Photos from the Lexington Herald-Leader archives updated daily

Rupp Arena construction, 1975

Posted on July 21, 2017 | in Uncategorized | by

The steel superstructure of Rupp Arena loomed over the west end of downtown Lexington on Jan. 9, 1975, in a westward view on Vine Street from Limestone. Click here to see other Rupp Arena construction images from our archives. The grand opening of Rupp Arena was Oct. 7 to 10, 1976. For 99 cents, anyone could take a guided tour. When it opened, the Lexington Center was a five-fold operation: the convention-exposition hall, Rupp Arena, a shopping mall, the 17-story Hyatt Regency Hotel, and the Lexington Opera House. According to a 1976 article in the Herald-Leader, financing for Lexington Center and Rupp Arena was complicated, but it involved $66 million in private and public funding. $50.9 million of that was public money. Lawrence Welk was the first act to perform at Rupp Area, attracting 20,000 patrons on Oct. 17, 1976, for a 3 p.m. concert. On July 20, 2017, new designs were released of the long-awaited expansion of the Lexington Convention Center that include improvements for Rupp Arena. Photo by E. Martin Jessee | Staff

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