deTouring Rupp Arena (Home of the Greatest Tradition in College Basketball)

Entrance to Rupp Arena. University of Kentucky Archives.

On Monday evening, one of four teams will be crowned the NCAA Champion. For basketball fans (which is all of us, right?), you can probably already hear the lyrics sung by Luther Vandross to One Magic Moment. Right?

The Final Four was once held, in 1985, in Lexington, Kentucky at Rupp Arena. It was a memorable performance as the underdog Villanova went on to beat favorite Georgetown.

Yes, the tradition of college basketball is rich in Lexington and at Rupp Arena.

Timeout during a men’s basketball game. Author’s collection

The home team, the University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball Team, is the most winning college basketball program. The team’s all-time record in Rupp Arena is 546-64.

The arena itself opened in 1976; its dedication coming during its third game – a December 1976 win against the Kansas Jayhawks. But the venue is about more than just basketball.

Concerts, church services, community events, minor league hockey, arena football, and more have been only a part of what has made Rupp Arena an important part of Lexington’s history.

An empty Rupp Arena in 2016. Author’s collection.

This week you’ll have the opportunity to explore this rich historic place that is now in its 40th year. It may be the last time you’ll have to see Big Bertha – the 12,000 pound sound system hanging from the center of the stadium. It’s being removed during the main tenant’s off-season. It will be the most recent of many renovations and alterations made to the venue over its rich history.

The Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation will be holding its monthly deTour for April at Rupp Arena. More details are available on Facebook, so mark Wednesday, April 6, 2016 on your calendar for this event!