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Central Bank Center Expansion

Check this page for the latest news, photos, videos as the expansion project develops.

Central Bank Center is one of the nation’s most storied entertainment designations.  To preserve its unique history and ensure its relevance for generations to come, a design team comprised of NBBJ in Los Angeles and EOP Architects of Lexington have come together to re-envision its future.

The redesign provides a transparent exterior for Rupp Arena and the convention center, with distinctive building identities and entrances. By making activities inside more visible, it encourages passersby to participate and links those inside to the city.  The design also includes a park, plaza and water features.

The new Convention Center exhibition space will be increased by over 50% and ballroom space by over 40%.  Upon completion in Spring 2022, Central Bank Center will have over 200,000 sf of flexible meeting and event space.

Inside Rupp Arena, home to the University of Kentucky basketball program, the redesign includes upgrades to the upper seating bowl, approximately 50,000 sq ft of club space, expanded concourses and new sustainability features that will target LEED certification.  Together, these buildings along with a pedestrian connection through the site that connects to downtown Lexington, will create a vibrant, lively experience for residents and visitors alike.

Messer Construction was awarded the $241 M winning contract bid, recommended by the Convention Center Expansion Project Committee.  The contract includes: demolition of the Jefferson Street Bridge, All new construction costs including 100,000 sq ft of exhibit halls, a 25,000 sq ft ballroom, 24,000 + sq ft of flexible meeting spaces and 60,000+ ft of pre-function and circulation space, new UK Hospitality Clubs, new upper arena chair back seats and new parking structures.

Live Camera

Rupp Arena 3D Infographic

Rupp 3D Infographic Click image to enlarge.

New Seating Virtual Venue

UK Athletics is excited to unveil the all new Rupp Arena Virtual Venue. This platform allows fans to see 360-views from various seat locations, compare sight lines and see the benefits & amenities associated with each seat location. Please note, pricing will be announced at a later date prior to seat selections.

More Info

Rupp Arena Catwalk Rendering

Rupp Arena Catwalk RenderingClick image to enlarge.

Central Bank Center 3D Infographic

Lexington Center 3D InfographicClick image to enlarge.

Space Breakdown

The NEW Central Bank Center design was developed by NBBJ Architects of Los Angeles, CA and EOP Architects, Lexington and includes 100,000 sq. ft of exhibit halls, a 24,330 ballroom, 29,000 sq. ft of meeting rooms and 44,000 sq. ft of clubs and flexible spaces.


+51.5% increase from existing 66,000sf space


+38.2% increase from existing 17,600SF space


& 44,000SF of club and flexible spaces

Construction Photos