Yum! Center says Billy Joel is proof of the venue's growing succ - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Yum! Center says Billy Joel is proof of the venue's growing success

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Billy Joel will perform at the KFC Yum! Center April 6, kicking off another year of big names for the young venue.

With a piano at center court, the Yum! Center announced Wednesday that Joel would join the growing list of stars coming to derby city.

"The Louisville market has caught the attention of the rock 'n roll industry," said Yum! Center General Manager Dennis Petrullo.

With 2013 performances by Beyonce and Justin Timberlake, and names like Cher and Kings of Leon joining Joel in 2014, arena staff say its gaining popularity as a concert venue.

"We are selling tickets. And as long as we are selling tickets and supporting these bands, the promoters and agents want to play this market," said Petrullo.

Joel hasn't performed in Louisville for over 13 years. This is his first performance at the Yum! Center.

Even though Billy Joel might not be their top seller, staff at Guest Room Records on Frankfort Avenue says it's a good thing for the city of Louisville.

"It's an indication that Louisville is already doing things right that it is already supporting local acts and the arts," says Lisa Foster.

And as co-owner of the independent record store, Travis Searle points out, it's only natural that Billy Joel and other big names make a stop in derby city.

"The location on the highway system is perfect between Chicago and Nashville," said Searle. "Everybody is coming here anyway, it only makes sense that they would stop and play for their fans."

The big announcement comes on the heals of a downgrade of bonds that financed the downtown arena.

Multiple credit rating agencies downgraded the arena's bonds to "junk" status last month.

But despite the downgrade, general manager Dennis Petrullo says the facility is succeeding. And Billy Joel will only add to that success.

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