Fayette County

Rupp Arena upgrades wireless internet in time for Sweet Sixteen

A recent technology upgrade at Rupp Arena means fans now have internet access during events.
A recent technology upgrade at Rupp Arena means fans now have internet access during events. gkocher@herald-leader.com

Wi-Fi is up and running in Rupp Arena, and it’s getting good reviews this week from fans at the Whitaker Bank/KHSAA Boys’ Sweet Sixteen State Basketball Tournament.

Julian Tackett, commissioner of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, told the Lexington Center Corp. board Thursday that fans were “really, really applauding” the improved service.

Rupp Arena patrons have long been frustrated by the lack of wireless internet in one of Lexington’s most recognized landmarks. Wi-Fi was available before in the convention center and in the food court, but the new system is designed to have thousands of users simultaneously in Rupp.

The $1.4 million Wi-Fi installation is part of a $13 million technology overhaul of the arena that included a new center-hung scoreboard, a state-of-the-art sound system, new LED advertising signs and other improvements.

The video/audio upgrade was expected to cost $15 million but came in under budget by almost $2 million. The upgrade was in effect for the Kentucky men’s basketball team’s last home game on Feb. 28 against Vanderbilt.

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