UK to play at Rupp Arena until 2033


Kentucky cheerleaders entertain the crowd during a timeout during the game against Georgia on Sunday, December 31, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 66 to 61. Photo by Olivia Beach | Staff

News Staff

UK has signed a new 15-year lease with Rupp Arena.

UK and The Lexington Center Corporation agreed to a new lease Thursday, UK announced via press release.

The men’s basketball team is guaranteed to call Rupp home through the 2033 season. The arena will also continue to be utilized for Big Blue Madness, Blue/White Games, some women’s basketball games and winter and spring commencements. 

“When UK and Lexington work together we move ahead, and today’s agreement is a big step ahead for our City,” said Lexington Mayor Jim Gray in the release. “The Big Blue Nation will have a state-of-the-art home in a building that represents the greatest tradition in college basketball.”

UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said UK is excited about the continued lease.

“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,” he said. 

Per the lease agreement, UK will annually pay the Lexington Center $1.9 million, and the Center will convert “some number of seats in the upper arena to chair backs.”

Clubs and club spaces will be constructed in the arena for use during games. UK will receive the revenue from those clubs.