If naming rights are sold, 'Rupp' needs to be in the name, Gray says

jtipton@herald-leader.comJuly 10, 2013 

Former UK coach Joe B. Hall was among the speakers at a news conference discussing plans for Rupp Arena.

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If the naming rights to the re-invented Rupp Arena are sold, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said he keenly wanted "Rupp" to remain part of its identity.

That means it would be "(business name) Rupp Arena."

"We need to retain what is authentic and original, and Rupp Arena has a lot of ... emotional attachment to it," Gray said.

Former Kentucky basketball coach Joe B. Hall agreed with Gray, saying the arena "can always be 'Something-Rupp Arena.' Yeah, I'm OK with that."

Hall noted how the UK program is synonymous with Adolph Rupp, the former coach who "built" the university's basketball program.

"This program is Adolph Rupp's program," Hall said. He, too, can accept Rupp sharing the billing.

"It could be Alltech Rupp Arena. It could be the Ashland Rupp Arena. It could be the IBM Rupp Arena. Whatever," he said.

Last week, the Lexington Center Corp. officially began seeking proposals for naming rights to the Lexington Convention Center.

The corporation says it is seeking a "Naming Rights Partner" who would be associated with the existing convention center as well as the proposed new convention center.

The request for proposals — called an RFP — must be submitted to Rupp District Project Director Frank Butler by 2:20 p.m. Aug. 2, according to the RFP dated July 1.

Center Board Chair Brent Rice said center policies would be followed in selecting a naming partner for Rupp or the convention center.

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