Nearly 50 conventions confirmed at new Kentucky International Co - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Nearly 50 conventions confirmed at new Kentucky International Convention Center

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -

Demolition continues on the Kentucky International Convention Center, where the west half of the building is on schedule to be down by February.

When crews make room to put steel beams up over Third Street, city officials say it might cause a small headache for drivers downtown. Third Street will close between Market and Jefferson starting Jan. 3 for driver safety. 

The President and CEO of the Kentucky State Fair Board, Jason Rittenberry, says the block will only be closed for less than half the time it was supposed to be closed.

“It's only going to be closed for 10 months versus the originally planned 22 months,” Rittenberry said.

“They took a look at their engineering schedule, they looked at their construction schedule, and they absolutely whittled down the minimum necessary to be able to close Third Street,”  said Doug Hamilton, Louisville Metro Chief of Public Services.

City officials say finding a new way to drive to work or to a KFC Yum! Center game is a small price to pay for the estimated $53 million the new convention center is expected to bring to the city each year when it reopens in summer of 2018.

“It will not be as much of a frustration as the Sherman Minton closure or the bridges project,” Hamilton said.

The convention center already booked 49 new events. According to the Kentucky State Fair Board, half of them never would have considered coming to Louisville otherwise.

“It's two fold. It’s the size and the capabilities of the space we have available, and it's the available number of hotel rooms in the area adjacent to the convention center,” Rittenberry said.

On Monday, LMPD will put up street closure signs to warn drivers ahead of the closure on Jan. 3.  LMPD will help direct traffic here for the first week the block is closed.

Here are some of the conventions coming to the center as a result of the expansion:

American Institute of Steel Construction – 2021 NASCC THE STEEL CONFERENCE

  • April 10 - 27, 2021
  • Attendance – 4,500
  • Economic impact $4 million

National Precast Concrete Association – THE PRECAST SHOW 2019

  • Feb. 24-March 3, 2019
  • Attendance – 2,800
  • Economic impact $2.2 million

International Association of Exhibitions and Events – IAEE Expo! Expo!

  • Dec. 2-11, 2020
  • Attendance – 3,000
  • Economic Impact $2.5 million

American Legion

  • Aug. 22-Sept. 3, 2020
  • Attendance – 12,500
  • Economic Impact - $8 million

Sweet Adeline’s International

  • Oct. 11-17,2020
  • Attendance – 9,000
  • Economic Impact  $4.5 million

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