Central Bank Center is one of the nation’s most storied entertainment and convention destinations. To preserve its unique history and ensure the venue’s relevance for generations to come, a design team comprising NBBJ in Los Angeles and EOP Architects of Lexington has come together to re-envision its future.
The new $300 million expansion, to be completed in January of 2022, features 100,000 square feet of contemporary exhibit space, 16 meeting rooms, 11,000 square feet of flexible event space, and a 24,300-square-foot ballroom. The expansion also includes many new amenities that will make the center one the most high-tech, user-friendly meeting and event spaces in the region. New sustainability features will also target LEED certification.
The redesign provides a transparent exterior for Rupp Arena and the convention center, with distinctive building identities and entrances. By making activities inside more visible, it encourages passersby to participate and links those inside to the city.
Located in the heart of downtown Lexington—within easy walking distance of over 1,200 hotel rooms; 75 restaurants; numerous theaters, shops, and galleries; the distillery district; and a wide variety of nightlife—the Central Bank Center offers small town charm with big city amenities.
Inside the iconic Rupp Arena—home to the University of Kentucky basketball program—there is seating for up to 20,500 with approximately 50,000 square feet of club space and expanded concourses. Nearby, the historic 900-seat Lexington Opera House, built in 1886, is a jewel-box setting for concerts, touring Broadway shows, or your next meeting or special event.
With a pedestrian connection to an outdoor park, plaza, and water features, these venues together create a vibrant, lively experience for residents and visitors alike.