

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's all the talk in Big Blue Nation: A much improved Rupp Arena could be coming soon.

Tuesday the task force studying a possible Rupp renovation for the last 10 months offered it's final report.

Although some cat fans were hoping for a brand new arena, the renovation would keep the Rupp history while providing all the glitz fans have been craving.

But, for the time being it's only a plan.

In a matter of years watching a Kentucky game at Rupp Arena could look very different than it does now. You would probably feel better walking in through a glass and translucent exterior, you could catch replays on a giant 8 sided scoreboard or look over the court from one of the new luxury suites.

Even if your not in the lower arena like season ticket holder Cort Redmon, your seats would be much more comfortable. Redmon told WAVE 3 of his current seats, "We're on the second level and that's all bench seating right now and it's going to be moving to chair back which will be a lot nicer."

It's all part of the final proposal to transform the beloved arena and everything around it, including the Lexington Convention Center, Civic Center Shoppes and a catwalk connecting to the UK campus.

What's not to like? Maybe the price tag: an estimated 250 to 300 million dollars---150 million of that for the arena alone. To pull it off, the project would need local, state and private funding.

Sports Talk 84 host Lachlan McLean believes if the funding gets figured out UK fans can thank their in-state rivals for the state-of-the-art KFC Yum! Center.

"You hear from UK fans who are not going to sit with Louisville having the best arena in the state," McLean said, "They're big brother , how's little brother going to have a better arena than they do?" he joked.

Cat fans we talked to agree---ever since the Cards left Freedom Hall, their new home is continually praised when it hits national television.

Redmon said, " I don't think UK wanted to be second to U of L in anything and when they got their new arena and it really put the pressure on Lexington to go ahead and do something with Rupp Arena."

The task force claims the renovation won't keep the Cats from playing at home. They would work in the off season over 3 years ending by 2018.

Also Tuesday, UK's President Eli Capilouto re-stated his focus remains the revitalization of the campus core in classroom buildings and dorms.

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