One of the biggest arenas in North America has made progress in its movement toward a makeover. On Saturday, a Lexington planning commission approved the preliminary plans of a redesign for the 35-year-old Rupp, replacing the building's concrete walls with a fusion of treated glass and steel.
Architecture firm SpaceGroup from Olso, Norway came up with the Lexington Center redesign, which will now go to the financing committee to identify funding.
Ariel view renderings for the Lexington Center, home to Rupp Arena
The plans also call for a campus-style arts and entertainment district, a trend that's been popularized at L.A. Live and, soon, XFinity Live in Philadephia. The Lexington project will have a greenspace-feel and include an amphitheater and retail mall.
Also on the agenda is an upgrade to the city's 130,000-sq.-ft. convention center. John Kaatz, a partner in Conventions, Sports & Leisure International is helping the city look at a plan to expand its convention center to keep the city more competitive. Renovating the Rupp could cost $110 to $130 million, while an expanded convention center is being priced at $70 million.