UK Facilities Feasibility Study Process Update
Jan. 31, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- IMG College, a division of IMG Worldwide, and its affiliated company, International Stadia Group (ISG), with the support of Lexington Center Corporation and the University of Kentucky are conducting a feasibility study to determine if the combined IMG/ISG entities can provide private financing for the design, construction and operation of three new or expanded athletics facilities in Lexington.
During the process of the feasibility study the possibility of extended multi-media rights being included was discussed as one portion of the means of generating additional revenues. Therefore in accordance with university guidelines, a Request for Proposal must be conducted to provide an open, competitive process for additional entities including IMG/ISG to bid for the proposal.
The original completion timetable of the feasibility study was late January/early February. Impacted by the additional step in the process, the new timetable for completion of the feasibility study will be Spring 2009.
The University of Kentucky is confident that the change in timetable will have no impact on the feasibility study results. “We remain excited and optimistic about receiving the results of a feasibility study on innovative solutions to improving UK Athletics' infrastructure through private sources. The additional step of a Request for Proposal, while lengthening the process, ensures adherence to procedural requirements on a project with numerous complexities and provides an open, competitive process. Like many, we are anxious to learn the details of the research,” said Rob Mullens, UK Deputy Director of Athletics
The study is exploring providing private financing for a new downtown arena to replace the renowned 32-year-old Rupp Arena for Kentucky Wildcats basketball games, concerts, and other events.
In addition, the study will also determine the opportunities for funding major renovations to Commonwealth Stadium, home to Kentucky's football team, and for construction of a new on-campus baseball stadium.
The financing, if justified by the study, will be provided by an innovative, private financing opportunity with no public funding included.
IMG College, formerly Host Communications, Inc., has been a media rights holder at UK since 1974. In 2004, the company signed a 10-year $80 million deal for these rights in partnership with Gray Television, Inc., owner of Lexington based TV station, WKYT-TV.