Big Blue Nation reacts to name change

Posted at 4:45 PM, Jan 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 09:46:11-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Adolph Rupp built the UK men's basketball tradition in his 40 years as head coach. Rupp led his teams to four National Championships and 20 NCAA tournament appearances. His leadership for the wildcats has left a lasting footprint on the program, leading the arena to be named in his honor.

Chip Rupp, Adolph's grandson, says his grandfather was one of a kind. "He was interesting. I mean, he most certainly had a big ego. But part of what he was all about was winning. But the other thing that he was about was establishing a tradition of excellence."

While the Lexington Convention Center is now named The Central Bank Center, Rupp Arena's name is staying intact. Chip says his grandfather would be proud to still see his name in the title.

"I think he would be excited about today," Chip Rupp said.

"He would be honored that his name is still apart of it. And he'd be looking forward to the years to come in the new facility."

Corporate sponsorship of stadiums and arenas across the sports landscape can often times upset fans. We checked in with the BBN to see how they feel about the name change.

"There's a lot of history there with that name. It's known, certainly around the country and probably around the world," Bo Warren said.

"I think to change it, would probably be a mistake. I think it's a good choice to keep that name."

The two fans say they're excited for the legacy of Adolph Rupp to live on.

"Everybody's going to continue to call it Rupp Arena whether you change the front end of the name or not," Kevin Spratt said.

"So it's always going to be Rupp Arena. That's really not changing anything."

Officials say Central Bank is paying $1.5 million per year for 14 years for the naming rights. The newly-named Central Bank Center began its current $241 million renovation in 2018. The project is set to be completed sometime next year.