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Rupp Arena Gets $1.5 Million in Kentucky State Budget

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FRANKFORT—The budget Kentucky lawmakers approved this week will give 1.5 million dollars to a costly renovation of the University of Kentucky’s Rupp Arena.The money would be used to finance architects' and engineering fees and other planning costs for the $310 million project.Republican lawmakers got few answers from Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, who lobbied House and Senate leadership for $65 million for the project during marathon budget talks held in Frankfort over the weekend.“They will have a path forward, and it’ll be a fairly clear path," House Speaker Greg Stumbo said upon the conclusion of the 14-hour budget talks.  "And if they accomplish what the General Assembly would want them to do, then the path will be cleared for them.”

 

Gray said the project would create thousands of jobs in Lexington, and failing to provide the amount would “drive a stake through the heart of the project.”The funding will permit the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council to provide a matching $1.5 million for a $3 million planning phase.Details of the project remain scarce, as Gray and other officials remain under a verbal non-disclosure agreement with the university.