Kentucky has had plans to make Rupp Arena a spectacle for the last few years, and those renovations are now more concrete, as UK has announced that chair-back seating is coming to the upper levels and there will be new club areas starting in the 2019-20 season.
According to UK’s release, the capacity of Rupp Arena will decrease to 20,500. Four club sections will fit around 3,000 to 4,000 total, according to Kentucky Sports Radio.
“Rupp Arena has long been hallowed ground, home to the greatest tradition in college basketball and the best fans in the world,” athletics director Mitch Barnhart said in a press release. “We are in the midst of an effort to make one of the most special venues in all of sports even better with chair-back seating in the upper level and new club areas, answering feedback we have heard often from our fans. We are excited share preliminary details about these upgrades and look forward to providing more information as we move forward.”
The new club areas will not have a view of the court. They’re intended to offer first-class amenities before and after games. Membership to the clubs—which will initially be offered to season-ticket holders based on K Fund ranking—does not include a ticketed seat.
As for the chair-back seating, those seats will be installed in the upper-level sideline sections of 211-217 and 228-234.
This project won’t affect anyone with season tickets in the lower level, and isn’t expected to cause anyone to lose their season tickets. These renovations are apart of Kentucky’s ongoing effort to upgrade Rupp Arena, which started with the new scoreboard and ribbon screens two years ago.
Two clubs will be open for the 2019-20 season, and the other two will be open the following season. Chair-back construction will begin after the upcoming season.
You can check out (and get answers to) frequently asked questions on Kentucky’s website here.