I have been one of the proponents of either making major changes to Rupp, or moving out, and now someone may have finally come up with the answer that not only renovates Rupp, it changes the game completely.
When Rupp was built in the 70's, it was everything that we could have hoped for. Modern, sleek, HUGE, easily accessable, and best of all, OURS. At its onset, Rupp became THE home of college basketball. There were no comparable facilities. But, as with everything, the ravages of time have taken away some of the luster, the polish, the innovations that were once state of the art. Rupp got some patching and plastering over the years, but today's Rupp is by and large exactly what it was at it's birth. And that was one of the reasons that moving from our sacred home was disturbing to me, but I want our fans and players to have the best of the best, so if moving from Rupp gave us that, then hey, pack the suitcases and get the moving vans ready. But now, if the man is true to his word, as it was quoted in the story, we might get to "have our cake and eat it too".
Remember these two names, Gary Bates, and Space Group. They may very well become the saviors of a UK Tradition and the greatest facility in all of college basketball all at once.
You see, Bates thinks that if we move the Convention Center out, we get to move all of the amenities that everyone wants to see at Rupp, in. I have to confess, the thought of moving the Convention Center never occurred to me. But that is why I am not one of three owners in Space Group. Lexington's Convention Center has always been considered a secondary facility to Rupp. It is not extremely large, and although it is functional, it is not a premier facility itself, which it should be. And placing the Convention Center in it's current location, which seemed like a good idea at the time, has actually prevented Rupp from receiving the treatment it deserves over time, and keeping it in it's lofty status.
Removing the Lexington Center gives Lexington the best of both worlds. A new facility for the Lexington Center, and a brand new "old" Rupp. Imagine the possibilities that opens up? I am already salivating at the mere thoughts of what this could mean. If they can do this, keep the parts of Rupp that we all have come to know and love, and still make it everything that some of these new arenas are touting themselves to be? We can continue to have the very best of what college basketball arenas have to offer. And we can do it our own way.
I do know this, if it gets the job done without losing Rupp, we all need to become astronauts and get on board with this. I may be able to take up Space after all.