Kentucky Exposition Center
|Kentucky Exposition Center|
The main entrance and South Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center
|Owner||Kentucky State Fair Board|
|Operator||Kentucky State Fair Board|
|• Total space||1,200,000|
The Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC), formerly Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center (KFEC), is a large multi-use facility in Louisville, Kentucky, United States. Commonly called "the Fairgrounds", it was originally built in 1956. It is overseen by the Kentucky State Fair Board, and is one of the ten largest facilities of its type in the U.S., with over 1,200,000 square feet (110,000 m2) of indoor space.
Cardinal Stadium, an on-site baseball/football field with a capacity of up to 37,925, was formerly home to the University of Louisville football and Louisville Redbirds minor league baseball teams. Freedom Hall is one of two on-site arenas, and provided 18,875 seats for the University of Louisville men's and women's basketball teams until they moved downtown to the new KFC Yum! Center for the 2010–11 season. Broadbent Arena is also located within the complex and as has maximum capacity of 6,600. The site has 1,000 permanent horse stalls, 720 temporary stalls and capacity for livestock as well.
KEC hosts a number of events, including the Kentucky State Fair, the North American International Livestock Exposition and the National Farm Machinery Show. It is located adjacent to I-65 and the Henry Watterson Expressway, as well as the Louisville International Airport.
In 2004, Louisville was selected as one of five cities in the United States to host the Dew Tour, a new extreme sports franchise which started 2005. Titled the Panasonic Open, the event was held at the Kentucky Exposition Center from June 8–12. The event returned to Louisville in 2006.
In February 2006 the facility changed its name from Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center to simply Kentucky Exposition Center to "more accurately reflect the facility's mission."
In April 2006, demolition began on KEC's East Wing, which was built as part of the original facility in 1956. It was replaced with the renamed North Wing, a more modern Class "A" exhibition space with higher ceilings and fewer support poles, similar to the South Wing. The new facility, also features a skywalk, allowing those parking in the rear of the facility to access the lobby without going through the new hall. The wing was completed in October 2007 and is currently being used by most events staged at the complex.
- * Kleber, John E., ed. (2001). "Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center". The Encyclopedia of Louisville. Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky. p. 472. ISBN 0-8131-2100-0. OCLC 247857447. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
- Karman III, John R. (April 3, 2006). "$55 million reconstruction of expo center's East Wing begins". Business First.