Coal Lodge gives Cats another top facility

Funding for the Wildcat Coal Lodge is in place leaving the Kentucky basketball program one facility shy of having the best basketball facilities the top program all time deserves. Yes, the time to replace Rupp Arena has arrived, as the facility is in its fourth decade of use. A product of the unimaginative '70's, Rupp Arena was never what one would consider stylish, just big.

With the latest announcement that Joe Craft and some of his peers have pledged $7 million to construct a new dormitory to house men's basketball players and other students the University of Kentucky is one major facility away from having the finest basketball facilities in the land. A new arena to replace the now antiquated Rupp Arena.

While a segment of fans balk at the thought of replacing Rupp Arena, they really are doing so more to an emotional attachment to the team they associate with the arena than the structure itself.

Kentucky is deserving of a modern basketball facility, one in which their tradition can be incorporated into the design of their structure.

The Cincinnati Reds had a great tradition at Riverfront Stadium, but let's face it the Big Red Machine teams of the ‘70's are not thought of less because the Reds now play in Great American Ball Park; which is a far superior facility than anything constructed in the era when Riverfront Stadium and Rupp Arena were on the drawing boards.

There is much to gain by constructing a new facility. One could bring the fans closer to the court, ala the older facilities, yet have the amenities which make the new facilities appealing.

Many argue that a building the size of Rupp will have the same problems that Rupp has. Those making such arguments do not take into account the advancements in construction technologies that allow for better viewing from more seats, which are more comfortable, and the inclusion of luxury suites.

The ideal facility for the future home of the Kentucky Wildcats would offer the charm and warmth of Memorial Coliseum, and the seating capacity of Rupp. In today's world this is an achievement that can be accomplished.


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