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February 10, 2015

Louisville Seeks New MICE Business With Expanded Kentucky International Convention Center




The expansion and renovation of the Kentucky International Convention Center is set to begin in August 2016 with an early completion date of Summer 2018. In order to meet the demands of the construction schedule and remain within budget, city and state officials are working to relocate affected events during the 2016-2018 construction process.

Kentucky State Fair Board President and CEO Rip Rippetoe said that the accelerated construction schedule will “keep this renovation on time and within budget.”

The renovation of the convention center is projected to cost $180 million. The investment will increase contiguous exhibit space by more than a third, from 146,000 square feet to over 200,000 square feet, all within the existing footprint. The project also includes renovation of meeting rooms in the existing facility.

“The expansion of the Kentucky International Convention Center is yet another example of the continued growth and momentum that is occurring in Louisville and Jefferson County,” Governor Steve Beshear said. 

Karen Williams, President and CEO of the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, said that the proposed construction timeline “expedites how soon we can book more and new lucrative business than we could with the current space.”

Louisville has two convention venues, an arena, a downtown pedestrian skywalk, and 17,000 hotel rooms in the metro area. By 2018, additional hotels will bring the total number of rooms in the area to over 18,000.

The first event to book the newly renovated convention center was announced last month. Sweet Adelines International will bring its 2020 convention and 10,000 attendees to Louisville in part because of the new exhibit space and increased number of hotel rooms downtown.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer noted that the city has one of the largest meeting spaces in the country with the Kentucky Exposition Center. Just as one hotel opens its doors, we break ground on the next one...We are aggressively looking to book other groups who share this vision and are ready to get on board.”

“The KFC Yum Center’s close proximity to the convention center and downtown hotels lends well to attracting business that will utilize both venues, and we are eager to build upon that relationship once the renovation is complete,” KFC Yum! Center General Manager Dennis Petrullo said.


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