LEXINGTON -- A sea of blue is now deeper at Rupp Arena.
On Tuesday, the upper arena chair-back seats were unveiled ahead of Friday night's Big Blue Madness.
Chair-back seats have replaced bleachers in sections 211 through 217 and sections 228 through 234. Bleachers will remain in sections 218-227 and 235-244. Rupp Arena's new capacity is now 20,545 for basketball, and up to 19,576 for concerts.
"This change represents the dawn of a new era for Rupp Arena," Lexington Center President and CEO Bill Owen said. "Changing from bench seating to chair back seats is a major upgrade for Rupp concerts, family event and UK Basketball fans.
The new seats will provide much greater comfort, improved access to seats throughout the event, easier aisle access, more leg room, arm rests and yes, cup holders."
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The chair back seat installation, managed by Messer Construction Company, is part of the new and expanded Lexington Convention Center project now underway. Since closing last June-September for seat installation, Rupp Arena will spring back to life in October with a full event schedule.
The official posters for the 2019-20 Kentucky men's and women's basketball teams will soon arrive. They will be distributed at Big Blue Madness presented by Papa John's on Friday and beginning Saturday morning at Kroger locations throughout the state.
Designs for both teams' posters will not be unveiled until distribution, with fans in attendance at Big Blue Madness at 7 p.m. on Friday the first to receive them. Each fan will receive one men's poster and one women's poster upon exiting Rupp Arena on Friday evening.
On Saturday morning, the posters will be available for free in more than 100 Kroger stores, including every Kentucky location. Each store will have limited quantities of the poster for distribution, so fans should pick up their posters as early as possible on Saturday.
Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter @keithtaylor21.