There are quite a history and a good number of facts behind the Rupp Arena. This arena is the delight of many basketballs and sports enthusiasts who live in Lexington and the surrounding areas in Kentucky. This stadium was opened in 1976. It has a sitting capacity of 23,500 and is a home stadium to the Kentucky Wildcats Basketball Team. Since its opening, Kentucky has lost 68 games and won 585 games.
There are some interesting facts about Rupp Arena. During the opening of the stadium, one ticket went for $6 only and the first game was highly attended such that snacks were finished by halftime. These are among the little known facts that we will discuss here.
The name – The Rupp Arena was named after Adolph Rupp, University of Kentucky basketball coach, who has been named as the “most winning” coach of his time, with 876 wins in his 1930 to 1972 coaching career. The stadium was opened about a year before the death of Adolph Rupp in 1977. In its lifetime, this arena has hosted NCAA games, regional high school basketball elimination games, many concerts, and WWE and SmackDown events among others.
Interesting history – Construction was stopped when Inuit bones were discovered during the excavation, in the early stages of the digging. The building site was moved 1000 feet aside in respect to the Inuit burial site.
Alcohol – You can neither bring alcohol into the stadium nor take alcohol purchased in the stadium outside. Besides, the stadium management reserves the right to halt the sale of alcohol at their discretion. At the same time, the stadium maintains a strict bag policy, so always check with them to see what kind of bag you can enter with.
Sitting capacity – The official sitting capacity of 23,500 but this is always exceeded when the UK (University of Kentucky) team is playing. There is an extra standing room for students behind the goals. This way, the capacity of the stadium can even exceed 24,000. In 2010, a record 24, 480 people were in the stadium to watch Kentucky play Louisville where the host won by 71-62. You can buy Rupp Arena tickets online seeing the seating chart for the next big basketball game.
Music concert – Champagne Music Makers led by Lawrence Welk held the first ever music concert in Rupp Arena on October 17, 1976. Four people twisted their ankles or suffered other minor injuries as they scrambled up to the upper arena seats. There were no handrails then, but they were installed later.
Mishaps – In the early opening years of the Rupp Arena, several mishaps like the twisted ankles discussed above would befall the stadium. It was during the first basketball season that seven sinks detached from the walls and in the same season, the lights were too bright, in effect blinding the Wildcats until they could only dominate 43% of the field. The lights’ brightness had to be lowered by 50000 watts.
First Cat’s game – The Wildcats played their first game in the arena against Wisconsin where they won by 72-64. This game attracted 23,266 fans who had eaten all the hotdogs at the snack stands by halftime into the game. This game took place on 27 November 1976.