Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center

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Coordinates: 32°46′28″N 96°48′05″W / 32.7745799°N 96.801484°W / 32.7745799; -96.801484

Aerial overview of the complex

The Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center (originally the Dallas Memorial Auditorium and formerly Dallas Convention Center) is a convention center in the Convention Center District of downtown Dallas, Texas. The original Dallas Memorial Auditorium was designed by George Dahl in 1957. It holds approx 10,000 seats. Dahl was responsible for the renowned Art Deco building at the Dallas Fair Park, as well as many other Texas landmarks. The Convention Center additions were designed by Larry Oltmanns who was a Design Partner with Skidmore, Owings and Merrill at the time.


The Dallas Memorial Auditorium was originally constructed in 1957 near the intersection of Canton and Akard Streets. In the 1970s, the center was expanded and renamed the Dallas Convention Center; the expansion was designed by local architects Omniplan. The center was expanded again in 1984 and once more in 1994,[1] when Dallas Area Rapid Transit constructed the Convention Center Station underneath the west-wing of the facility, connecting it to the Red and Blue light rail lines. The most-recent addition to the facility was completed in 2002.[1] Together with Reunion Arena, it was an emergency shelter for thousands of Hurricane Katrina refugees in September 2005.

The venue was one home of the Dallas Chaparrals/Texas Chaparrals of the American Basketball Association, who played in Dallas from the 1967-68 season through the 1972-73 season. The team moved to San Antonio in 1973 and became the San Antonio Spurs. [2]

While on a 5-city tour in the final week of 1976, Elvis Presley performed at the Dallas Convention Center on December 28 that was recorded and later released on the Follow That Dream collectors label titled "Showtime!"

On April 1, 1977, Led Zeppelin opened what would become their last ever American tour together in the Dallas Memorial Auditorium.

In October 1978, Queen played at the Convention center during their US tour, and the music video for "Fat Bottomed Girls" was filmed at the center.[3]


The Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center as viewed from Reunion Tower in August 2015

The center is over 2,000,000 square feet (190,000 m2) in size and contains over 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) of exhibit space. The largest contiguous exhibit-space in the structure is 726,726 square feet (67,515 m2). A 203,000-square-foot (18,900 m2) column-free exhibit hall in the center is the largest of its kind in the United States. It is annually used for the Dallas Auto Show.[4]

The east side of the structure contains the original element of the Dallas Memorial Auditorium, a 9,816-seat arena. The complex also houses a 1,740-person theater, 105 meeting rooms, and 2 gigantic ballrooms. In terms of accessibility, the world's largest heliport/vertiport sits atop the structure and 75 truck berths line its docks.[4]

In May 2009, voters approved construction of the Omni Dallas Convention Center Hotel, a 1,000 room hotel that is attached to the Convention Center. It opened in late 2011, under budget and ahead of schedule.


  1. ^ a b Dallas Convention Center - History. Retrieved on 29 August 2006.
  2. ^ http://www.remembertheaba.com/Dallas-Chaparrals.html
  3. ^ Queen Promo Videos - Fat Bottomed Girls Ultimate Queen. Retrieved 4 September 2011
  4. ^ a b Dallas Convention Center - Facility Overview. Retrieved on 29 August 2006.

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