A new Rupp Arena is on its way, Governor Steve Beshear says

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The plan floated for years before the city and Governor Steve Beshear unveiled a newly-designed Rupp Arena during a meeting Monday afternoon in downtown Lexington.

Rupp Arena, home of the University of Kentucky (UK) Wildcats, would become a free-standing structure under the plan, as reported by ABC affiliate, WTVQ .

The exterior walls will be glass, and the upstairs bleachers would gain seat backs. The new design called for Wi-Fi throughout the building, as well as a new scoreboard above center court. 

The new Rupp Arena has a price tag of $310 million, WTVQ reported, but the source of the money remains unknown.

Steve Beshear said at Monday's meeting that the state would pay $65 million of the estimate. The rest of that cost -- he wasn't sure. He told those who attended the meeting that he was confident the new Rupp Arena would be built.

UK administrators have not yet publicly endorsed the project.

UK's lease with Rupp Arena expires in 2018, but Lexington Center Board Chair Brent Rice said they're negotiating a new term. He said there was a lot of work still to do.

DeWayne Peevy, UK Deputy Director of Athletics said, "It won't happen without us."

He told WTVQ that the Wildcats want to be a part of the project, rather than just a tenant who rents from Rupp. He said the Athletic Department would take a bigger look at the redesign if they it was more involved, and that negotiations would be better held with a set value.

"When we sign the papers, we'll be proudly up on that stage and telling everybody that we're a partner with Rupp Arena and Lexington," Peevy said.

Rupp Arena will celebrate its 40th birthday on June 21. The city hopes to open doors to a new Rupp Arena in fall 2017.

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