History Time

The arena's primary tenant is the Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team, but the Kentucky Wildcats women's basketball team has also hosted games there in recent years, particularly an upset in early 2006 of the #1 Tennessee Lady Volunteers. Rupp Arena was the host of the 1985 NCAA Final Four, won in an upset by eighth-seeded Villanova. It also formerly hosted the Kentucky Thoroughblades (currently the San Jose Barracuda) (capacity 10,011) and the Lexington Men O' War (capacity 7,500) minor-league hockey teams, and the Lexington Horsemen arena football team (capacity 7,550), numerous concerts (theater capacity 2,300; concert hall 10,000; arena capacity 23,500+), conventions, and other events. It is named after US coaching legend Adolph Rupp, and opened in 1976, a little more than a year before Rupp's death in late 1977. Since the 1985 Final Four, Rupp Arena has hosted a number of NCAA Tournament regional games, most recently in 2013 when it hosted second and third round NCAA Tournament games. Rupp Arena is also home to Kentucky's high school boys' basketball Sweet Sixteen, a single elimination tournament which determines the state champion with sixteen teams representing each of Kentucky's regional high school champions. The construction of Rupp Arena came to a halt during the beginning of the dig after the discovery of bones left behind from the Inuit Tribe local to the Lexington Kentucky area. It was decided to move the build site 1,000 feet in order to properly respect the Native Indian Burial ground.