Listening the the talk show discussions on the Lexington air waves of late the topic of replacing Rupp Arena has been frequently addressed. The most often cited reasoning for keeping Rupp is the history that has occurred within its confines.
While there has been over three decades of UK history associated with Rupp Arena that history will not fail to exist should the Kentucky Wildcats exit Rupp for a more modern facility any more than the history in Memorial Coliseum has been wiped out by thirty plus years of play at Rupp Arena.
It is not the famous building that brought forth the historic moments, it was the historic moments that brought fame to the structure. When Tayshaun Prince was bombing away against North Carolina in a one man blitz earlier this decade it was Prince who made Rupp rock, and not Rupp that made Prince explode against the Heels.
The reality is that Rupp Arena is a product of the sterile 70's, when there was more emphasis on utilitarianism than on creating an ambiance conducive to the fans' enjoyment of the game.
That is no longer the case as architects seek to recreate facilities that have the ambiance of the older facilities, like a Memorial Coliseum, while at the same time including the amenities and financial means to generate income that is important in today's world of sports.
As an example one only need to look at an example of a newer facility that replaced a 70's facility in another sport that is near Lexington. When Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium was replaced with Great American Ballpark the history made by the Big Red Machine in the seventies did not disappear. What disappeared was the sterile facility that housed the Reds, being replaced by a facility that in many ways resembles the ball parks of yesteryear, but had modern amenities, better seating, and in general is a far superior facility.
Building a new facility to replace the aging Rupp Arena is the right move to make. The potential of an arena with the seating capacity of a Rupp Arena, but with the ambiance of Memorial Coliseum is, complete with all the modern amenities of the new generation arenas very possible, given today's engineering methods and the creativity of today's architects.
The history of the program, all the former players, the great teams that inhabited several arenas over the last several generations, and the many records set by players of the past are deserving of such a building in which future Wildcats can make tomorrow's history.
Rupp Arena in need of replacement
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