The heart of any thriving community is its downtown—and Central Bank Center and the historic Rupp Arena are truly the heart of downtown Lexington and one of the most widely-recognized entertainment venues in North America. The Central Bank Center and Rupp Arena serve as the backdrop to Lexington’s most vibrant urban gathering space.


Located minutes from Bluegrass Airport, the University of Kentucky campus, and Lexington’s iconic Thoroughbred horse farms, the Central Bank Center and Rupp Arena opened in 1976 and are home to the National Champion University of Kentucky men’s basketball program. The 19,000-seat arena, affectionately referred to by some as “the Cathedral of College Basketball” is named for the legendary Adolph Rupp, head coach from 1930 to 1972, and one of the all-time winningest coaches in men’s college basketball. Few experiences in all of sports can match that of experiencing a U.K. men’s home basketball game at Rupp Arena.

Steel Work Highlights Construction

Shaping Up - Structural steel for Rupp Arena begins to take form as the giant Structure goes up in downtown Lexington. Precast concrete seat risers are being put in place in upper seating areas of the arena, which will seat over 22,000.

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News article Lexington Opera House Opening

Lexington Opera House Opens in High Style

 "...a reaffirmation of what has been, and what will be again." - Helen Hayes

With those words, Helen Hayes welcomed the audience to the "new" Lexington Opera House...

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Annual Events

During its storied history, Rupp Arena has also hosted professional ice hockey and indoor football. The annual popular Kentucky high school basketball championship KHSAA Sweet 16 has also called Rupp Arena home for 36 of the past 41 years. The Central Bank Center also includes brand new, state of the art convention facilities.  The Center is connected by pedway to the Hyatt Hotel and the recently renovated 366-room Downtown Hilton Hotel. Over the years, the Central Bank Center and Rupp Arena have welcomed tens of millions of visitors through its doors.

Providing Unique Experiences

Anchoring the West end of Lexington’s revitalized and lively downtown, the true soul of the Central Bank Center and Rupp Arena experience is found inside. The Central Bank Center’s never-ending mission is to provide its own uniquely inviting patron experience. The friendly staff, professional management team, excellent sight lines from all seat locations, plenty of on-site parking and convenient access come together to provide our guests with the ultimate fan experience. The Central Bank Center continuously measures itself against the world’s best. That’s the difference between a satisfactory experience and a sensational experience.


Each year, hundreds of thousands visitors from around the world and local and state residents flock to the Central Bank Center and Rupp Arena to gather together with friends and family to socialize, to attend high profile concerts, shows and community and sporting events and to enjoy an entertainment experience that is unmatched.


Whether for a concert or a seated dinner on the main floor, Rupp Arena’s unique versatility has been frequently utilized by numerous event planners and promoters since its opening. Rupp Arena has been host to some of the greatest award-winning musicians and chart-topping artists in the world including U2, Elton John, Tina Turner, KISS, Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift and many others.


The Central Bank Center didn’t invent the extraordinary patron experience, they simply perfected it. Here you will experience “Welcome” in its sincerest and highest form.