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Rupp Arena and UK Basketball sign new 15-year lease agreement

UK won’t be leaving Rupp Arena anytime soon.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky Midnight Madness Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats will be playing basketball games in Rupp Arena for the foreseeable future.

On Thursday, it was announced that the Lexington Center has announced a new 15-year agreement with UK that will keep men’s basketball home games at Rupp Arena through 2033.

The current lease with the Lexington Center was set to expire at the end of the 2018 season.

“We are excited that Rupp Arena will be the home of the Wildcats for another 15 years. It already has been the home of so much history and shared pride for our University and our community,” said UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said in a press release. “We are gratified by the commitment the Lexington Center has made to continuing to improve the fan experience through upgrades to technology and other amenities. With this agreement signed, we look forward to taking the next proud step in a long tradition of excellence that has defined our basketball program and this historic venue.”

It’s unclear is this new deal will include more major upgrades for Rupp, but one has to think those will be coming. It may not be the massive upgrades originally planned back in 2014, but you can expect Rupp to remain one of the best arenas in college basketball.

Details of the agreement include:

  • UK will use Rupp Arena for men’s basketball games and select other events through 2033.
  • The university will control multi-media rights and the sale of souvenirs during games. UK will also have responsibility for marketing complex naming.
  • LCC will receive a yearly lease payment from UK Athletics of $1.9 million for 28 events.
  • UK will receive revenues from the creation of four clubs and club spaces within the arena for use during games. The clubs will be constructed along with the new convention center project.
  • LCC will convert some number of seats in the upper arena to chair backs.