The Big Blueprint: Our locker room plans for Rupp Arena

Interactive blueprint at the bottom

Recently, with the support of private donors, the Lexington Center Corp., the Blue Grass Community Foundation, and after talking with UK President Eli Capilouto and Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart, we’ve decided to move forward with a new locker room and adjoining facilities at Rupp Arena.

We plan to have the project completed by the start of next season.

When we talk about the gold standard, this will be the gold standard in college basketball. There may be schools that have facilities like this on their campuses, but we will have this PLUS the amenities of the Joe Craft Center. No one will have a stand-alone basketball suite like this just for their games. It’s the gold standard.

As you can see, this will be more than just a locker room for our basketball team. It’s a facility that all of our teams and coaches at the University of Kentucky can use in recruiting during our games to relax and hang out, whether that’s football, baseball, softball, volleyball, etc. They will be able to use this area prior to the games and when they’re not in use.

  1. Entrance – This will be what we call a signature area, a visual-based, attention-grabbing entrance that will highlight some of the program’s most special moments. This area will likely feature all-glass encasings with championship trophies, game balls and more.
  2. Players’ lounge/recruiting room – To the right of the entrance will be the lounge. Our players can use it for when they come to Rupp Arena early and they want to relax, watch TV and hang out with their teammates. Our other sports teams can use this area as a staging area for recruits. For example, when our football team brings in 15 recruits, they can use the players’ lounge to hang out and watch TV.
  3. Kitchen/dining area – This area is pretty self explanatory, but let me tell you why we need a kitchen. For our games right now, our players get a boxed meal and have to sit in their lockers with no table to eat on. Now they will be able to go to the dining area for a postgame meal, plus, like our lounge area, other teams can use it to get a snack during their visits.
  4. Locker room – The new locker room, the heart of the new facility, will be round. We wanted a round locker room because we want our players to be able to look and talk and with each other before and after the game without anything in the way. We want cohesion. Right now our locker room is an “L” shape with a pole in the middle of the room, which obstructs the players’ view and doesn’t allow them to interact with all their teammates.
  5. Theater-style meeting room – This is where we will meet the team prior to the game, at halftime and postgame to go over what we’re going to do, what adjustments we have to make, etc. Right now we have to meet in the locker room where the players get dressed and eat. This new meeting room will keep us out of their locker area. That locker room area should be for the players only. No one else should be in there.
  6. Training room – The training area is expanded with a hydrotherapy area (hot and cold tubs) that we don’t have right now so the players can get themselves ready prior to the game, and they can recover and rehabilitate afterwards.