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Kentucky Is The Gold Standard For College Hoops And It Deserves Better Than Rupp Arena

Listen, Kentucky is the gold standard for college basketball. Fuck UCLA. Fuck Indiana. You don’t count anymore. Fuck Duke and UNC. You still got work to do. Kansas you’re close, but not here yet. Louisville, good one.

Gold. Standard.

Now, that’s what this makes tough. Rupp Arena is a dump. I absolutely hate it. I hate that Kentucky plays there. It deserves so much better.

Let’s start with the fact that people don’t even know that Rupp Arena is well, Rupp Arena. There are a couple of boring ass signs outside the arena that gives you an idea. But, it’s part of the goddamn Lexington Convention Center!

Screen Shot 2019-01-23 at 2.34.34 PM(h/t University of Kentucky for the picture)

Look at that. It sucks. It’s a square building attached to the Hyatt and a shopping area. It’s brutal. I remember the first time I visited Kentucky in 2004. I was jazzed up to see the well-known Rupp Arena.

That’s it? It doesn’t even look like a basketball arena. How the hell are you going to be the gold standard when your arena is a mall?

Then there’s the argument of the setup inside, once you actually make it past the shopping center. Kentucky fills the bottom of the arena with blueheads. For those not familiar with the term it’s essentially just old people that don’t know how to get loud consistently.

They put the students behind one basket – and a bit far off the court. Then they have a section behind the bench in the lower level and an upper level section. It’s not ideal for an atmosphere.

Now, we’ll get into the blueheads in a moment here. But, the students need to do better too. This is a view from last night:

I get there’s frustration from a student standpoint. That will always be the case and it’s not going to change because Kentucky is going to keep raking in money with the season ticket holders in the lower level. That’s where it’s a shame.

Look at Kansas. Look at Michigan State. Look at other major arenas across the country with top teams. It’s a wild atmosphere. The students are loud from the get go. Kentucky will never have that.

It gets loud simply because it’s so goddamn big and that makes for an intimidating home court advantage. But, there are times it’s absolutely quiet there. If you sit lower level there’s a chance you get asked to sit down by someone behind you wearing a fake blue wig. The moment something goes wrong the cheering stops for a few moments.

Now, we’ll see what happens in 2021 when these renovations go into place that will give a new exterior and add upper level seats. But, this is a shame and as a Kentucky fan I demand more from those at games.

Yes, it will be loud for Kansas and Tennessee. But it needs to be loud for the entire 40 minutes against a ranked Mississippi State team. I don’t have enough time to get down there and correct everything.