A retailer familiar to many University of Kentucky sports fans is opening a store in Lexington.
Academy Sports + Outdoors is opening its first Lexington store next week. The store will have a ribbon cutting on Sept. 30 with festivities through Oct. 2 at 3220 Nicholasville Rd., in the South Park shopping center where the former Office Depot and Bed Bath and Beyond stores were.
Academy Sports + Outdoors is a sponsor of “SEC Nation,” the ESPN-SEC Network’s traveling football pregame show, and is the official sporting goods retailer of the SEC. Ads for the store play in heavy rotation around Wildcat game coverage.
This is the sixth Academy store in Kentucky and the fifth of nine new stores that the chain plans to open this year.
The South Park shopping center, which is one of Lexington’s oldest, in recent years welcomed a new Burlington Store; in 2023 a new Main Event Entertainment venue, restaurant and bar is scheduled to open next to the South Park shops.
What does Academy Sports sell?
The 80,000-square-foot Academy store will have sports and outdoors merchandise, including Nike, Adidas, The North Face, Under Armour, Columbia, Yeti, Traeger, Carhartt, Drake Waterfowl, Timberland, Coleman and more.
In partnership with UK Athletics, Academy also will have licensed UK apparel, novelty and tailgating items.
UK athletes opening weekend
The new store location is planning several giveaways and special events for opening weekend:
▪ The first 150 customers (store opens at 9 a.m.on Friday, 8 a.m. on Saturday, 9 a.m. on Sunday) will get a mystery gift card valued between $10 and $500;
▪ Family-friendly games and prizes and free custom T-shirts, noon to 5 p.m. Friday, with local food truck Taco Trujillo on site giving out free samples until 2 p.m.;
▪ Kentucky Football Tailgate Party on Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with family-friendly games and prizes, local food trucks including Kona Ice and Taco Trujillo until 2 p.m., a meet-and-greet with UK basketball great Kyle Macy noon to 2 p.m. and meet-and-greet with Kentucky women athletes 1 to 2:30 p.m.;
▪ Family-friendly games 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., meet-and-greet with UK guard Cason Wallace from noon to 1 p.m. and local food trucks Kona Ice and Taco Trujillo from noon to 2 p.m. with free samples while supplies last.
This story was originally published September 23, 2022 6:00 AM.