Construction on $241 million upgrade to Rupp Arena and convention center to begin next month

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Rupp Arena is in the midst of a major renovation, and it now has a new name.

That name, Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center, was announced Thursday in Lexington.

Officials said Central Bank will pay $1.5 million for 14 years for the naming rights.

The news conference inside the arena lobby was attended by Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton, university and city officials, and family members of Adolph Rupp, the legendary for UK basketball coach.

"Moving forward, as we put the new facade on the arena, the Central Bank name, it's an infusion of money and support for this facility," said Adolph Rupp's Grandson, Chip Rupp. "It's just going to open up great things for us."

Rupp's grandson Chip feared that the Rupp name would be lost amid changes to the center, but UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart assured him that wouldn't happen.

"This is Rupp Arena. It's set apart from other all other places," he said. "There's other places that you hear the name of the place... this one's been here over 50 years. It can't change."

Cats fans seemed receptive to the slight change in branding. Many are just glad that "Rupp Arena" is still part of the name.

"If its getting some extra money to support the team, I'm all for it as long as the classic "Rupp Arena" is still there," UK student Tyler Hinz said.

The arena's $275 million renovation is expected to be complete in time for the 2021-22 basketball season.

Copyright 2020 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.