Lexington mayor suspends Rupp Arena renovation - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Lexington mayor suspends Rupp Arena renovation

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP and WDRB) -- Lexington, Ky., Mayor Jim Gray has suspended efforts to renovate the home of the University of Kentucky men's basketball team.

The proposed $351 million project to renovate Rupp Arena and build a new convention center in downtown Lexington has languished for some time.

Gray said Wednesday he suspended work on the project after UK withdrew its support for a proposed annual $10.7 million lease on Rupp, beginning in 2018. Gray said officials had designed the proposed renovation based on what the university said it needed.

Gov. Steve Beshear said he still thinks the original project is what Lexington and the university need. The governor said he hopes UK will eventually be ready to move forward with the project.

UK spokesman Jay Blanton said the university did not have any immediate comment.

Gray send Twitter messages with the decision late Wednesday afternoon.

"Following meetings with UK, the @Rupp District project to reinvent Rupp Arena and build a new convention center is suspended," Gray's messages said.

"We designed the arena based on what UK said they needed, but UK has changed its mind about the proposed lease. While I'm disappointed we can't move forward with the project right now, the city is poised with solid plan that creates jobs, economic development. I've learned after 850+ projects in my construction career never to fall in love with a project. When the time is ready, the plan is ready," Gray's Twitter messages said.

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