Photo by Keith Garrett
Kentucky Basketball

Rupp Arena gets a new name, kind of

January 17, 2020

Fear not, BBN, the Rupp Arena name isn't going anywhere. It is, however, getting an addition to its formal name. Rupp Arena will now be officially known as Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center. JMI Sports has inked a deal with Central Bank for the naming rights of Lexington Center.  The agreement is a massive, 14-year deal with an average annual investment of $4.1 Million. It will include a renovation/expansion of the convention center area.

The deal is a big deal for the city of Lexington, the University of Kentucky, and JMI Sports. According to Kyle Tucker on Twitter, UK has a 45% revenue-sharing agreement with JMI, which will allow them to benefit from the naming rights sale. Central Bank will be featured on the interior and exterior of the building, but the name Rupp Arena will remain intact. 

In a joint press conference with Mitch Barnhart and Chip Rupp (Adolph Rupp's grandson), Rupp conveyed his family's gratefulness to Central Bank for preserving the Rupp Arena name. Mitch Barnhart echoed the sentiment, saying that the Rupp Arena identity has a special place in the history of Kentucky and college basketball. "It was also essential to us that we preserve the name of this incredible venue out of respect for Coach Rupp, his accomplishment, and his family," Barnhart said. "We want to preserve and enhance the unmatched tradition of the building that bears his name. We look forward to playing at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center for years to come."

The Bottom Line - What does this mean for the average fan?
Honestly, not much. You can continue to call Rupp Arena, "Rupp Arena." There will be some slight upgrades to the exterior of Rupp Arena, and there will be four new hospitality suites installed. It means construction in the area until 2022 when the overall expansion and renovation is slated to be finished.

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Rupp Arena gets a new name, kind of

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