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How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade?

Posted: 5/31/2014 8:43 PM

How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 


Just read a scathing article over on KSR talking about our lack of commitment (investment) in the renovation of venerable Rupp Arena and how it might be a liability to future mcbb success.  They brought up the YUM (in debt to their eyeballs) and UCLA, who is playing with their share of the extra 80 mil plus brought in by the PAC 12 Network.

It would be nice to upgrade Rupp, but I really don't see the "do or die" situation that Matt's site seems to be putting out there.  Thoughts?

Last edited 5/31/2014 8:54 PM by JCat32

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Posted: 5/31/2014 9:40 PM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 


I don't see it. I don't see any examples of a new arena directly helping any program to any measurable degree.
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Posted: 5/31/2014 9:49 PM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 


The fans and teams deserve it IMO.  The restrooms, concession areas and councourses are in dire need of an upgrade.  There should be chairbacks in the upper arena.  The arena needs a modern scoreboard and sound system. 

The city of Louisville may be offsetting some debt for the Yum Center, but Louisville is making money due to the luxury boxes.

The State and University should be able to get this renovation done. Is there any way to do Rupp first and then see what appetite is left for the convention center?

Facilities due matter to players and fans.  UK Football is selling the hell out of the renovated stadium and plans for the new practice facility.  Seems to be working with recruits.
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Posted: 5/31/2014 11:28 PM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 


Not necessary for UKBB success. If there was a correlation, how could Duke survive?
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Posted: 6/1/2014 2:10 AM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 


Rupp Arena would look really nice if upgraded soon, but its not a dire need. I can understand why some would argue Rupp could be in dire need of renovation when the money coming for suites could attract bigger events to Lexington. I do agree the chairback seats, concessions, modern scoreboard and rest rooms need renovated though.
Patrick Loney
AllWildcats.com Football Recruiting Writer
@PatrickLoney
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Posted: 6/1/2014 7:09 AM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 


It is stunning that after years of UK officials grumbling about Rupp Arena and pushing for a more modern, state-of-the-art facility, the President of the University sabotaged the project and flushed years of planning and millions of dollars already spent down the drain.

Why did that happen? Because Capilouto mistakenly thinks UK couldn't get what he wants if he has to compete with the City for bonding authority. You can't drive anywhere on the campus and not see new dormitories in various stages of completion and none of that had anything to do with what came from the recently completed legislative session.

Capilouto's stubborn insistence that UK can't publicly support the Rupp renovation is misguided and counter productive. There is no reason why this has to be an either/or proposition. After all the Rupp renovation is not an University of Kentucky project, it is a City of Lexington project. 

The Big Blue Nation always backs UK, but in this case we've got a fox in Capilouto guarding the hen house that is the basketball program.
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Posted: 6/1/2014 8:02 AM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 


The prez did not sabotage the project.
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Posted: 6/1/2014 10:24 AM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 


IMO the blame belongs to Jim Gray who wants to walk along a creek that will become his monument. Well just go west on Manchester and you can walk along Town Branch to your hearts content. Gray couldn't care less about Rupp except to use it to build his legacy.
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Posted: 6/2/2014 7:48 AM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 


JIm Gray cares one hell of a lot more about Rupp than Eli Capilouto does. Of course Capilouto sabotaged the project, and for what? His fear that UK might not get what it wanted in Frankfort. That's absurd, misguided, and counter productive. If the Rupp renovation was a UK project, I get that Capilouto had a different wish list, but this is a City of Lexington project and it just got torpedoed by Capilouto.
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Posted: 6/2/2014 8:43 AM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 


I don't think any.
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Posted: 6/2/2014 9:39 AM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 


Actually, Capilouto waited until things imploded in Frankfort until he brought forth his crititicisms about the looseness that "facts" of the UK agreement were being tossed around and abused. After watching Jim Host and Louisville leaders mislead the public about the plans and construction of the Yum Center, it is nice to see the UK president take a step back and force politicians to be honest about the process.
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Posted: 6/2/2014 11:16 AM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 


^^^^This
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Posted: 6/2/2014 6:09 PM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 


If UK was still at Memorial Coliseum, this might be an argument, but the idea that somehow playing in the biggest and most consistently-filled college basketball arena in the country will hamper the team's success is plum stupid.  

UK is missing out on a nice revenue stream from luxury boxes, but that's hardly a make or break item given the size and capacity of our program.

I'm not saying the fan experience could not conceivably be enhanced, but as there's not much recognition that the fan is also the one that's going to pay for the bulk of any enhancement. A new scoreboard would be nice, but hardly worth doubling my K-fund donation.   Chair backs might be nice, but not if they're based on the current inches-per-ass allotment, which would require me to figure some way to leave about half a cheek at home.
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Posted: 6/2/2014 8:13 PM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 


No effect......as long as we have Cal. Different story after he's gone, whether that's next year or 10 years away.

When the eagles are silent the parrots begin to jabber.  Churchill

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Posted: 6/3/2014 9:01 AM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 



Badinage wrote: Actually, Capilouto waited until things imploded in Frankfort until he brought forth his crititicisms about the looseness that "facts" of the UK agreement were being tossed around and abused. After watching Jim Host and Louisville leaders mislead the public about the plans and construction of the Yum Center, it is nice to see the UK president take a step back and force politicians to be honest about the process.
Wow, Badinage. What a load of crap.

Capilouto didn't bring forth his criticisms of the Rupp renovation project until he was smoked out into the open by the Brent Rice letter. Jim Gray and Governor Beshear were prohibited by the terms of the new UK lease agreement from disclosing to the legislature that UK would pay 10.7 million per year for 30 years as a lessee of a renovated Rupp Arena. It was that key piece of missing information that led the legislature to fail to grant the requested bonding authority. The one person in this whole process who is being disingenuous is Eli Capilouto. That step back you refer to will cost at least a one year delay in the renovation.
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Posted: 6/3/2014 9:54 AM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 


If you consider someone spreading misinformation as smoking him out, then I would agree.  The "load of crap" from those who were supposed to lead this on behalf of the city had become too much, even for a tennant that uses the space less than 30 times per year.  The project was not just a renovation of Rupp, but was a much bigger project that really does not impact UK much at all. 

One year delay in a renovation that would have been based upon bad information is a good thing, IMO.  I wish we had one year delay to see the crap being tossed our way by those who sold us the Yum Center.  Those promoting the project on behalf of Lexington were exaggerating and moving the ball, much like what happened in Louisville.  That is what got so many people suspecting a bad deal.  This is not a time for bad deals that makes sports fans happy for a short while until we see it will cost us much more than we were originally told.

That is a Rent-A-Center mentality.  Everyone wants something big and shiney.  Let's make sure we can afford it first.  We do not need snake-oil salesmen leading the way.  Give it to us straight. 

So, I think your criticism of the UK president is a load of crap. 

ajp40505 wrote:
Badinage wrote: Actually, Capilouto waited until things imploded in Frankfort until he brought forth his crititicisms about the looseness that "facts" of the UK agreement were being tossed around and abused. After watching Jim Host and Louisville leaders mislead the public about the plans and construction of the Yum Center, it is nice to see the UK president take a step back and force politicians to be honest about the process.
Wow, Badinage. What a load of crap.

Capilouto didn't bring forth his criticisms of the Rupp renovation project until he was smoked out into the open by the Brent Rice letter. Jim Gray and Governor Beshear were prohibited by the terms of the new UK lease agreement from disclosing to the legislature that UK would pay 10.7 million per year for 30 years as a lessee of a renovated Rupp Arena. It was that key piece of missing information that led the legislature to fail to grant the requested bonding authority. The one person in this whole process who is being disingenuous is Eli Capilouto. That step back you refer to will cost at least a one year delay in the renovation.

Last edited 6/3/2014 9:55 AM by Badinage

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Posted: 6/3/2014 10:17 AM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 


Ky's success depends ZERO on whatever happens or does not happen to Rupp. IMO, not a red cent of taxpayer money should be spent on a project that will not benefit the average Kentuckian...even the average Ky bball fan.

If the citizens of Lexington want to pay out of their pockets, fine. If they want to add a local tax on hotels, restaurants, whatever....let 'em do it. But I'd be opposed to state tax money being used to support this project.
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Posted: 6/3/2014 10:17 AM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 


Where does the line form for the 100,000 plus people to donate over $300 just because?
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Posted: 6/4/2014 1:11 AM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 



ram1958 wrote: Ky's success depends ZERO on whatever happens or does not happen to Rupp. IMO, not a red cent of taxpayer money should be spent on a project that will not benefit the average Kentuckian...even the average Ky bball fan.

If the citizens of Lexington want to pay out of their pockets, fine. If they want to add a local tax on hotels, restaurants, whatever....let 'em do it. But I'd be opposed to state tax money being used to support this project.
The public schools here in Fayette County are cutting positions, programs, equipment, etc., etc., left and right, so I tend to agree with you on this. IF someone wants to step up and privately fund it, OK. But we're not in a position right now where I think there should be a heavy tax burden or a lot of state money to make it happen. It's just uneccessary, given those circumstances. Maybe it should be revisited in 4-5 years.
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Posted: 6/4/2014 8:34 AM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 



ram1958 wrote:.................If the citizens of Lexington want to pay out of their pockets, fine. If they want to add a local tax on hotels, restaurants, whatever....let 'em do it. But I'd be opposed to state tax money being used to support this project.
State tax dollars?

The cost of the project is roughly $350 million. $80 million in state bonds, $40 million in city bonds, $35 million from the BBN fan base (that idea and the financial projections came from the UK Marketing Department by the way) and a $192 million loan. Fourteen revenue streams have been identified.  The Debt Service for the entire package is $15.3 million annually. Note that there are no tax dollars involved in the funding plan. Bonds issued to raise capitol is far different than money coming out of tax payers pockets.

Compare that with the $450 million cost of the YUM Center Project with $348 million in bonds alone. It's those bonds whose rating has been downgraded and why is that? Because of the absurd lease agreement that the Louisville Fair Board reached with UofL that is being investigated by the IRS.

The funding for the Rupp Renovation Project would not, in any way, prevent UK from receiving needed funding from the General Assembly for campus projects.





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Posted: 6/4/2014 8:37 AM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 


Apparently the move re: sporting facilities is "smaller is better".   If that is the case, let bball team  play in Memorial. UK keeps all the money.  As for ticket money...uk could triple the cost of better tickets in Memorial....there will always be people/businesses that will pay.  Small but still as good if not better than what Duke plays in.  Facility hasn't had a negative impact on them.

The average uk bball fan would have as much chance of attending a game/sit in a decent seat at Memorial as he ever will at Rupp.
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Posted: 6/4/2014 9:43 AM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 


UK said the brick sale idea would generate less than $10 million, not the $35 million it morphed into.  UK also committed more than $10 million/year as revenue.  UK does not need to help Lexington build a business district.  It is a tenant of Rupp about 25 times per year. 

UK need not, really, help renovate Rupp, except to commit a revenue stream for the time it uses the place.

The financing for this thing, when it was finally discussed, morphed repeatedly and was always a bit ambiguous.  Kentucky does not need a money pit built by people who cannot plan sufficiently to explain their project.  Taking a year or 3 off from this is a good idea.  Let's make sure the plan is sound so that taxpayers are not stuck with something that brings fame or bucks to a few at the expense of many (see Jim Host and Mayor Abramson and all involved with the Yum Debacle).

ajp40505 wrote:
ram1958 wrote:.................If the citizens of Lexington want to pay out of their pockets, fine. If they want to add a local tax on hotels, restaurants, whatever....let 'em do it. But I'd be opposed to state tax money being used to support this project.
State tax dollars?

The cost of the project is roughly $350 million. $80 million in state bonds, $40 million in city bonds, $35 million from the BBN fan base (that idea and the financial projections came from the UK Marketing Department by the way) and a $192 million loan. Fourteen revenue streams have been identified.  The Debt Service for the entire package is $15.3 million annually. Note that there are no tax dollars involved in the funding plan. Bonds issued to raise capitol is far different than money coming out of tax payers pockets.

Compare that with the $450 million cost of the YUM Center Project with $348 million in bonds alone. It's those bonds whose rating has been downgraded and why is that? Because of the absurd lease agreement that the Louisville Fair Board reached with UofL that is being investigated by the IRS.

The funding for the Rupp Renovation Project would not, in any way, prevent UK from receiving needed funding from the General Assembly for campus projects.





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Posted: 6/5/2014 8:56 AM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 



Badinage wrote: UK said the brick sale idea would generate less than $10 million, not the $35 million it morphed into.  UK also committed more than $10 million/year as revenue.  UK does not need to help Lexington build a business district.  It is a tenant of Rupp about 25 times per year. 

UK need not, really, help renovate Rupp, except to commit a revenue stream for the time it uses the place.

The financing for this thing, when it was finally discussed, morphed repeatedly and was always a bit ambiguous.  Kentucky does not need a money pit built by people who cannot plan sufficiently to explain their project.........
Correction Badinage - Capilouto said the brick sale would generate less than $10 million. The UK Marketing Department came up with the "Team Rupp" idea and it was their projection of $35 million that was used in the funding plan. Anything coming from "Team Rupp" is coming from the fan base, not UK.

The only thing that changed in the funding plan once the City went to the legislature for $65 million in bonding authority occurred because the General Assembly failed to pass the hotel tax Lexington was asking for. Why anyone would care that mostly out-of-state quests at hotels in Lexington would pay a tax of less than $2 for a bed tax is beyond me, but whatever. When the hotel tax failed the Governor suggested that the bonding authority be increased to $80 million. There is nothing ambiguous about that.

Let me repeat - $80 million in state bonds - $40 million in city bonds - a $192 million loan = $312 million

The construction cost of the Rupp Renovation and relocation of the Convention Center = $312 million

The debt service is $15.3 million. UK is the primary lessee and has agreed to pay $10.7 million annually for 30 years or 70% of the amount needed. Where does the additional $4.6 million come from? From 14 separate revenue streams - to name a few - corporate naming rights, concessions, parking, concerts, trade shows, additional lessee rental payments, etc.

The plan is solid and well thought out. There have been years of planning and millions already spent.

Without a doubt the YUM Center Project is a fiasco and that's because of the underhanded, backroom deal making that led to the sweetheart deal UofL got and it's that skunk of a deal that has put the City of Louisville citizens at risk. None of that nonsense is involved in the Rupp Renovation Project.
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Posted: 6/5/2014 9:21 AM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 


No. The city failed to timely present a financing plan and then, when the vaguely did, it was a moving ball. I think they assumed that because UK was ready to reinvest in a longterm contract that the Kentucky legislature would simply bite, regardless of how ambiguous the plan. Thankfully, they were wrong. This was not well-organized or thought through.

In short, those devising the plan and with the obligation of presenting A plan, failed.
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Posted: 6/5/2014 9:31 AM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 



Badinage wrote: No. The city failed to timely present a financing plan and then, when the vaguely did, it was a moving ball. I think they assumed that because UK was ready to reinvest in a long term contract that the Kentucky legislature would simply bite, regardless of how ambiguous the plan. Thankfully, they were wrong. This was not well-organized or thought through.

In short, those devising the plan and with the obligation of presenting A plan, failed.
Once again you are wrong. At Eli Capilouto's insistence Jim Gray was prohibited from disclosing to the legislature that there was a firm lease agreement in place with UK wherein UK as the lessee would pay $10.7 million annually for 30 years. That's only 70% of the revenue needed to meet the debt service of $15.3 million. It was that key piece of missing information that led the General Assembly to deny the bonding authority requested by the city. That's the vagueness that you refer to and it all came as a result of Capilouto's position.
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Posted: 6/5/2014 9:37 AM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 


He was not able to discuss the terms. Not that there was an agreement. EVERYONE KNEW there was an agreement.

Again, glad, as it appears are most Kentuckians, that this ill-conceived plan is on hold. The architectural aspect of it appeared sound. The rest? Not so much.

What do you propose was the motivation for Eli to tank this project, as you claim?
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Posted: 6/5/2014 9:38 AM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 


You also act like UK committing to 70% if the debt service is somehow not sufficient. Why should UK's commitment exceed that when the project included more than just renovating Rupp AND UK only uses Rupp less than 30 times per year?
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Posted: 6/5/2014 10:16 AM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 


The issue will always be working around the fact that a city the size of Lexington doesn't need a 23,500 seat arena for anything other than UK basketball.  But, UK basketball is the elephant in the room.

The city would be fine with a state of the art 15,000 seat arena, and the basketball ticket prices could be raised to make up the difference, but it's hard to take something back once it's given.

That said, Rupp is just fine the way it is IMO.
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Posted: 6/5/2014 3:47 PM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 



Badinage wrote:.....What do you propose was the motivation for Eli to tank this project, as you claim?
Glad you asked. On February 1st of this year in response to a report issued on the Rupp Renovation Project, Capilouto said the following in part:

"Our position has not changed," he said. "Our steadfast focus has been— and will continue to be — the revitalization of our campus core. We have concerns about anything that competes for state dollars with that focus."

I don't think his motivation for sabotaging the project could have been stated more clearly. In my opinion, Capilouto's fear of competing for state dollars was and is irrational.

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Posted: 6/5/2014 3:53 PM

Re: How much does UK's success depend on Rupp upgrade? 



Badinage wrote: You also act like UK committing to 70% if the debt service is somehow not sufficient. Why should UK's commitment exceed that when the project included more than just renovating Rupp AND UK only uses Rupp less than 30 times per year?
Nope, I never said that. $10.7 million annually for 30 years is certainly sufficient.  What is not sufficient was Capilouto's insistence that the terms of the lease agreement reached back in October of last year could not be disclosed to the General Assembly. 

Go into any bank, apply for a loan, and tell the lender that you can't divulge in specific terms where the revenue is going to come from to meet the debt service on the loan you are seeking. No way, no how are you getting the loan.

That was the restriction that Capilouto wrapped around the neck of Jim Gray and Governor Beshear.
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