The central Kentucky business sector is taking a keen interest in efforts to re-work Rupp Arena and build a new convention center. The 2014 Kentucky General Assembly adjourned without taking final action on a request for 80 million dollars.
Commerce Lexington Director Bob Quick says the economic opportunities go well beyond college basketball games.
"As a community, I think we still have to stay strong about pushing for something that can be transformative. Again, the impact of this on our future is huge. We want to minimize any of the down sides of not having it approved last session,” said Quick.
Quick adds the legislature's decision not to fund Rupp now should not slow the cause.
"What has to happen now is we just have to make sure that Rupp being a very significant project for this region that it stay alive, it stay out there, and that we keep refining it and try to make it the best plan we can until we can get the proper funding to make it happen,” added Quick.
Quick says a major economic impact of the 310 million dollar project will likely be in spin-off businesses. For example, he says, the parking lot across from Rupp on High Street could one day be home to mixed development.