Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center
Adolph Rupp was synonymous with winning. As coach of Kentucky, he was a pioneer in the Wildcats’ fast-break offense while becoming the winningest coach the game had ever seen.
The site that now serves as a tribute to his outstanding coaching accomplishments – Rupp Arena – has become one of the most recognizable gymnasiums in the world while serving as home to college basketball’s most storied program.
Having completed its 45th season as the Kentucky Wildcats’ home court in 2020-21, the facility has seen UK win nearly 90% of its home games since it opened in 1976.
Long considered the mecca of college basketball, Rupp Arena received a $16 million upgrade over the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons that has enhanced the fan experience and once again made it one of the premier venues in all of college basketball. The most notable updates include:
- State-of-the-art Daktronics center-hung video board
- 15mm ribbon boards
- Replaced 16mm LED corner video boards with 6mm LED video boards to produce HD quality image
- L Acoustic Line Array audio speaker system
- Total sanding and repainting of the floor to reflect UK’s updated branding and logo
- New basketball goals and new shot clocks
- Added press box seating to the east side of the arena
- Replaced LED scorer’s table with 6mm version and moved the old 10mm scorer’s table to the opposite side of the floor for radio broadcast seating
- Replaced static ad panels in lower four corners of the arena with LED ad panels
Additional renovations are in store for college basketball’s premier arena as a part of UK’s new leasing agreement with the Lexington Center. Chair-back seating in the upper-level sideline was installed in sections 211-217 and 228-234 for the 2019-20 season. Club areas were available to season ticket holders starting with the 2020-21 season.
After renovations, Rupp Arena seats 20,500.
Rupp Arena Facts
Packed to the Rafters
Following the 2012 season, the Wildcats received a $3.1 million renovation to their locker room. Funded with private donations, the facility features the actual floor from the 2012 championship game. It has its own kitchen and dining area, as well as hot and cold tubs inlaid with the UK logo. There is also a recruiting room that is available to all 22 sports at the University of Kentucky.
Since the fall of 1976, the arena in downtown Lexington has served as home to four national championship teams at Kentucky. Six others have advanced to the Final Four. Thirteen seasons have witnessed the Cats go unbeaten at home.
It has played host to more than 600 UK games, more than 30 KHSAA Sweet Sixteens, a number of NBA exhibitions, 12 Men’s NCAA Tournaments, three Southeastern Conference Tournaments and two Ohio Valley Conference Tournaments.
A new floor was installed in 2001. With so many unforgettable moments, the old floor still maintained a value to hoop fans across the Bluegrass and beyond. Therefore, officials made pieces of the relic available for public sale, with proceeds going to the UK Basketball Museum, the KHSAA and to help offset the costs of the new playing floor. Thanks to an auction of additional sections, like coaching boxes and lettered end zones, the old floor generated more than $250,000. Midcourt of the old floor rests in the main entrance of the Lexington Center.
When assembled, the court lies 118 feet below the ceiling and is made of a high-grade northern maple. The floor can be removed and an ice rink can be constructed for ice shows or hockey games thanks to a $2.5 million renovation during the summer of 1996.
But the playing surface is just one aspect of the impressive home of the Cats. Situated in downtown Lexington, Rupp Arena has played host to several premier basketball events. In March of 1985, all roads led to Lexington for the NCAA Final Four as Villanova shocked Georgetown in a memorable finale.
In 1986, Rupp played host to both the SEC Tournament and the NCAA Women’s Final Four. On numerous other occasions, the arena has served as one stop en route to the NCAA title game. Starting in 2016, Rupp Arena hosted three straight NCAA women’s regional rounds.
An awesome structure in sight and scope, the arena is divided into two seating areas. The lower level features 10,000 cushioned theater seats. The upper level has 10,500 seats with new chairback seats in sections 211-217 and 228-234. The latter can be visually isolated to provide more natural setting for small shows.
Built by the city of Lexington, the arena is the major portion of the $53 million Lexington Center complex, which includes an expanded convention-exhibition hall, a 50-store tri-level enclosed shopping mall and a Hyatt Regency Hotel.
In January 2001, the Wildcats began utilizing a new lights-out introduction, featuring a video presentation and indoor fireworks.
An awesome structure in sight and scope, the arena is divided into two seating areas. The lower level features 10,000 cushioned theater seats. The upper level has 10,500 seats with new chairback seats in sections 211-217 and 228-234.
More than 10,000 convenient parking spaces are available within a 10-minute walk of Rupp Arena. In addition, all surrounding parking lots and parking garages offer spaces for individuals with disabilities. For more information about parking offered by Rupp Arena, visit their website. For more information about nearby street parking and garages offered by LexPark, visit their downtown parking map.
430 West Vine Street
Lexington, KY 40507
From I-75 Northbound
Take Exit 104, turn left. Proceed into downtown Lexington on U.S. 25/421 which becomes Main Street. Once it becomes one-way, turn left on Rose Street. Take Rose Street four blocks to Euclid Avenue. Turn right and Memorial Coliseum is on right.
From I-75 Southbound/I-64 Eastbound
Take Exit 113, turn right. Proceed downtown on North Broadway/U.S. 27/68. Travel past Main Street three blocks and turn left on Maxwell Street. Proceed through four lights and one block past Samaritan Hospital, turn right on Lexington Avenue. Memorial Coliseum is on the left.
From I-64 Westbound
Once it merges with I-75 North, take Exit 113 and turn right. Proceed downtown on North Broadway/U.S. 27/68. Travel past Main Street three blocks and turn left on Maxwell Street. Proceed through four lights and one block past Samaritan Hospital, turn right on Lexington Avenue. Memorial Coliseum is on the left.
From Bluegrass Parkway
Follow the BG Parkway until it merges with U.S. 60 and proceed east into downtown Lexington. Once it becomes one way, it changes into Maxwell Street. Proceed past South Broadway through four more lights. One block past Samaritan Hospital, turn right on Lexington Avenue. Memorial Coliseum is on the left.